Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Friday link roundup 10/21

Why I wear what I want and so should you. An argument against wearing what is promoted as “flattering.”

19 Beautiful Bookstores in the U.S.

A barber in Michigan gives kids a discount on their haircuts if they read to him. The widespread responses to this NPR story, and how this might encourage others to follow this barber’s example to promote reading.

An introvert’s advice on how to respond to acquaintances who ask intrusive questions: ask them about their own lives.

On creating (and hiring) more diversity in the technology field, and what people in Seattle are doing to promote change.

In late 2015 in Saudi Arabia, a royal decree granted women the right to participate in local elections. A documentary records the experiences of Saudi women voting for the first time.


Book review: Love Warrior

“I stop asking for advice and pretending I don’t know what to do. I do know what to do, just never more than one moment at a time. I stop explaining myself, because I learn that making decisions is never about doing the right thing or the wrong thing. It’s about doing the precise thing. The precise thing is always incredibly personal and often makes no sense to anyone else……And when I need to work anything out, I turn to the blank page. There, no one can steal my pain or try to poison my knowing, and there I always have the final word in my own story.” – Glennon Doyle Melton, from her book Love Warrior.

I just finished Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I almost wish I wasn’t done with it – the words and the story are still lingering with me. I wanted to share my thoughts/review on it.

Glennon’s words flow. She writes in a beautiful, honest way that invited me into her world. I read this book quickly.

And saying that, this isn’t an easy book to read. Nor is it meant to be. It is above everything else, a memoir, the story of how a woman recovered herself, her relationship to her body, her relationship to her spirit. Yes, it is also the story of her marriage, and I see it as being more about self-love, and how self-love can open someone to opening to and loving another.

There are parts that feel heavy and painful, where I found it hard to read without holding my breath. Glennon talks about her struggles with depression, with alcoholism, with bulimia, and the pain of discovering her marriage was not what she thought it was. Glennon describes her book as “brutiful,” and I’d agree with that. It’s beautiful and it’s brutal. And that’s what makes it vivid and real. She is pulling away the curtain and telling her story, her truth, and in a more revealing way that she does even in her honest and intimate blog, Momastery.

In her blog, Glennon sometimes comes across as a teacher, sharing her experiences and then giving inspiration and messages to others. In Love Warrior, she is more of a raw and vulnerable storyteller who has experienced a lot of personal growth. She talks about what she learned, her inspirations, what they meant to her. As a reader, I can pick and choose what to take in, what might help me in my own life, but she does not offer her story as  advice for another, a do this, or don’t do this. It is more of a “this is what I did, and this is what I learned, and this is who I am becoming.” Glennon does so much to help others, through her blog and her work with Together Rising. In this book, she strips down the layers and reveals herself even more. I hope that her speaking out about her experiences will continue to give others courage to do the same.

I saw a few reviews on Amazon that describe Love Warrior as having too much information or being too voyeuristic.  I think that’s a matter of opinion. It is incredibly intimate, and in some ways it is like getting to see what it’s like to live as Glennon and how she perceives her life and its events from the inside out. I could see how that could seem like too much…and I also think that reading about her personal and internal experiences gave me more to relate to.

I find Love Warrior to be brutal, intimate, beautiful, emotional, and revealing. It’s an exquisitely written book about a woman coming into herself. You can find more about Glennon Doyle Melton here and purchase it on Amazon here. I’m going to hear and see Glennon speak next week, so perhaps I’ll write more then.

Friday link roundup 7/29

Hillary Clinton made history last night by becoming the first woman presidential nominee for a major political party in the United States. You wouldn’t necessarily know it from these front page images accompanying articles about this pivotal moment in newspapers from this week.

For those who hear voices while in states of psychosis, what they hear may vary depending on culture.

The San Diego Comic Con was a big recent event, and many people dress up – cosplay (short for “costume play”) – as characters from comics, books, movies, and TV series for conventions like these. On how cosplayers use their costumes to bring out different sides of themselves.

In the Middle Ages, books were scarce, and libraries were sanctuaries where people could come and read. However, they couldn’t check the books out – the books were chained to the shelves. This article talks about the chained libraries that still exist.

More on books: In Buenos Aires, a theater converted into a bookstore creates a beautiful cultural haven for visitors.

Friday link roundup 4/1

A Look to the Future for Gender Nonconforming Kids.  A mother describes her experiences with her child and looks forward to further advocacy and recognition.

Learning – and Unlearning – To Be An ‘Ambassador’ for Islam.  Writer Beenish Ahmed reflects on her experiences of being a “mostly unwanted ambassador” as a Muslim-American.

Wild river otters have been reintroduced to the New Mexico rivers.  The last wild river otter in this area was killed in the 1950s, so signs of a successful reintroduction bring hope to conservationists.

I was always amazed at how school starting times got *earlier* as I transitioned from elementary school to middle school to high school.  This New York Times article discusses how sleep deprivation hits teenagers hard.

Art director and author of upcoming book Quarter Life Poetry created several funny and poignant trailers to promote her new book.  Other millennials may relate to scenes from home, work, and dating in navigating young adult life.

Author Neil Gaiman discusses the importance of libraries – in his life, and on a greater scale.  Speaking of libraries, CNN shares photos from beautiful libraries around the world.  A New Yorker leaves stacks of books in various places around the city as a way to connect with others.

It’s April Fool’s Day!  This article recounts famous April Fool’s pranks throughout history.

My re-reading list

I was inspired by Breaking Sarah’s list of books she loves, and I wanted to share books I’ve read more than once.  In no particular order:

The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce: Alanna, the First Adventure; In the Hand of the Goddess; The Woman Who Rides like a Man; and Lioness Rampant. These four young adult books have been consistently in my life since I found the first book at age 12 at my middle school library. They tell the story of Alanna, who disguises herself as a boy in order to become a knight. Full of friendship, fighting, magic, these books are driven by a spirited heroine who overcomes obstacles to become one of the most acclaimed knights in the realm. I re-read the series at least once a year.

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson. This book depicts the coming of age story of the narrator, Louise.  She constantly feels out of place in comparison to her twin sister, Caroline, who seems to get everyone’s attention and praise. I identify with Louise’s journey of discovering where and how she fits. Also, the island where she and her family live is almost a character unto itself. This book is perhaps less whimsical than Bridge to Terabithia, one of Paterson’s better-known novels, and beautifully written.

Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey, specifically Kushiel’s Dart, Kushiel’s Chosen, and Kushiel’s Avatar. This trilogy focuses on Phèdre, who begins her journey as a courtesan who finds exquisite pleasure from pain. Carey creates an incredibly intricate alternate world full of vivid landscapes, harrowing adventures, and dynamic characters. There are BDSM-like scenes that can sometimes be hard for me to read (possible trigger warnings). If this series of books were a movie and included those scenes, it’d likely be rated NC-17.  I love the mythology and legends in these books and how they interweave with the characters’ lives. Several sayings from the books that stand out to me: Love as thou wilt. All knowledge is worth having. That which yields is not always weak.

Harry Potter. I don’t think I need to say much here. I think I’ve read the whole series at least twice.

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. This book involves three parallel stories of different characters whose lives are connected: a ranger/wildlife biologist whose time of solitude is about to change; a widow – a university educated farmer’s wife – who seeks to find her place in the community after her husband’s death; and two feuding neighbors. I love the way Barbara Kingsolver combines her knowledge of biology and gift of storytelling with a deep empathy for human life and beautiful language.

The Golden Compass (Also known as Northern Lights in the U.K. and Australia) by Phillip Pullman. I had to go to my shelf and find my dog-eared copy of this to remember this one.  This book is the first in a trilogy about Lyra, a young girl who travels to the Arctic to save her friend who has been kidnapped. It takes place in a parallel world where people’s souls live outside their bodies in animal form, acting as their consciences and guides.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card was definitely one of my favorite books as a young adult. This book tells the story of Ender Wiggin, the youngest child from a highly intelligent family, who is sent to battle school to train to help with the efforts of fighting the “buggers,” an alien species. This science-fiction novel has a strong story with well-developed characters, action scenes, and a message that reflects deeply on human nature.

I’m having difficultly remembering if I’ve read many of Neil Gaiman’s books more than once – most likely Neverwhere and Stardust and parts of the Sandman graphic novel series – and I definitely perk up whenever I see one of his books. Gritty and dark at times, whimsical at others, his books reach into fantasy worlds full of suspense, beauty, and memorable characters.

As a voracious reader, I’m realizing I could probably come up with other books. However, I’m going to end this here. What books have you read multiple times?

Friday link roundup 8/7

Rose is a...

I saw these roses during a recent walk in my neighborhood

The power and importance of reading fairy tales to children.

51 poignant sentences in Western literature.

Female engineers respond to sexist reactions to an ad with “I look like an engineer” campaign.

Ever felt like someone was projecting their story onto you?  5 Projection Protection Tips.

As someone who followed the “shoulds” for a long time, I appreciate this article on Should vs Must.

Last night, I saw the singer-songwriter duo Barnaby Bright and was inspired.  Here is one of their songs.


Friday link round up 6/19

As some who loves to read who loves another reader, I’m biased.  Scientists argue that readers are the best people to fall in love with.

How to Be a Friend to Yourself:  Glennon Doyle Melton talks about mental health and the importance of getting help when needed – whether you are feeling up or down when you are at the doctor’s office.

After Wednesday night’s shooting at a Black church in Charleston, Conor Friedersdorf reflects on the larger history of shootings and domestic terrorism at churches in African-American communities. 

Arthur Chu’s article on Salon begins with, “I get really really tired of hearing the phrase ‘mental illness’ thrown around as a way to avoid saying other terms like ‘toxic masculinity,’ ‘white supremacy,’ ‘misogyny’ or ‘racism.'”

Why the program for International Yoga Day in India will not include sun salutations.