A BOOK LOVER’S TAG

images from pixabay

I’ve returned after a 10-day, 30k-word break. So much catching up to do, but rested and ready.

Now… who doesn’t Love Books?

Annika Perry tagged all her followers with the Book Lover’s Tag, and well… I couldn’t resist. I tag you all too, but if you aren’t inclined to take me up on it, please leave your favorite best-ever book in the comments and a quick reason why you love, love, love it. I’ll put them all in a long list in a future post.

On to the questions:

1.Do you have a specific place for reading?

Nope. I’ll read anywhere, and I’m never without a book. Long plane rides or layovers, waiting for an oil change, stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, sitting in a canoe and fishing, all are great places to read. Most of my reading, though, happens in bed before zonking out. I prop my eyes open with toothpicks to get to the end of the chapter and pay the price in the morning.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Um… neither. I’m a dog-earer. I love my books to pieces, literally. They’re like a favorite stuffed animal from childhood that’s dragged everywhere by an arm, dropped in lakes, and taken on camping trips. Now, if I’m borrowing a book, it’s a random piece of paper. I’m not organized enough to use bookmarks, though I think they’re pretty.

3. Do you eat or drink whilst reading?

Yes. There are hot sauce, grease, and coffee stains in my books. I know! Terrible! Disgraceful! I open the pages and crumbs fall out.

4. Music or TV whilst reading.

Usually neither, though I can tune both out if I need to. With a really good book, the house could be on fire and I wouldn’t notice.

5. One book at a time or several?

I’m definitely monogamous. One love at a time or I might get confused, and that always ends poorly. Plus, it’s way too much drama. 🙂

6. Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Sort of the same as number 1, but I’ll answer “home” since I’m a hermit.

7. Read out loud or silently?

I often read poetry aloud because I like the taste and sound of the words. Recently, I read parts of a book in my Yankee version of an Irish accent. The “voice” of the narrator/character was so wonderful, I couldn’t resist. I’ll review that book soon. That said, 99% of my reading is silent.

8. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I read every single word. Skip pages? Goodness no. I might miss something important.

9. Break the spine or keep it like new.

If the spine breaks, it breaks. I wouldn’t do it on purpose. My book love isn’t intentionally abusive!

10. Do you write in books?

Of course! The better the book, the more I write in it. I underline and highlight phrases, sentences, and passages that I think are masterful. You know how they say that reading makes one a better writer? It’s true. Some books are like master-classes and I’m enthralled, wanting to capture the genius. It’s the one of the things I don’t like about ebooks, I can’t mark them all up.

11. What books are you reading now? 

I’m reading The Red Queen’s War series by Mark Lawrence, an amazing fantasy author who also penned The Broken Empire Series. His books definitely are pen and highlighter worthy. I like reading amazing authors while I’m writing. They inspire me.

 

 

12. What is your childhood favorite book?

As a little girl, it would have to be E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. It was the first book to make me cry, and that emotional release felt so good, I immediately read it again so I could cry again.  I think it contributed to my decision 35 years later to become a grief counselor.

My favorite book(s) as a young teenager was Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which kicked off a fanatical love of reading. I think it contributed to my decision 35 years later to become a fantasy writer. Aren’t books amazing?

13. What is your all-time favorite book?

Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. His writing speaks to my heart and soul. I’d be a stalker if he was still alive.

That’s it! You’re all tagged and remember to leave your answer to Question 13 in the comments with your reason why.

 

The Best Advice So Far – Book Review

unnamedThis is a book that I reviewed in 2015 and have been thinking about lately as so many people across the world struggle with feelings of disenfranchisement. Lots of us feel buffeted by events beyond our control and choices made by others. The beauty of this book lies in the affirmation that “You always have a choice.”

Erik Tyler is a frequent visitor to my blog, a friendly soul willing to engage with me and other bloggers who kindly comment on my posts. He sent me a copy of his book, The Best Advice So Far, which I loved, and therefore am pleased to share again.

In my 20’s and 30’s, I read personal growth books. Many of the lessons stuck, but many required too much work: hours of self-analysis, a spiritual conversion, expensive travel, learning a new practice, joining a cult, and wearing beads, headbands, and robes. I just didn’t have the time between working and raising a family. Being a happy person shouldn’t be that hard.

As unique individuals, we all define happiness differently. In the middle third of my life, I discovered that happiness, for me, is a wonderful side effect of integrity, authenticity, and kindness, an outward spreading of “the love.” Sometimes that takes the form of service, but more often it’s a way of being in relationship with others without all the filters, free of the junk I used to drag around, manacled to my ankle.

So, what does this have to do with Erik’s book…

What I loved about The Best Advice So Far is its simplicity. It’s a well-organized and beautifully written guide to cultivating the integrity, authenticity, and genuine kindness toward self and others that lead to satisfying relationships, and ultimately, to happiness. I’m a believer in the power of perspective and that attitude and approach have incredible power over our lives. This is where the power of choice comes into play. I may not be able to change my circumstances, but I have a choice about how I will perceive, process, and respond.

The book is not a religious, theological, or spiritual treatise, but rests on sound psychological principles and practice. In each chapter, Tyler introduces a topic based on his own experiences, foibles, and insights. The anecdotes are entertaining tales in and of themselves, and on many occasions, I found myself laughing or reduced to tears. I can’t remember the last time a “self-help” book touched me so deeply.

At the end of each chapter, Tyler offers Questions for Reflection and Discussion. They provide fodder for further growth, for journaling, for individual, couple, and group exploration. I plan to use some of them as topics for discussion with my adventurous women’s group.

CJIWfXjWEAAdJW3In my few interactions with Erik, it’s clear to me that his principles are in practice. I recommend this book to anyone who seeks a life of greater connection, meaning, and happiness. Enjoy.

Erik is an author, speaker, blogger, youth mentor, family advocate, singer, songwriter, musician, poet, people lover, creative force, conversationalist, problem solver, chance-taker, noticer, and lover of life. He lives in the Boston area of Massachusetts.

Follow his blog at: The Best Advice So Far

And browse his book on Amazon: The Best Advice So Far

The Happiness Tag

pixabay

pixabay

Oh Why Not? I’m awards free, but this isn’t really an award, right? And every once in a  while it feels good to reflect on the things that make us happy.

This tag came my way through Judy at Edwina’s Episodes. Judy is one cheery character, and she always makes me smile. If you aren’t already an avid fan, head over and say hi.

So, here are the rules:

List:
5 Things that make you happy
5 Songs that make you happy
5 Bloggers that make you happy… (Let them know that you have nominated them).

There are bazillions of things that make me happy. In order to make this post entertaining, here are some unusual ones:

IMG_01711. My original social media photo – before I got “professional” and had to give up my life as a fantasy character.

Scan14 - Copy2. Laughter- my daughter the pumpkin about 30 years ago.

13173825_10208334962784618_475549110875547543_n3. The Overlord  – waiting for birthday donuts in downtown Portland, in his pajamas! The kid takes after his grammy.

Frontyard2.dianapeach.jpg4. Moss – Is this moss? I think it’s moss-ish (?) It grows on my fence.

en.wikipedia.org

5. Imagination! Need I say more?

Songs that make me happy. To be honest, I don’t listen to music much. I know… Here are a few: 

  1. Happy by Pharell Williams (of course). The Overlord and I dance to this one. 
  2. It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. The bestest
  3. Thank God I’m a Country Boy (or girl, in this case) by John Denver. This one takes me right back to highschool
  4. Ode to Joy by Beethoven (Anything by Beethoven). The Overlord and I have watched this flash mob hundreds of time. 
  5. In My Life by the Beatles (not a good video, but a great song) 

Five bloggers that make me happy? Just five? Lots of bloggers make me happy.  Here are a few that make me laugh:

  1. Hey Look a Fellow Writer – Mike
  2. Danny the Dog – Danny (by way of Chris)
  3. Roughwighting – Pam
  4. Allie Potts Writes – Allie
  5. Al the Author – Al
 dancing-dave-minion-510835_960_720By the way, you 5 are tagged. Carry on if you are inclined. Have a Happy Day!