There are some books that come along and change your life.
This First Friday book list is a mix of titles I've read in the last few months that have made an impact on my life. There are two non-fiction works, a cookbook and a novel that completely ripped my heart out of my chest.
My previous attempt at publishing a book list every week was a bit too aggressive (hello, life with a baby and two teens). So from here on out you'll see a First Friday book series. Expect a little bit of this and that in the next few months, though there will always be at least one yoga or ayurveda book in the mix.
I hope you enjoy this series, it's not typical beachy, summer reading, just some really awesome stuff to feed your brain.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Girl, this book is EMPOWERING.
Want another truth? I actually listened to this on audible. The narration was incredible as it was read by Rachel Hollis herself. Narrators can really make or break an audio book but what really makes a difference is when the author is reading their own work. The heart and intention behind each word come to life, AND you get to hear the writer's voice!
This book is awesome. Rachel Hollis starts out each chapter with a lie that she's previously told herself and follows it up with why these lies are total BS.
Girls and boys are raised to believe certain "truths" about themselves that are not truly aligned with who they are. It's empowering to realize that a "truth" or a "story" you've been telling yourself, isn't actually what you thought. When we unravel a "truth" we've identified with for so long, it can be a total mind f*@k. It's terrifying in the moment, but it's in these moments where we experience growth.
As this book unfolds, Hollis's life story is revealed. This is not the typical kind of book you'd find on my book shelf BUT I was really surprised by how much I liked it. Ok, no I LOVED it. Clever, humorous, candid and brave, a great read for women and mamas.
Only YOU have the power to change your life.
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
I've been working little by little on a writing project. There are so many times where something just comes out I need to scribble down. It's often when I'm brushing my teeth, or in the shower or pretty much at the most inconvenient time when I can't actually put pen to paper. This book gave me a little tip to help when inspiration hits.
I happened upon this book as it jumped out at me at the book store. Ok, it didn't jump. Baby Mila picked it up and handed it to me. She's at that stage where she can demolish an entire book shelf in the library or the book store in under 3 minutes.
Though I've been trying to stick to minimalism, I purchased this writer's guide and I'm so glad I did. It was also on sale. A book on writing and zen meditation? SOLD!
This is not your typical guide to writing. Borrow it, buy it, if you're looking to start writing, this book will give you tons of inspiration.
Everyday Ayurveda Cooking for a Calm, Clear Mind by Kate O'Donnell
This is the "sequel" to Kate O'Donnell's first everyday ayurveda cook book. While the first one was categorized by season (which I absolutely love), this one is categorized by the 3 maha (primary) gunas - Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
I really love both books and use them heavily as a reference for creating spice mixes and meals. In this rendition, O'Donnell incorporates several easy and quick recipes that make preparing a weekday meal a breeze.
I think a lot of people are afraid to cook meals based on ayurvedic principles because they think it's too time consuming or that they'll do something wrong.
This book demystifies and clarifies ayurvedic cooking in a way that's super accessible to modern day life.
Kate mentioned that while working on this book, her collaborator got pregnant and had her baby. So it makes sense that many of the recipes you'll find here are not just delicious but easy, quick and very accessible to make in under 30-60 minutes. My personal favorites are the Sattva Noodle Bowl and Cauliflower and Kale. Yum yum! Enjoy.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Reading a well written novel is like having a delectable piece of chocolate cake, and historical fiction - the frosting. This is another book I listened to on audible. I have so little time for novel's these days so it feels like a luxury to read (listen) to one. I have to add however that the narration of this piece is so well done, I suggest you listen to it first. Great one to take with you on your summer travels.
The story unfolds from two major characters, one discovering that she may have a potential connection to a strange woman she meets in a nursing home, and the other from the perspective of Rill, the eldest of 4 children who became wards of the Tennessee Children's Home Society. This story is based on the legacy of Georgia Tann, a woman who was highly regarded for her social work in helping orphaned children, so much so that Eleanor Roosevelt sought her counsel regarding child welfare.
This story is brutal and heartbreaking but told in such a way that there is also a lightness to it. It took me a while to recover from this book. It is one that burrows it's way into your heart and your soul. Highly recommend!