books (2019)

I’ve been thinking about what I read and why. Maybe this at its broadest: I am trying to understand the world, and myself, and the ways everything overlaps and intersects. Right now, though, it feels sort of difficult to focus on reading. I’ve been turning to poetry more than usual which feels manageable and grounding (midway through a Jane Kenyon collection currently), and am also finally getting around to posting my list of books read last year.

In mid-2019, went through a several month period of not reading much of anything but decided to let it happen and not try to cram in a ton of books at the end of the year to meet my GoodReads goal. Similarly, I only sort-of kept up with the “write something about every book you read” practice, and that’s fine. It’s back in progress for 2020, though! I missed having it to look back through at the end of the year.

Something else which feels significant in reflecting back on the year-in-books is that both Mary Oliver and Rachel Held Evans died in 2019. This interview (“Listening to the World“) with Mary Oliver from the On Being podcast has held up to multiple re-listens for me, and I returned to previously read books by both them (Searching for Sunday, Why I Wake Early). These women helped shift and expand my vision in meaningful ways and I am grateful for that. ♡ 

morning pages / reading spot

The books listed in bold stood out to me for one reason or another, and asterisks (*) indicate a re-read.

  • Breaking Up with God: A Love Story, Sarah Sentilles
  • Magdalene: Poems, Marie Howe
  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Christopher McDougal
  • The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron
  • Evolution, Brian Charlesworth and Deborah Charlesworth
  • Walk Through Walls: A Memoir, Marina Abromović
  • Whitewalling: Art, Race & Protest in 3 Acts, Aruna D’souza
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman
  • Becoming, Michelle Obama
  • This Will Be My Undoing, Morgan Jerkins
  • The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, Marie Howe
  • I’m Fine and Neither Are You, Camille Pagán
  • My Spiritual Journey, the Dalai Lama (XIV) with Sofia Stril-River
  • Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go, Richard Rohr
  • Educated, Tara Westover
  • Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait, Deborah Wye
  • Live or Die, Anne Sexton
  • There but for the, Ali Smith
  • Dream Work, Mary Oliver
  • *Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Held Evans
  • White Teeth, Zadie Smith
  • Exhalation: Stories, Ted Chiang
  • Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
  • Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  • Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, Michaela Haas
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, David Grann
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond
  • *The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd
  • *Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
  • The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday, Rob Walker
  • Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab, Christine Montross
  • *At the Root of this Longing: Reconciling a Spiritual Hunger and a Feminist Thirst, Carol Lee Flinders
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott
  • *Why I Wake Early, Mary Oliver
  • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood
  • *The Eight Limbs of Yoga: A Handbook for Living Yoga Philosophy, Stuart Ray Sarbacker and Kevin Kimple

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