Does what people read tell you about who they are? I did a trip to the library today, and came home with a stack of 5. (I’m nothing if not overly optimistic when it comes to reading.) Looking at this stack on my bed, I think, I don’t know if they tell you who I am now, but they sure do speak to who I want to be.
Going from left to right (almost said left to write! could you have forgiven me if I did?), here’s what my books are telling me about who I want to be.
Jesus Feminist, by Sarah Bessey finally came in! I want to love you, God, AND I want to understand this here Bible. It is so beautiful, and it is still mostly a mystery to me. To be fair to the Bible, I’m the newest of new believers. As in, the last few years, has been my walk to and with God. There was nothing before that. Nada. So this struggle of women and their place in the Bible? I do not know this. I believe it exists. I’m just not familiar enough with it yet. Enter Ms. Bessey. I’ve got the book- GO.
Stephen King showed up, and not because of Halloween. I’ve read, from writers I admire, his On Writing simply can’t be missed. Ever. So here he is, as I’m someone who has more than a passing entrance in stringing words together. Isn’t it a lovely thing that writers who have exceled in their fields take time and energy to share how that works? Teaching the folks who want to rise up and be like them. It’s inexplicably generous, basically saying to the world, alright then, new writers, I’m going to give you a leg up, by sharing what’s been easy and what’s been hard, what’s worked for me, and what hasn’t. Mentoring through books is not required, or expected, just a big gift.
Company of One by Paul Jarvis was suggested in The Art of Simple Podcast. The second piece of the title is: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business. So this is me, as part of a small business, who wants to work smarter, not harder. The idea of staying small in our farm business, but still doing the service I believe we’re called to, and making an income for our family at the same time is the desire of my heart. But it is hard. Business acumen and savvy are not acquaintances of mine. I mean, we wouldn’t even wave if we passed each other at the farmer’s market. That’s how little we know each other. This is the book I most hesitate to read, and so probably need the most. The fact a writer I find accessible recommends it takes a little of the pressure off.
Listen to a podcast, and take two book recommendations from it? Yes, please. Tsh Oxendrider’s At Home in the World has been on my list for a hot minute, but after her last podcast, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. As someone who’d take a pillow from my bed with her into everyday life if I could, the call of travel hasn’t ever been mine. Yet. I love reading about people on travel! How’s that for vicarious living?
Finally, and especially pertaining to this blog, The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith is a second must-read recommendation for anyone doing this kind of memoir-style writing (hi! I am living my life out loud on the internets! Might it benefit you if I had a little training at that?). Full disclosure: I saw the size, a light, delightfully small paperback and did a mental fist pump. Yes! Doable. I am going to crush this memoir-blogging. Y’all. The type is tiny. And there’s no pictures. So this might be a minute too.
However, sigh. I am sighing over this. Right now, I’m under three warm blankets (winter came to East Tennessee! I mean, sure, we didn’t get fall, but, eh, 3 out of 4 seasons ain’t bad, amma I right?), with all these books spread out in front of me, and there’s sweet potatoes in the oven, and a few minutes to write, and my heart feels filled up right now. Books do that for a lot of us. They’re hope and promise and stories and information we don’t yet have and worlds we might not ever see and yet experiences we relate to and they are good. Writers are doing meaningful work in this world. Yay and hallelujah for the writers. They’re good people.