Yes, it’s true, I have read stuff in the past, though most was accompanied by photos of celebrities pushing carts of chocolate covered potato chips and other nonsense snacks out of Trader Joes (they really are “Just Like Us”!) I also read that crap that passes as writing–you know the kind, filled with one thousand instances of the same three adjectives. But this year–for some unexplained reason–I started reading. Like really reading. The kinds of books that you can’t bring yourself to close, even when you’re already 15 minutes over your lunch break. The kinds of books that send a jolt through you every time you crack them open. The kinds of books that fuel you with ideas and information that works its way into your psyche.
Reading fucking rocks, you guys.
And if you’re thinking of taking up this old-is-new-again hobby yourself but are stumped on what to read, might I suggest a few options.
1. The Untethered Soul. Without a hint of hyperbole, I credit this book for completely and utterly changing my life. I swear I walk through the world differently post-reading this book. For anyone who has an unhealthy relationship with the thoughts in their heads (which I think is pretty much everyone) this book is for you.
2. Yes Means Yes. I am dumbfounded and appalled that as a 28-year-old woman I am only now learning that the absence of no does not imply consent. That’s right, people: just because she doesn’t say “No” does not mean she’s saying “Yes, please!” I imagine a much better world where enthusiastic consent is taught as the benchmark of consent and where this collection of essays from various people’s (mostly women) perspectives is required highschool reading.
3. S.E.C.R.E.T. Trilogy. Ugh, 50 Shades has NOTHING on this trilogy. It’s well written and female empowering, something 50 Shades was unable to achieve. And it’s so. Fucking. Hot.
4. The Rosie Project. It used to be that I took my mom’s book suggestions with a grain of salt. You know, residual rebellion leftover from angst-ridden teen years. But now that I’m an adult (I bought a vacuum, so it must be true), I find myself taking my mom’s advice more and more. This was the first book she recommended that I actually read. And it was amazingly funny, witty, and quirky.
5. Living Beautifully. Written by the lovely Pema Chodron, this book details the Three Vows of Tibetan Buddhism: to not harm, to keep an open and compassionate heart, and to accept the world as it is. And while I’m no monk, this book helped me to (better) experience the world as it truly is rather than through the lens of emotionally driven desires, aversions, and perceptions.
6. $100 Startup. For years I’ve had this dream to work for myself. But then I make the mistake of opening my mouth and I’m met with the negative word vomit of naysayers. And all of a sudden I’m filled with self-doubt. But this book debunks a lot of the assumptions we have about starting one’s own business, such as needing to have a lot of money. I’m only part way through this book, but I’m super stoked about the dozens of stories about regular people who have found their niche.
7. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. Despite what the title might suggest, this is not your average fairytale. Unless, that is, your fairytales include lots (and I mean lots) of graphic sex, hetero and otherwise. Not for the faint of heart, Anne Rice’s adaptation on the classic takes a much more explicit, raunchy perspective. And it’s amazing.
Gah, so I’m stopping at 7. Which means I need 3 more to make it an even 10. So tell me: what are YOU reading?