There is nothing I love more than a good, solid, unequivocal challenge.
Now, reading is not the challenge. I love reading! Reading has been one of my favorite past times in my life. I look forward to curling up on a couch and breaking out my pen, and diving into a book while making notes in the margins and underlining key sentences, and just generally enjoying the story while marking up the book.
However, I am way behind on my reading schedule…
Therefore, it is time to make a new challenge for myself: 7 Books Before September!
The reason why this is a challenge… is not the reading, itself. It is not the challenge of understanding what I am reading, or not even enjoying what I am reading.
I have no idea when I will find time to read anything…
But I have 7 Books Before September to finish, and I am a determined woman!
1) A Wrinkle In Time
by Madeleine L’Engle
I love Anne Lamott. Her book, Bird by Bird, might as well just be a roadmap of my soul. She has this wonderful insight into writing, without being weird. You know those writing gurus who talk about writing like it was this pleasant, pleasurable experience and all the worlds just come tumbling out in the right order, and you never grab your hair and scream at your laptop saying, “WHY AREN’T YOU JUST DOING WHAT IS IN MY HEAD…GAAAHHHHH!!!”
Anne understands, and she walks us through the hardest moments. Being the first moments. And some of the middle…and the end. And most of the rest of the trip. So, kind of all of it. Without being enabling. (thank you Anne)
What I love about her interview is when she was talking about the books she hates: “I don’t enjoy Jonathan Franzen, although I mean to. I couldn’t finish “The Corrections” and thought “Freedom” was hilariously overrated. Maybe I am just bitter because it was such a gigantic success.”
I’m looking at you, Cheryl Strayed and Wild. (why does she have be so talented. ugh.)
Anyway. I found this book on Anne Lamott’s reading list, during a recent interview, being her favorite book of all time, so naturally I thought, “I should go find out why it is her favorite book!”
The funny thing is that apparently, I am super late to the show on this. Since everyone on earth has already read this. And it is their favorite book, as well.
So, only fashionably late to the party.
2) Agnes Gray
Another Anne I love!
I was intrigued by this book, after reading the full biography of Anne Bronte. Her other book, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,” will go down in history as my favorite book of all time. Besides a few others. But this one I actually recommend (HIGHLY) to people, kind of all the time. Agnes Gray is supposed to be much more autobiographical in nature, and surrounded around her experiences as a governess in a rather affluent social circle. I am dying to know how she survived, so this book is on the list.
3) WOMAN ON THE AMERICAN FRONTIER.
byWilliam Worthington Fowler
(online text only)
A Valuable and Authentic History OF THE HEROISM, ADVENTURES, PRIVATIONS, CAPTIVITIES, TRIALS, AND NOBLE LIVES AND DEATHS OF THE “PIONEER MOTHERS OF THE REPUBLIC.” By WILLIAM W. FOWLER, M.A.
Woman on the American Frontier / A Valuable and Authentic History of the Heroism, Adventures, Privations, Captivities, Trials, and Noble Lives and Deaths of the “Pioneer Mothers of the Republic” (Kindle Locations 13-15).
I think it is pretty obvious why I am interested in this book.
A book studying the Pioneer Women, who raised their own food, shot their own meat, raised their kids in the wilderness and just generally were amazing during their lifetimes?
I am all over this.
4) Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters
I was taking a poetry course on edX, taught by Pinsky, and I never finished his book (or the course. I’m so sorry, Pinsky. We moved halfway through!).
I remember it being amazingly insightful, yet utterly pragmatic. How do you write poetry…that sounds like poetry? How do you work the words to your advantage? How do you manipulate the line to carry the weight of a different meaning? How can you be so bold as to say what you mean, clearly? And simply? Without being pretentious, but also carrying the weight of a poet?
This is a good book to read, so I am getting back into it.
5) Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
by Jenny Lawson
Ah, Jenny Lawson.
I am completely in awe of her writing.
She just…writes, man. About things. And stuff. And it is crazy weird things, and normal things, and vulnerable things.
I need to figure out how she does this. Because I am way far behind her mad skillz.
And I’m not bitterly jealous (anymore).
6) Dynamics of Faith
by Paul Tillich
A good friend recommended this a while ago, and I am really loving this right now. It is a very interesting book. Very straightforward, very clear. It is…not Beth Moore. How’s that? (no, I don’t like her writing. I am sure she is a lovely person.)
7) Why Not Me?
By Mindy Kaling
Okay, I’m not sure if Mindy Kaling can be my spirit animal, but just for this instance I am going to say she is.
I LOVE Mindy Kaling, because she is a very creative, intelligent, very confident woman who loves 4 inch heels and amazing dresses almost as much as I do.
So I simply must read her book. Because I am positive it will be epic.
And then I will invite her out for coffee. (#callme)