I’ve added a new page to healthythankyoumoreplease with an HTYMP required reading list, my 2020 reading goals and more! Why? Because I’m a book nerd and it’s time it really starts to show and shine;)
Because it is a huge part of my life, it is only natural that they also show up on this healthythankyoumoreplease journey, don’t you think?
Let’s back up…
A Literature Love-Affair
Growing up, my mom used to tell us “life is too short and there are too many great books to spend time reading one you don’t love.”
Moms are always right, aren’t they?
Books have played an integral role in my life for as long as I can remember so when I sat down to write this post I thought it would be really easy. I thought the words and passion would just flow out of me.
But, the opposite is happening.
It feels like a ton of pressure to put something so important into words. What if I can’t convey it the right way or in a way that lands for you?
It also feels like a ton of pressure to write about writing because the story in my head is that I should only be allowed to do so if I do it really well.
But it’s hard.
It’s hard to capture in words the way certain books have become safe harbors for me to weather some of life’s biggest storms.
It’s hard to describe the love and connection that grew between my grandfather and me through hundreds of trips to bookstores, how they’re still a place I rely on to cheer me up when I’m having a rougher day and how the taste of peppermint patties will always remind me of Barns & Noble and the backseat of his Honda.
It’s hard to put into words the way it feels to get close to the end of an amazing story and simultaneously want to speed up to find out what happens and slow down because you don’t want it to be over.
It’s hard to recreate the way new books smell and the way old books you’ve reread a million times welcome you back with smooth, finger-worn pages and cracked spines that open right to the chapters you love most.
I was the little girl who cried without bedtime stories and who grew into the girl who stayed up reading under the covers with a flashlight.
In school, I was the girl who read books under my desk in math class and secretly prayed for indoor recess so I could keep reading without having to hide it.
I wrote my college essay about the way I organize my 200+ books on the three HUGE bookcases in my room, graduated with a degree in English Literature and thought I wanted to go into publishing for a long time.
Writing a book is still one of my biggest, most heart-pumping-palms-sweating-it’s-scary-to-actually-say-out-loud goals.
Current & Required Reading
I want to share the stories and characters that have played a huge role in my life and that I come back to time and time again.
I also want to share the books I’m currently reading (or rereading) so you can read along if you want to. Sharing with you also holds me accountable to whatever my yearly book goal happens to be.
My 2020 goal?
Read at least two books a month.
- Book 1 – something with a bit of learning substance. Personal development, business/career, self-discovery (this feels slightly different to me than personal development) or basically anything that wouldn’t necessarily be classified as a fiction/fantasy.
- Book 2 – something that gives my brain a total break and an escape from everyday life.
You’ll notice that this variety is reflected in my top favorites (aka, “HTYMP Required Reading”). Anywhere from Harry Potter to thought experiments from Zen masters – I find immense value in both for very different reasons.
The first allows me to directly deepen my understanding of myself and the world around me.
The second allows my mind time and space to explore and grow in new – not so straight forward but still fundamentally important – ways.
They also give me the gift of disappearing through the backs of wardrobes and magic doors to get lost in new worlds.
I’ve found that it is this kind, the second kind, that are best to read before bed.
When you allow your mind to truly unplug, you’re not kept up thinking about your “to-do” lists or “self-improvement”. Plus, reconnecting to creativity before slowly drifting off also makes for much more exciting dreams;)
If you need a good book to read (I know I’ve spent a lot more time reading these days!) check out some of my required reading list (aka – my favs!) or my current reads and let me know what you think.
I’d also love to hear your very favorites or 2020 reading goals so I can add them to my to-read list!