On My Bookshelf this month:
Hands Free Mama | A book that I have read before, but that I continue to come back to when I need a reminder. This says it all: “I want to make memories, not to-do lists, I want to feel the squeeze of my child’s arms, not the pressure of over-commitment. I want to get lost in conversation with the people I love, not to be consumed by a sea of unimportant emails. I want to be overwhelmed by sunsets that give me hope, not by overloaded agendas that steal my joy. I want the noise of my life to be a mixture of laughter and gratitude, not the intrusive buzz of cell phones and text messages. I am letting go of distraction and perfection to live a life that simply consists of what really matters. I’m living Hands Free.”
Spark Joy | I’ve read (and listened to) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up at least 3 times now, and love it. My favorite takeaway from the book was to keep only what sparks joy. (This has helped me part with so much emotional clutter!) So I was super excited when this book came out. Where the first book tells you why you should tidy up once and for all, this book tells you how. Complete with diagrams for how to fold everything in your wardrobe!
When Breath Becomes Air | I was first introduced to Paul Kalanithi’s story by a friend who worked with him at Stanford. That article ended up going viral, and his book is no less impressive. Kalanithi, a 36 year old Neurosurgeon with an affinity for literature, is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. In the short time he has left, he writes this memoir, examining answer the question, “What, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life?” While this book is undoubtedly sad (how could it not be when such a remarkable man is taken too soon) it is also inspirational, at times humorous, and incredibly thought provoking. Without a doubt, you should not miss this book. (Or this, this or this article.)
The Namesake | Similar to The Lowland, The Namesake Follows a first generation Indian American who struggles with not just his name, Gogol Ganguli, but his complete identity. While trying to assimilate into American life, he finds himself pulling away from his parents, who don’t want to let go of their Bengali Culture. This is ultimately a story of self-acceptance, no matter who you are or where you are from. Jhumpa Lahiri is such an incredible storyteller, I look forward to reading more of her work.
What have you been reading lately?