Hello and thanks for stopping by! Today, I decided to begin a blog series called Weekend in Review where I tell you about what I did over the weekend and some of my new favorite finds. Feel free to share your thoughts and some of your new finds that I should learn about.
A new series I am starting this month is sharing with you all what I’ve been reading and listening to. To be honest, I’m not an avid reader. I love books but sometimes there are so many other things I would love to be doing and sitting still is not one of my strong suits. In many failed attempts at forcing myself to sit down and read, I’m creating this series as a not-so-subtle last ditch effort to keep me pinned to the books. Hopefully you’ll find some fun things to read and learn along the way.
My first book in this series of blog posts is- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.
“That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.” – Paul Kalanithi
I know what your thinking- Why such a heavy book to start off? I guess its been on my mind of late. This book was suggested by a co-worker who thought I would enjoy this book and she was right! When Breath Becomes Air is a story about a neurosurgeon diagnosed with lung cancer who comes face to face with the hardest question of life- What makes life worth living? A thought provoking, inspiring book to read but make sure you have a box of tissues near by.
Along the same lines as When Breath Becomes Air, I have a much shorter portrait of loss in the words by Brenda Miller. The Shape of Emptiness is a flash non fiction piece about loss and emptiness in each our lives through the piece her student shared in class. A beautiful quick read to mull over a glass of wine or cup of tea.
“But for now, when he finishes reading, he gathers our hands and gives them back to us one by one. We take them from him carefully, so we can carry our emptiness into the day. We compare them, showing off the shapes of our grasping. Curled like prayers. Like anger. Like love.” – Brenda Miller
This series of blog posts began out of a greater pursuit to read more. If I have to confess… now-a-days, I feel like I spend more time skimming articles, watching movies about books than actually reading them, … What happened to our love of words?! Has the saturation of words and videos in our online lives ruined our desire to ACTUALLY read stories?! How do we stop this declining trend in our society…My solution, setting aside time to read. So in an effort to curb my lack of reading, each week I will be featuring a book (or story) I’m reading to keep me on my schedule of self improvement, as well as, inform you of great reads (or not so great reads).
This week it’s a story of flash non-fiction, called Close to Shore. by C.B. Anderson, from Brevity Magazine. If you are unfamiliar with the term, flash non-fiction it’s one of my favorite things to read. All based on writing a creative piece less than 55o words, flash non-fiction gives writers restrictions in order to get a point across in a dynamic way through describing real life events. I was introduced to flash non-fiction in college during a writing class and, unlike other forms of writing, it is a good blend of short story, poetry and articles. Focused on descriptions and painting pictures for readers, flash non-fiction reminds me of our sense of smell connecting us with isolated memories by stringing thoughts and ideas together in a deliberate way.
Close to Shore, discusses the life of Thomas and his daughters after the recent abandonment by their mother. What I love about this piece is how it changed my perspective of divorce through focusing on random details after separation. Creating a unique juxtaposition of a parent giving it all and another who does everything for themselves it’s told in second person . Emotional and tangible, its a great quick read. If you like this short story, Brevity features lots of great stories when you just don’t feel like reading a novel, but you want some creative reads. Check it out here- Brevity Mag.