All posts filed under: Thoughts on Reading

Top 5 books for a creative walkabout

Whenever I hit an obstacle, my first inclination is to read all about it. Rationally, I want to read and learn in order to do better. (The “do better” part is the most difficult by far.) So yes, I’ve heap upon heap of books. Here, I list 5 books I love and keep returning to in my creative walkabout. These books inspire me, help me keep my humor and optimism intact, and provide expert advice. 1: The Joy Diet – Martha Beck Martha Beck is a genius! Whether you are in an emotional slump or just looking for a pep talk, Martha is for you. My volume of the Joy Diet is dog-eared, flagged, underlined, and scribbled in. In 10 menu items she describes the steps to a happier life. During my creative walkabout, the Joy Diet has once again become a fixture on my bedside table. I’ll leave you with a bit of Martha-wisdom: “Every time you voice your thoughts to a loved one, or cook a meal, or choose a new bar of …

The Artist’s Way

I’ve always known that I loved to write. From the moment, I could spell a few words, I wrote and drew stories. I loved it – and I still do. Writing makes my heart sing. I have recently worked with Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way, which – if you don’t already know it – is a 12-week course in living with a greater sense of creativity. There is a short chapter to each week with a given focus and a number of exercises. Some of them, I have loved like delicate poetry and others, I slung cusswords at like a drunken sailor. However, I have learned a little something – or remembered a little something from each of them. The Artist’s Way is exhilarating in a way which defies description. It is like meeting the love of your life for the second time – you know, after you let him slip away the first time. The Artist’s Way is by no means an easy path. I have laughed, cried, and raged on my path …

Words, words, words

I often emphasize a book’s story as the primary feature of a given book. The story is the initial joy in a reading experience, especially when it draws the reader in and along for the ride. However, in deconstructing a book, it all comes down to words. A story is in essence one word after the other. In some stories, the words are simply the medium of communication, but in other stories, the words themselves are an art form. These stories beg to be read slowly with minute concentration or even read aloud. Many books that achieve that lyrical quality are written in bygone times, before the speedy writing on computer keyboards, before autocorrect, and without the competition of TV and the internet. The old-fashioned words and their voluptuousness are part of these books’ charm. The term ”slower times” is on my lips, and perhaps there is a modicum of truth to that term. There was no constant word count to strive for and perhaps more emphasis on finding that specific word with all the …

Closer look

Take a closer look. Behind the dusty facades, magical worlds unfold. Flecks of dust dance in slanted rays. Light illuminates slices of the interior, moving from left to right. This magical world exists undisturbed and in silence. Hold your breath. Be truly present. You will hear the faint whispers from faraway. They bear witness of extraordinary happenings. Pain. Sorrow. Death. Birth. Joy. Love. Go ahead, step inside. Feel the wooden floor creak beneath your soles. Run your fingers over the spines, holding worlds together, until you make your choice. Take a closer look, and delve into a magical world.  

Revival

As with a good bottle of red wine, sometimes stories need time to mature. In fact, that is true for many things in life. Some things cannot be rushed without detriment to the finished result or the process. As the writer or creator, it is alpha and omega to listen to the tiny gutsy squeak, telling you to take a break, before mulling things over again, and finally, doing what needs to be done. And sometimes, life just gets in the way. In my experience, life is synonymous with work, work, work, and it has been an exciting roller coaster ride, albeit far away from books, stories, and writing. Louise’s Home Library and the many unread books therein, have rested for months now. At times, I’ve even wondered if the chapter, which featured Louise’s Home Library, was over, but at other times, I have tip-toed into my library and reminded myself of all the stories and reading experiences I have to look forward to. And here I am now. I’ve grown in the last couple …

Binge reading

Binge reading, yes, there is such a thing and I’ve landed – splat! –  right in the middle of the puddle. Perhaps, I’ve exchanged one binge-worthy addiction with another as a consequence of my new year’s resolution. Reading is presumably healthier than copious amounts of chocolate, but as self-indulgent luxury binge-anything isn’t the brightest idea. In the hypothesis, binge reading sounds like the ultimate goal for an avid reader. The mere thought of gulping down book after book after book makes me feel all tingly, but the reality of binge reading is quite another. I’m not talking about that book which engrosses you to the degree where you mourn its loss as you turn the last page. I’m talking about reading books so hastily and without any true commitment that you can’t remember the plot, let alone the names of the main characters, once you’ve read the last page. And even then, you merely shrug it off, and grab the next book. That is the puddle, I talking about. There are situations where binge reading …

Books v. e-books

Do you know the Hot Dudes Reading account on Instagram? It posts candid photos of hot guys in various public places, reading. As a legal professional, I do have some difficulties with photos posted without explicit consent, but those concerns aside, the Hot Dudes Reading account is a happy note, every time I thumb my way through the photos. I’m not desperately seeking at the moment, merely on the lookout for Mr. Right, but the tantalizing part of the photos isn’t the multitude of different guys, but the fact that they are reading books – not Kindle or e-books, but books. It’s reading books that is hot! And the books themselves! I know there are people out there that salivate over computers and reading devices, but I’m not one of them. The available titles may be the same, and in some cases e-books are surpassing real life books, but it still isn’t the same. You can’t really curl up with an e-book reader in the same way. You can’t flip through an e-book and feel …

Book drunkard

I keep thinking about the term used by L.M. Montgomery: “book drunkard”. Montgomery uses the phrase to note the temptation books hold to her and I know exactly what she means, but the phrase has another meaning as well. Sometimes I am a book drunkard and “drink” myself senseless. Never mind the vintage wine or sage words as “all good things in moderation”. Who cares, if it is good? Just gimme, gimme, gimme! I am not in the mood to sip and taste; I want to gulp down whatever book, I can get my hands on, preferably not one that requires too much thinking.  

Is Anonymous Dead?

When ”The Book With No Name” was published in 2000 by Anonymous, it was quite the sensation. It was this wild, crazy story about the Bourbon Kid and before publication, the novel was an internet sensation, but to me, I relished the fact that this book was called “The Book With No Name” by Anonymous. The title suits the craziness of the book, even though many call it by its nickname “Bourbon Kid”. The idea of a completely anonymous book intrigues me. Some books or rather manuscripts was authorless, because they existed for generations as verbal storytelling before being put to paper or the author is just unknown. Through history, many authors have depended on being anonymous to write about controversial subjects. It could also denote as selfless author, who wishes to send the book out into the world without any strings attached. However, the frequency of books by Anonymous is low, which could hint at functioning civil liberties as freedom of thought and speech – and publication, but is there a downside to the …

Omnivorous Readers Anonymous

Hello, my name is Louise and I am an Omnivorous Reader. Often when I share my interest in books and reading, I am met with the question: “What do you read?” I am always at a loss as to an answer. What can I say? I read what I find interesting no matter the genre, nationality of the author, date of release, or popularity. I am an Omnivorous Reader. I read whatever I am in the mood to read. That fact usually ends the conversation. As if you are supposed to limit your reading experiences. I only read books, starting with the letter M or books by Welsh authors and published in 1963, or books in the top 3 of New York Times bestseller list. Sure, you can have favorite genre that you return to or read for comfort, and you can have books, authors, or genres that you haven’t found a taste for, but limiting the books you read, is the equivalent of only eating carrots. A carrot or two is fine, but all …