Sharing The Joy of Reading

A good book is an event in my life. Stendhal, French writer

One of the my favorite pastimes is reading. Through the writing of the sixty-four authors I read in 2019, I had the pleasure of learning, traveling, empathizing, smiling, crying, and meeting new people. Here are a few of my favorite books. 

Great fiction for book clubs: Where the Crawdads Sing, The Winter Soldier, Educated, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Outstanding non-fiction: Becoming – Michele Obama, The Moment of Lift – Melinda Gates, The Education of an Idealist – Samantha Power

Newbury Award winning book for youth – A Book About a Boy

More fiction: The Sound of Glass, The Lost Girls of Paris, City Girls, Woman In Cabin 10, The Truth According to Us, The Last Mrs. Parrish

Affirmation: Books open up the world to me.

Coaching  request: If you’re not a reader, I challenge you to read a book just for fun this month. Let me know how it goes. 


Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

No Shame In Listening To Books

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. Ray Bradbury, American author

Years ago, when audio books first came out, I listened to books as much as I read them. I lived in the country and had plenty of time driving on country roads with no traffic to safely enjoy listening to a book in the car. One of my book club members scoffed at the idea saying I hadn’t actually “read” the book we were reviewing because I had “listened” to it. 

Fortunately, attitudes are changing and audio books are increasing in popularity. I agree with Niki Porter, Senior Editor of The Writer magazine, who writes, “There should be zero shame about listening to a book for pleasure versus reading one on paper. Stories bring people together. Never disparage how people consume them.” Read a book on paper, a screen, or with your ears. It doesn’t matter. Just read!

Affirmation: Reading enriches my life.

Coaching questions/request: What’s your favorite medium for reading? If you’re not reading, what’s keeping you away? If you’re not a paper/electronic book reader, try an audio book. Choose one that is professionally recorded. Samples are often free. 


The Joy of Books and Book Clubs

Books are a uniquely portable magic. Stephen King in On Writing

If you know me or have been reading my blogs, you know how much I love to read. I’ve been in book clubs since I retired fifteen years ago. Serious book clubs where we each read the book, have a discussion leader with great questions, and look for hidden meanings and recognize beautiful language.

I’ve read books I would have never read on my own. Once in a while I read a book I don’t like but later I’m glad I did because it pushed me out of my comfort zone and opened my eyes to something different. My next book club selection is Where the Crawdads Sing, a beautifully written book with a powerful story. Judy, a retired teacher and talented discussion leader, will help us discover new insights and come away with greater appreciation of the author, Delia Owens. What a joy!

Affirmation: Books and books clubs enhance my life.

Coaching questions: If you’d like to be in a book club, check out your local library or start one yourself. If you have no time for reading, consider audible books while you’re doing errands or working out. How do/might books enhance your life?


I Haven’t Given Up On You

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Joseph Addison, English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician.

If you’re still not a reader, I haven’t given up on you. Studies show reading books improves cognitive function, working memory, and the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions. If you think you don’t have time to read, consider how much time you spend watching television, playing computer games, scrolling through social media, or checking email. If you spend a lot of time traveling, try audiobooks. 

Here are a few suggestions for you—try it; you’ll like it!

  •  Favorite author—Pulitzer Prizer winner, Willa Cather – stories from the prairie
  • Audio book “candy” – Janet Evanovitch series, Calypso by Sidaris
  •  Currently listening to – The President Is Missing
  • Current Kindle book – The Good Thief, (just finished The Coffee Trader)
  • Just finished paperback – News of the World
  • Non-fiction – From Silk to Silicon, On Writing by Stephen King, A Mother Loss Workbook

Affirmation: Reading is life-changing.

Coaching questions: If you’re not a reader, what ’s keeping you away? Consider what you might be missing. If you are a reader, keep a journal of all the books you read, share books with friends and family, let others know about your passion for reading. 

Grab A Good Book

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than a book! Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Like Jane, I too love to read. For me, books open up a whole world of knowledge, armchair travel, intriguing stories, and personalities. I read printed books, Kindle books, and books with my ears. I love them all! Here are a few books I’ve enjoyed recently.

FictionThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane – my favorite of 2017, The Great Alone – outback Alaska, Paris In the Present Tense – beautiful and weird at the same time

Just finished reading—-The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie – complex and a page turner,  Love and Ruin – about Martha Gellhorn, WWII era, The Language of Flowers – coming of age story, you’ll love it if you like flowers

Audio booksThe Flight Attendant – murder mystery, Calypso by humorist David Sedaris- fun and funny, Hillbilly Effigy – a memoir

Non-fictionThe Book of Joy – my favorite non-fiction of the decade! Dead Moms Club – a memoir, The Blue Zones – about aging well

Affirmation: Reading enriches my life.

Coaching questions: What do books mean to you? What have you read lately? If you’re not a reader, give it a try–read one book this month.