We’ve been enjoying warm and sunny weather here in the Pacific Northwest and that means I’m spending as much time as possible outside. As a result, I haven’t been doing much writing; instead I’ve been curling up on the patio with some great books.
What better reason to focus this week’s Friday Fave Five on books? My list today includes some of my old and new favorites.
Sharon Lippincott’s The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing was one of the first books I read when I decided to get serious about writing my memoir. My copy is dog-eared and marked up; the sign of a good book in my opinion. This book is filled with practical tips for writing and technical tips for laying it all out. Whether you’re writing for publication or just putting stories down for your family this one is well worth taking time to read. The first page alone contains a quote that I had on my original blog and when I closed that one down it moved to my Facebook page. “It takes courage to bare your soul for the examination of future generations, and making the effort to share yourself with them is an act of great love.”
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck changed my life and, judging by the comments on Facebook where I recently made this statement, I’m not alone. Peck said that “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.” That was certainly true in my case. Once I realized that life was difficult, that I wasn’t the only one with challenges, it freed me somehow. This book is a must read. Trust me.
Reading Sharon Butala’s The Perfection of the Morning was like coming home for me. This award winning Canadian author loves the Canadian province of Saskatchewan almost as much as I do. ‘Nuff said.
The Stone Diaries by the late Carol Shields is another Canadian treasure. It chronicles the difficult life of the fictional Daisy Stone Goodwill from birth, which coincided with the death of her mother, through two marriages, motherhood, widowhood, and finally old age and death Shields tells a gripping story about the life of an ordinary, yet extraordinary, woman. One of the things that struck me when I read this book many years ago was that we usually have no concept of the extent of joys and sorrows an individual has endured before we met them, and how what came before shaped the person we see today.
That a beaten-up, well-read copy of The Joy of Stress by Peter Hanson has had a prominent place on my shelf is telling. Also telling, is that I haven’t had occasion to pull it down from the shelf for a number of years but it will stay there in case I ever need it again.
So there’s a sampling of what’s on my shelves. I’d love to hear about some of the old and new favorites that line your shelves (or live in your e-reader)!