Welcome to my bookshelf

I am a voracious reader who is constantly found with her nose in a good (although sometimes not so good) book. I felt the need to share my experiences and suggestions, so here it is. Recommendations and comments are most definitely desired.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Dare You...

Currently Reading: Joy For Beginners

Hooray! I am done with my Master's program and so now find myself with all this extra time and nothing to do (at least until work school starts again). So what will I do with myself? This latest book is providing some inspiration. Five friends get together for a "Victory Party" celebrating the elimination of one member's breast cancer. While at the party, they get the idea that each woman will do one thing that she would never have dared to do, something scary and unique to each of them. The twist is that no one gets to pick what they do, but rather is assigned something by another member. Each woman is given a specific task from something as exciting as kayaking through the Grand Canyon or traveling to Europe alone to the everyday such as baking bread and getting a tattoo. The book progresses over the course of a year or so with each chapter being told from the point of view of the person carrying out her specific task. It is heart warming to hear their thoughts and you cheer each of them along as they deal with their inner demons and fears.

So now all that being said, what is the one thing you want desperately to do, but are too afraid or practical to undertake? I found myself thinking not of what I would assign myself, but what others would assign to me (much more daunting). I think that my one task would be to shake off the routine and make a friend. Even as I type, it terrifies the heck out of me. I know, I know. Many of you are thinking, that's easy! I do that practically once a week. My mom is one of those people who will cozy up to the next person in line at the grocery store, but that is so not me. That's what was so cool about the book. Each task was personalized. What is easy for one, is ever so hard for another. Wish me luck and I would love to hear what your task would be and even more, if you actually go out and do it. No pressure. It doesn't have to be tomorrow, but rather when the time is right.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Currently Reading: The Fiction Class

This one is about a woman who teaches an adult education writing course in fiction. It is in an interesting layout in that the chapters alternate between her personal life and the happenings in her course. At the end of each "class" the students' take home assignment is also printed for us. I am not only enjoying the book, but finding myself wanting to actually do the assignments myself. They are so interesting and are inspiring me to write. I even thought of a totally cool idea for a book of stories (to be illustrated by my skillful little brother). The intertwining between the assignments (predetermined) and the teacher's personal life keep the story interesting and now that I am towards the end, they are becoming one. I originally picked this book because it was about a teacher, something I can totally relate to, but am finding myself more drawn to it as, I don't want to say aspiring writer, but I guess someone who occasionally dreams of being a writer. The main character's relationship with her mother is also touching and appropriate for the topic. It seems we all have a story to tell and it is only the brave who actually attempt to put it on paper. I will make another post later when I finish the book containing all the assignments. I think they are something many of us will appreciate and hopefully some of you will give them a try too.