• 2016 reading log

    14. On Writing – Stephen King

    This has been on my to-read list for an eternity and I’m so glad I finally made the time to read it. As well as being packed with invaluable writing tips (angled towards fiction writers but applicable to anyone doing any sort of writing), it gives insight into King’s childhood and career, and the hard work that led him to where he is today. It’s a gripping read, not a stuffy how-to manual. 

    “…stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work even when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”

  • Every last one of us can do better than give up.

    Cheryl Strayed, ‘Brave Enough’
  • 2016 reading log

    13. Pure – Rose Bretécher

    I bought this on a whim at Do Lectures Christmas market, not quite knowing what to expect from a book about someone suffering from OCD in the form of intrusive sexual thoughts. But from the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. 

    Bretécher tells her remarkable story with humour and plenty of on-point niche references that delighted a fellow child of both the late ‘80s and the Midlands (Viennetta, Groove Armada, the brummie accent). Not only is it an engrossing read, but I also learned a tonne about OCD, and how we’ve still got a long way to go in providing adequate support for those of us living with mental health issues. It’s brave of Rose to write this book and I’m so glad she did.

  • 2016 reading log

    12. How to be Here – Rob Bell

    “To be here is to embrace the spiritual challenge of your ikigai, doing the hard work of figuring out who you are and what you have to give the world." 

    I love @robbellcom and this short, wisdom-filled book spoke right to my soul. If you’re struggling with the big questions – like, y'know, how to live – this is the book for you.

  • 2016 reading log

    11. Carrying Albert Home – Homer Hickam

    A young married couple set out on a road trip to take their pet alligator home, meeting a whole host of wild characters on the way. Including Hemingway. While that sounds a little twee and fantastical, the result is a heartwarming read in the vein of ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man…’ However, unlike that book, this one is true-ish. It explores love, life and destiny, and I loved every page. 

    “I’m saying everything we think is true is probably not true at all. If I said a million things and you said a million and one things back, none of our words might even come close to what the truth really is.”

  • 2016 reading log

    10. The Return of the Prodigal Son – Henri Nouwen

    It’s not going to win any awards for its cover but this book by Nouwen is a corker. After encountering Rembrandt’s painting ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son’ Nouwen embarks on a long spiritual journey where he discovers himself as the younger son, elder son and father from Jesus’ parable. 

    “What I do know with unwavering certainty is the heart of the father. It is a heart of limitless mercy.”

  • austinkleon:

    Mary Oliver’s instructions for living a life.

    From her poem “Sometimes,” found in the collection Red Bird.

    Two or three times in my life I discovered love.
    Each time it seemed to solve everything.
    Each time it solved a great many things
    but not everything.
    Yet left me as grateful as if it had indeed, and
    thoroughly, solved everything.

    Filed under: Mary Oliver

    (thanks @nicoleslaw)