You Should Read This, and This, and This

I’m now working from home two days a week–which is fabulous–but it is impeding the pace at which I get through my audiobooks. Cry me a river. The things I have to give up for work-life balance, I tell you what.

The balance of being in the office three days a week and out two is just about perfect for this introverted managing editor writer person. I swear traffic is getting worse headed into downtown Cleveland. People, stop living in the suburbs and taking jobs in the city! That’s only for me to do. The rest of you should relocate to one of those swanky lakefront apartments and clear up I-77 between 7 and 8:30 every morning.

My hour and fifteen in the car every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday morning still gives me plenty of time to get through almost an audiobook a week, depending on the length and reading style of the author/narrator. I just finished Let’s Discuss Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris, which was hilarious. You should read it. Before that, I listened to Eve by Wm. Paul Young, the guy who wrote The Shack. It was a fascinating, magical, fanciful interpretation of the Creation story and the Fall. I wasn’t as impressed with the writing as I was the imagination in this book. It was delightful and heartbreaking. You should read it.

Another book you should read is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, which opens up the doorway for people to be creative. Creativity isn’t just for the pros or the degreed or the academics, it’s for everyone! Boom! So go read this for a little inspiration to get out there and be creative with your bad self.

I mentioned Love Wins by Rob Bell last time, but I’m bringing it up again because, you should read it.

And before that, I read Origins: 14 Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution by Neil deGrasse Tyson, and you should only read it if you are okay not really understanding 2/3 of what is being said or you are an astrophysicist, in which case you won’t have any trouble.

Before that, I read Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan, because he’s also super funny, and sometimes you need to laugh the entire way to work. You should read it.

You should also read Lila by Marilynne Robinson and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Also Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski. And Falling Upward by Richard Rohr.

Oh, heck, just read the books. Expand your world and read the books. Look up and out and in and through and read the books. Read the books you would never read. Read the books that might challenge the way you think. Read the books that will help you see yourself new. Read the books that will make you more whole. Read the books that will make you laugh. Read the books that will kick you in the pants. You will be a better person. You will be a changed person. You will understand other people better. You will have more compassion. You will love more, feel more, think more, dream more. Read the books, people. Read all the books.

Off The Page Update

I just started a new series of four posts for Off the Page last week. They all have something to do with faith and doubt, two things that belong together but aren’t usually talked about together. You can catch my first post, Becoming a 7-Day Creation Biblical Literalist, and follow along the next three Thursdays.

Previously on OTP, I thought a lot about prayer’s role in the face of sickness and disease, specifically my dear friend, Marilyn’s battle with breast cancer, in With Wordless Groans. I should read this one over and over again daily. Lately it feels like sorrow and grief are on every corner. The only way I can battle back the sadness is through prayer, and even then it’s begging for comfort and joy, comfort and joy, comfort and joy. Sad is okay. It is necessary. But Lord, bring peace swiftly.

I also thought about how we measure our worth and the contradictions we face when wrestling with ambition, humility, confidence, jobs, and more, in How Much Am I Worth?

I hope you’ll follow along with the series on doubt. I’m excited about what God and I discussed together as I worked through the writing process. I grew from it, and for that I am grateful.

Lake Michigan, Writers Retreat

Speaking and Teaching, WUT?
October proved to be a month for kickstarting the writing and teaching side of myself. I filled in for a friend at the Cleveland Museum of Art to teach a workshop on ekphrastic poetry at the beginning of the month. I traveled to beautiful coastal Michigan a couple weekends ago to spend some delicious time with writer friends and get some work done on a new poetry manuscript. I also started a writers’ group at work, and we had our first meeting two weeks ago. I’m excited for the possibilities of camaraderie and encouragement there. And next weekend, I’m off to the Indiana Faith and Writing Conference to talk about Vulnerability in Writing. If you aren’t going around scaring people for Halloween, perhaps you want to join me in Indiana Oct. 30 and 31? Li-Young Lee and my pal Scott Russell Sanders along with a whole host of poet friends are going to be hanging out together. It’ll be totes amazing. Wut? (I don’t know either.)

In Hindsight…
2014: Breaking the Workaholic
2013: Bad People Go to Hell and Other Parental Panic Moments
2012: The Elliptical and Tonight’s Work of Writing
2011: Creativity in Worship
2010: Twelve Apples and a Blog
2009: That Crazy Thang Called “Plans”
2008: Baked Apples, Green Ogres, and Snuggles

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2 thoughts on “You Should Read This, and This, and This

  1. Thanks for the book recommendations! Just finished Big Magic and LOVED it. Frankenstein by Shelley was a surprise to me when I read it a few year ago, loved it too. This summer i listened to “Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro. Oh. my. A new favorite book. Just typed up my notes from your class “Vulnerability” at IFWC and enjoyed your teaching all over again.

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