If my mother were to have given me only one trait, it would have been her love of books. Growing up, my house was filled with guides for traveling, biographies of famous singers, books on astrology, astronomy, gastronomy, and everything in between. While I loved reading as a teenager, that passion has amplified after moving out. In only a few short months of living on my own, I’ve managed to fill my bookcase.
Here are the five books I’m reading:
1. Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert
It’s taboo to read a book after you’ve seen the movie, but I could help myself with this one. Liz is a recovering divorcee who, after being in a manipulative relationship, finds happiness in the places she travels to. She sets course for Italy, India, and Indonesia to find pieces of herself that she feels are lost. Each country also represents a different aspect of Liz that she needs to confront. Italy is the country of desire, full of pastas, romance, and is truly alive. India is where she finds devotion. Indonesia teaches her how to love again.
I fell in love with this one while flipping through it at a bookstore in Texas. Liz’s style of writing is smooth and comfortable to read. The parts of herself that she struggles with are things I’ve struggle with too. She has the same constant need for newness in her life and a passion for traveling.
While I’m only 40% through this book, I highly recommend it. Liz is easy to relate to and her journey around the world is enjoyable to read. I may not be able to travel now but I think that the traveler in me is satisfied with reading about Liz’s adventures.
2. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
As the world’s most clumsy person, it’s interesting that I picked up a book written by a choreographer. The focus of this masterpiece is creativity, more specifically, how to make it into a usable force. While dance is Twyla’s way of expressing herself, the book doesn’t focus on a particular art medium. Instead it teaches the reader how to work hard and become passionate.
I’ve read the first half of this book already and I’m rereading it from the beginning. Not only is the book beautiful to hold and read, it’s incredibly useful. I’ve come back to it because it’s so easy to digest. The techniques Twyla suggests are profound and have changed the way I view creativity.
I suggest this book for artists who find passion in creating but haven’t made it into a committment. When you’re first stumbling into art, it feels wonderful to produce something but you’re not always sure how much to create or what to make. This book answers these questions about creativity and gives motivation in only a way that Twyla Tharp could.
3. Damn Good Advice (for people with talent!) by George Lois
This is my latest addition to my bookshelf, after I saw a great photographer recommend it. It’s a simple book that you can read in a few hours. Overall, the book totals to less than 200 pages, and there’s pictures!
George Lois is a famous marketing/advertising celebrity that has helped shape our country’s culture. His work has brought Jiffy Lube, Tommy Hilfiger, MTV, and many other organizations, from the brink of extinction into complete stardom. Contributions by him have changed routines and covered our billboards since the 1950s. It’s no surprise that this book is profound.
In this book, George Lois shares a ridiculous amount of advice that comes across as bold and unapologetic. After reading it for 45 minutes, I feel like my confidence has boosted enormously. My art feels much more important, and I feel better prepared to share it with the world.
4. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller
Completely the opposite from the previous book, AWOL is about book about David Miller’s hike from southern USA into Maine. In the early 2000s, David quit his desk job to take a trip across the country, the book is his diary along the way. He runs into bears, sleeps at shelters on the trail with odd travelers, and contemplates life.
I really enjoy this book because it’s written on a very personal level. David shares what happens and it feels like you’re there with him. By reading this book, I feel like I’ve shared his journey through the Appalachian Mountains. Not only has it motivated me to do the hike myself, I feel like I’m more motivated to explore the world.
If you like non-fiction adventure, this book is great!
5. Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
While I haven’t gotten far into this book, I’m already in love with it. I purchased it earlier this year with the intention of reading it in only a few sessions. Instead it’s been 6 months and I’ve hardly dented it. Not because it’s a bad book, but because it takes more time to digest.
This book is about Robert’s motorcycle trip across the northern US in the middle of the 20th century. He rides across the country with his best friend, his son, and his best friend’s wife. The journey leads Robert into heavy contemplation about the meaning of modern life. Along the way he relates the journey to different aspects of zen buddhism and the human condition.
It’s a beautiful book about mortality, life, and everyone’s purpose. I can’t wait to get further into it!
These are all the books I’m going to share with you today! Each has changed me over the last year and I hope that you choose to pick one of them up for yourself. In the future I’ll write more specifically about individual books but today I just wanted to share what books I’m switching between!
Have a wonderful night!