Good afternoon my dears,
I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to know about other people is what kind of books they like to read. I love knowing the worlds other people like to escape to, the things that interest them. I love seeing people reading on trains, on benches, the look of total concentration on their faces. Lately I've read some really enjoyable book related blog posts such as What I've Been Reading... by Kaylah and A Constellation by Milla. Kaylah's book posts have become something of a series that I always love reading and I particularly enjoyed Milla's discussion of her reading habits in general.
Ever since I can remember I've been an avid reader, and when I think back to my childhood I'm so grateful that I enjoyed escaping into books. Stories were my escape when I was in hospital, my distractions when I was too sick to get out of my pajamas. In highschool I was taken out of my sports classes because of my health, and instead I spent those classes in the Library where I did homework, but spent most of my time reading stacks of books. It was great incentive to do my work when I had so many amazing books I could explore, and I loved the quietness and peace that they seemed to exude. My favorite thing to do was to go up to the quietest area, sit on the floor and make huge piles of books that I wanted to read. That library was where I discovered some of my favorite authors such as Banana Yoshimoto and Haruki Murakami and poured over fashion books about Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.
Our house is stuffed full of books, here, there and everywhere. The pile next to my bed is oftentimes so tall I have to sort of jump over them. I thought it would be fun to share with you the books I've been reading most recently.
01. The Chakras Made Easy by Hilary H. Carter : This is the first book I've read that has been solely dedicated to the chakras and I found it to be a really good, clear and precise introduction. Honestly I dismissed chakras for quite a long time as something I simply wasn't interested in, although I'm not quite sure why! After starting to pick up on them more and more whilst doing Reflexology, and talking to my clients about them, I decided it was time I looked into them more deeply. I chose to use an easy book to get me started as I didn't want to jump into anything too intense to begin with and this book was perfect for that.
It clearly states the basics about each chakra as well as what they govern and what a balanced and unbalanced chakra manifests as. It includes case studies of different people with different imbalances and what they did about it, gives a quiz for each chakra to see how balanced you are in each area, and then gives easy suggestions on things you can do if you feel you need to work on bringing more balance in.
02. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern : This is a book I've heard a lot of good things about since it was released. I actually bought this because I read that Erin wrote the original draft of the book for NaNoWriMo, and since it's so close I wanted to use the book to encourage myself to knock this year out of the park. I'm not very far into the book so far so I can't really comment on what I think of it yet, though I can say it started off a little bit slow for me. The story is starting to pick up now that I'm about 100 pages in, so hopefully it will continue to improve!
03. Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith : I have to say that so far this book is one of my favorite of 2013. Since it arrived on my doorstep I've hardly been able to put it down, it is so interesting, thorough and informative. It is quite densely written, especially compared to the first book I mentioned, but it pulls together so many approaches and gives me pretty much constant 'that makes so much sense!' moments. It discusses the chakras from developmental stage perspectives, discusses what can cause imbalances, deficiencies and excesses in each chakra and gives exercises to do to strengthen the chakras. What I enjoy about this book is that you can easily use it to help yourself, but could also use it to work with others. Anodea is a therapist and uses her chakra work with her clients, and as this is an area of interest to me I found it particularly useful to get that perspective on how to use the exercises.
This book has caused me to shed a few tears, but in the best possible way. I find it such a relief to be able to read about experiences I've had, or behavior I've seen in people I care about, and know that it has a common root. Even better, knowing there are things I can do to improve the situation makes me feel empowered.
04. Shape Shifters: Shaman Women in Contemporary Society by Michele Jamal : I've already spoken about this book a little bit in a previous post, but it definitely deserves another mention here as it is another of my 2013 favorites. It reminds me a lot of another book I read earlier in the year called Soul Companions by Karen Sawyer in that they are both collections of interviews with spiritual people, however this book is more focused in that it interviews women from different shamanic traditions. I found this book so inspiring and felt like I learned a lot from the different women.
This is the knitting book that my best friend has been working her butt off on for the past year or so, and it is so beautiful that I just had to include it. Steph is the amazing creatrix behind Tiny Owl Knits and this is her first book to hit the shelves, I know there will be more! Her patterns are gorgeous and so different, and the book is written in such a down to earth, friendly and approachable way. I'm still practicing my knitting basics but my aim is to knit one of these patterns by the end of the year.
What are you reading right now? I'd love to know!