Thursday, August 31, 2017

What I'm Reading

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I used to be a voracious reader. When I worked in college admissions, I lived within walking distance of my apartment and would spend my lunch breaks and after work consuming books. And then... at some point I stopped. After we moved, no longer living down the street from a library left me constantly accruing late fees and eventually the habit just died off. I was lucky if I got through a couple books per year. But at the beginning of this year, determined to turn things around, I bought myself a Kindle (with a gift card my dad gave me, thanks dad!). Originally, I had it in mind that I'd be able to read more on my long commutes to Brooklyn instead of spending that time working. Wishful thinking. Instead the Kindle sat.

And sat.

And sat. And collected dust.

For several months.

Until I finally went to the library and figured out how to download books to the thing (what can I say, I do things in my own time. Snail time.). As much as I love traditional books, this little device has made a huge impact on how much I read, and I find myself reading a few books per month now - yes! To me, reading has always played a key role in my self care, even before I knew what self care actually was. It's an escape, and especially these days, an escape form technology. Today I thought I'd share a few of my favorites from this summer's reading list.

Handcrafted Maine By Katy Kelleher & Greta Rybus
This book, you guys. For anyone thinking of moving to Maine, or from Maine and dreaming of going back (ahem...), this book will do it for you. Admittedly more of a coffee table book than one to curl up in bed with, Handcrafted Maine explores Maine's artists, artisans, and craftspeople in over 20 profiles. Some I was already familiar with, like Swans Island Company which I visited for Free People back in 2014, but many were new to me. I love exploring the incredible creative culture of my home state, and this book offered a beautiful glimpse into what it means to be a maker from Maine. Obviously, Zephyr recommends, too.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
If you're curious to explore the WHY behind the things we do, read this. I love a book that explores human habits and what drives us, extra credit if it helps me explore my own habits and make positive changes in my life. To be honest, I was expecting this book to be super dry, but it was pleasantly easy to read without being too simplistic and kept be interested through to the end. It made me interested in reading Duhigg's other books and I've actually been thinking of buying a paperback version of this to keep handy. I feel like I need to re-read it!

Reckless: My Life as a Pretender By Chrissie Hynde
I just finished this book this week and it was... OK. I've been a huge fan of The Pretenders since I was a kid, thanks to my mom always playing their records and their general bad-assery, and I was excited to learn more about Chrissie, the lead singer, who I've also admired for about as long. However, it was a little... frenetic. Lots of details were glossed over, and mid-way through the book it becomes a name-dropping bonanza of, seemingly, all the big names in punk history. I'm glad I read it, as it gave a really unique take on that time in music history, but overall I wasn't blown away.

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
Another book set in Maine, this book explore the true story of the last true hermit, Christopher Knight. An interesting read that began as a profile for Esquire, Finkel get a little obsessed with Knight's story of survival in the Maine woods (for over 20 years!), which only makes it more interesting. I highly recommend this book - it left me feeling conflicted about Knight, who survived so long on his own, but not without causing a huge amount of trash/pollution and committing the most cases of theft in recent history (over 1,000).

Hunger by Roxanne Gay
I just began reading this last night, and it's already made an impact. Gay's writing is beautiful and heart-wrenching, especially her description of her "before" and her "after" - specifically exploring the photographs taken by her mother. I'm looking forward to this one, and have a feeling it won't take me long to finish.

What are you reading these days? Anything to recommend? A few on my mile-long holds list from the library include: Final Girls by Riley Sager, The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy, and You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott.

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Kate @ said...

I just read & really liked "Final Girls," & "Hunger" is on my to-read-in-September list. I'm sort of between books right now, which isn't a feeling I like!

Helen C said...

Such a classy and interesting post. Some intriguing books there, it’s funny you should mention The Power of Habit as I came across it the other day, and is something I personally would love to read. I liked your words on it, and was glad to see it was one of those books you can pleasantly read through without too much concentration. I’m currently reading a chick lit book, I felt I needed to switch up what I was reading for something light. Happy reading in September! :-) xx

Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

N said...

ooo yay book talk!

Recently I have loved "This is how ist always is" by Laurie Frankel, "The goddesses" by Swan Huntley and "The sexual politics of meat" byt Carol J Adams.

Anonymous said...

These are great recommendations. Thank you!

Mariele said...

Audible and Kindle has saved my reading life. I can't express how much I enjoy having someone read to me and it's super efficient - cleaning, cooking etc are now reading time!

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