What I’m Reading

almost everything cover

Almost Everything–Notes on Hope 

by Anne Lamott

“I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen,” Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest–when we are, as she puts it, “doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over-caffeinated”–the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. “All truth is paradox,” Lamott writes, “and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change.” That is the time when we must pledge not to give up but “to do what Wendell Berry wrote: ‘Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.’”

-Review on penguinrandomhouse

I love Anne Lamott’s writing.  She is profound, funny, self-deprecating, and so very wise.  We listened to her read Almost Everything on a long car ride.  Here’s one of many humorous but pithy thoughts that stuck with me: She quotes Ram Dass, who said, “If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with your family.”

One tiny complaint: Anne Lamott doesn’t read aloud well.  She’s too monotone for my ear, but that didn’t stop me from buying a copy of the book and savoring it slowly, again.

the magician cover

The Magician (Secrets of the Immortals)

by Michael Scott

After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris, the City of Lights. Home for Nicholas Flamel. Only this homecoming is anything but sweet. Perenelle is still locked up back in Alcatraz and Paris is teeming with enemies. Niccolo Machiavelli, immortal author and celebrated art collector, is working for Dee. He’s after them, and time is running out for Nicholas and Perenelle. For every day spent without the Book of Abraham the Mage, they age one year-their magic becoming weaker and their bodies more frail. For Flamel, the Prophecy is becoming more and more clear.

-from the Goodreads review

Having read The Alchemist, I had to find the next book.  Since I wasn’t paying attention, I didn’t know that this was a series of six.  I suppose I’ll make my way through all of them eventually.  Right now, though, I must find out whether Sophie learns to control her powers, and if Josh’s powers are awakened. Lots of magic in Scott’s book, with Greek mythology thrown in.

the wicked king cover

The Wicked King

by Holly Black

I consider Black a truly masterful writer.  The language flows, and the plot has so many twists and turns that I’m left open-mouthed.  There has to be a third story, because I can’t believe that our dark heroine, Jude Duarte, will accept the fate that ended this book. Truly a great read.

tapping greatest self cover

The Tapping Solution for Manifesting Your Greatest Self

by Nick Ortner

Say what you will, my experience is that tapping (aka Emotional Freedom Technique) works.  I took advantage of Ortner’s offer to purchase this workbook for a mere $4.95.  So far, I’m on Day 2, and I woke up feeling more positive and less grumpy than I have in quite a while.

In the first chapters, Ortner explains the scientific basis for tapping and cites the research that corroborates the technique.

I freely admit that I’m one of those people who likes to try out different diets and self-help strategies.  When friends scoff about tapping, I think, “But WHAT IF it helped?” What if the pain in your shoulder, your self-doubt, your stuckness, diminished or even–gasp!–went away entirely?

Tapping works for me.  What if it works for you?


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