I leaned heavily into the non-fiction with my recent reads. I’ve explored science, history and the writing life. I gained a wealth of new knowledge and inspiration. But now I’m ready to pull some character driven fiction to the top of my TBR. I feel like I need to take a break with something that requires a little less intellectual focus. Do you like to balance your fiction and non-fiction reading? Please share your strategies for getting the right mix.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
I listened to this book on audio while driving for work. It took me a while to finish, but each chapter stands well on its own so it was easy to jump in and out. The author is a trained botanist and a member of the Indigenous Potawatami Nation. In her book she weaves science and Indigenous wisdom teachings in a series of essays that each focus on our responsibility to the earth and all of its inhabitants. My biggest takeaway is the concept of reciprocity. Our relationships should never be a one way street with one party only taking and the other party only giving. And while this may seem obvious in human relationships, this book clearly illustrates that reciprocity is also required in our relationships with the natural world. The author narrates the audio and this gives the telling a very immersive and authentic quality.
The Browns of California by Miriam Pawel
This book was chosen for me by my daughter Sophie. She and I alternate picking books for our little bookclub for two. This is the story of the Brown family and their impact on the state of California and the nation. I started off slow with one. In the beginning, it felt too much like a text book. However, about halfway through I became more accustomed to the writing style and more invested in the stories. The book follows Governor Pat Brown and his son, Governor Jerry Brown, through the political highs and lows of their time in office. I lived in Los Angels for a few years and this book gave me background and context for my experiences with the California way of life and it’s unique policies, regulations and educational systems. If you love reading history, then you will enjoy this book.
Writer’s and Lovers by Lily King
This Modern Mrs. Darcy bookclub selection was my only novel this month. This is the story of Casey. Casey wants to be a writer but currently pays the bills as a waitress. She has just lost her mother and her boyfriend, is deeply in debt and feeling adrift. The story takes us along as Casey finds her way in her writing life, her love life and her career. This is a feel good tale, with well done prose and plenty of literary references. I’m not often a re-reader but I am thinking about reading this one again.
I’ve admired Anne Lamott’s wisdom and sense of humor for a long time via social media. And reading Bird by Bird has been a great introduction to her published works. This book will certainly help anyone trying to be a professional published author, but I think it offers wisdom and inspiration for all types of written communication. I learned practical tips for just getting it done and inspirational tips on mindset that I can apply immediately even to just writing blog posts. If you’ve read Anne Lamott widely, please let me know which of her books I should choose next.
I am linking to Anne Bogel’s monthly post about her recent reads. Please check out her comments section for lots of great bookish conversation.
Braiding Sweetgrass sounds so inspiring! And I think it would lend itself really well to audio.
I’m not frequently a rereader either but I agree that Writers + Lovers is one I’m already considering rereading!
Here’s my quick lit for the month (and my family’s reads are in there too) with a wide range of genres – https://www.everyoneslibrarian.com/blog/quick-lit-may-2021