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Books On My Nightstand (Unsolicited Previews & Reviews)




I have a confession! I am a nightstand book junkie and I don't plan on changing this behavior anytime soon. My books are like little friends, offering advice, comfort, words of encouragement, friendly warnings, sense of humor and some entertainment. 


My book selection process relies heavily on my senses first or my feelings which is why I am so close to books. There is something about a title, a cover (yeah, I judge a cover a little), a book summation and the season of life I am in draws me to a book. There are times I am bewildered at my own selections because it may not seem "like me", but who says what you read has to be like you or not like you? There is always something to learn about yourself through your own book selection process just as much as the book you read. 


As I am working to rewrite my own book, and while I have needed to fill in some time from outside to inside with the pandemic looming still, my night-time book options have DOUBLED! I could consider giving book reviews since I always have more than a handful in rotation at a time (I'll be looking in to this for the upcoming year). 


So, here are the ones I have collected this year, in print and why I think it's the right book for me to read or have read in this season.




Walking in This World by Julia Cameron

When I need affirmation as an artist or feel stagnant or "lost", this book is an ally. It's a 12 week guide of practical, tangible ways to tap into my creative well. I like to take my time with this book and the other books in the series. It's the declutter of the writers block or the unblocking of any of the hesitations and resistance that accompany all kinds of artists in their artistry. 


Finding Water by Julia Cameron

Behind Walking in This World, this book Finding Water is full of stories and practices that speak to the act of persevering as an artist. As I weather through the pandemic, I have to admit that I took a short break from this one so that I can reaffirm my faith in my journey, yet the additional stories that Julia Cameron provides in this additional follow-up are worth my attention and pulling the lessons out, which Julia does very well for me so it's like having a companion along the way. 


Untamed by Glennon Doyle

I'm still working my way through this book. I was first attracted to this book because the colors of the cover were so vibrant. Then, I took some time to follow Glennon (which I had been doing prior to the book's release), and I was curious about her references to a story of she and her family being at a zoo and seeing a cheetah in a simulated habitat and although looking like a cheetah, imagining what the natural instinct of the cheetah being repressed related to women in general. I concur with Glennon when she reasons that we too are cheetahs.



 

You Can Still Win by Andre Taylor

I have been following Andre Taylor a speaker, author, business professional and  teacher for a few years and connected with him through social media and learned that he too had been following my journey through social media and immediately offered his book as a companion. I feel like this book is so rich in practical steps and empathy and understanding of what I would call the "underdog" experience. I have bookmarked, highlighted and had so many AMEN moments. Not coming from someone who knew someone but from his very own life. You cannot argue down a person who walked it and learned it. This book is probably the most "pouring out" of wisdom for life and business that I am reading at this time. 


Halleluja Anyway by Anne Lamott

Mercy....if you every wanted a refreshed approach and understanding and tangible way to get to know mercy, this book is doing a great job of doing just that. I started reading and in the first chapter the empathy is deep.  So much so, that I had to pause and take a break and ponder. Some books are like that. They hit you in the face immediately with ideas you hadn't considered. When it comes to subject like grace or mercy, we hear it so often, we lose it's true meaning and when we lose the meaning, we lose sight of it's purpose and place in our relationship to each other and the world. I believe that by the time finish the book, mercy will have a new reality in my journey.


Ready To Rise by Jo Saxton

I have not started this one yet! But the title pulled me in. It focuses on leadership and influence and from the reviews it's really so much more! Personally, I wanted to read a book from a woman of color who is leading in an unconventional way and I wanted to be challenged by someone who also looks like me and is rooted in a shared faith! I have my highlighter and pen ready for notations for this one.



 

God Is In The Small Stuff by Bruce & Stan

The version I have is the 1998 version, but they have released a 20th anniversary edition version also! This book puts emphasis on the little things and make them significant when we are reminded that God can be found in these things as well. Right now, I feel this reminder is much needed and when I find myself forgetting and becoming weary in the mundane, I will snatch this book up and flip through its pages and choose a story to read.


Decorate Workshop Design and Style Your Space in 8 Creative Steps  by Holly Becker 

Found this gem by "chance" at my local dollar tree! It's an 8 step process of designing spaces in a workshop format. The photo examples and journal like structure is so beautifully laid out in this book. Every time I open it and simply glance through the pages my immediate reaction is a huge YES! This one speaks to the designer in me to make a home a home and experiment with merging traditional and untraditional. I feel it's always good to have books of other seasoned artists!


Psalms to Soothe a Woman's Heart by Baker Publisher Group  

This book has been with me for 10 years! It was an "out of the blue" gift from a friend who thought I would enjoy it and she was right! It's a biblical based topical reflection devotional. I don't know how, but this author tapped into the woman's heart and soul and poured it out in concise short devotionals and prayers. I have read many of these devotionals several times. That's how relevant and impactful these are!


What kind of books do you tend to gravitate towards? This gives clues to what you are truly passionate about or what your soul is desiring to learn. 

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