When all else overwhelms, books to the rescue..

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted on this little blog of mine. Not because of any real boycott or anything, but simply because life is full and (as I regularly remind myself) we are still in the middle (hopefully near the end) of a pandemic. My brain is simply clogged. It’s full of the things I need to do to conduct life in a busy house, support the ones I love, do my work with integrity, and have space to care for my self.

When life seems overwhelming, the first thing I cut back on is my writing. Why? Because writing, like lots of other types of art, is an emotional act. To do it well, I find, I need to have emotional and creative energy to fuel it. And life has required that I use my emotional energy to fulfill my duties.

Despite not being able to write, I have read some PHENOMENAL books in the past couple of months, one of which I wanted to highlight here:

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid was not a book I expected to read. When I grabbed it at the library, I was totally emotionally spent and wanted something light and easy to read. The title suggested something light and fun. When my friend informed me that it was fantastic BUT tackled issues of race, I almost put it away. But I read it–actually devoured it. What I love most about this book is how the author flips the narrative on its head. Specifically, it is the story of a young black woman stuck in a difficult position, made worse by the well-meaning white people in her life. Her goodness against the drop back of two different white people’s “wokeness” made for a thought provoking read. For one friend it was a life-altering book. For me, it is a read I will not forget for some time.

Other books I’ve read include Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and Simple and Free by Jen Hatmaker. Each of these books has shifted how I think, how I want to write, what I want to do, and my level of joy in reading. These books have held me steady during my past few emotionally taxing months.

What books have held you steady during difficult times? Are there any particular reads you had in the past couple months that you’d like to share? Because I am always on the hunt for a great book suggestion and would love to hear yours.

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