Honestly I haven’t been writing much (hence the lack of blog last week) and I haven’t been reading much or doing art. “Of course,” you say, “it’s summer so you’ve been enjoying life outside and not doing those more indoors-y things!” To that statement, I say “Well that isn’t really true.” Yelling at me through the digital walls of the Internet, you scream “WHAT?!” (Sorry I will leave our digital “conversation” behind.)
I have clearly been spending too much time on digital devices (my phone, iPad and playing games on my Kindle Fire) BECAUSE I have a cramp in my hand (my left hand that holds the device) that I am affectionately calling “The Claw.” Painful and annoying, my cramped hand has made me realize the error of my digital ways. And now that I’m assessing things, I am noticing that not reading and not doing art has lead me to not write. This is a bad pattern that I would like to break.
I have decided that reading is going to be my way back into creativity. Reading for fun (no memoirs or book club-related reading). Reading because that used to be my thing. Reading because in summers my mother was constantly shooing me out of the house or lake cabin and I was STILL finding ways to read anywhere and everywhere (under the covers with a flashlight, in a hammock battling giant Minnesota mosquitoes, while fishing with my Grandpa and losing endless worms because I’m not paying attention to my bobbing fishing rod).
Let me tell you what books I want to read to fall back in love with reading and therefore fall back in love with creativity.
In my time spent online (while my hand turned into “The Claw”), I have found #BookTok (those interested in books and reading who share what they are reading on Tik Tok). That helped me start a list of talked about books.
One such #BookTok person @amys_bookshelf shared books “Books I’d Sell My Soul To Read For The First Time Again.” Her list included the following books:
- “Left Neglected” by Lisa Genova: Amazon description: “The moving second novel from the author of international hit Still Alice, which explores the life of a woman struck by a brain disorder, Left Neglect.”
- “The Turn of the Key” by Ruth Ware: Amazon description: “This appropriately twisty Turn of the Screw update finds the Woman in Cabin 10 author in her most menacing mode, unfurling a shocking saga of murder and deception.” —Entertainment Weekly“
- “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover: Amazon description: “SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST.”
- “The Sun is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon: Amazon description: “The #1 New York Times bestseller and National Book Award Finalist from the bestselling author of Everything, Everything will have you falling in love with Natasha and Daniel as they fall in love with each other.”
- “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara: Amazon description “NATIONAL BESTSELLER •A stunning “portrait of the enduring grace of friendship” (NPR) about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves. A masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century. A Little Life follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune.”
- “The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” by Stuart Turton: Amazon description: “Gosford Park meets Groundhog Day by way of Agatha Christie and Black Mirror – the most inventive story you’ll read this year.” “It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.”
- “The Flat Share” by Beth O’Leary: Amazon Description: “What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.”
I liked her list because it was all contemporary fiction and summer is the perfect time to dive into contemporary fiction.
Other lists include Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, and a big list that will take much longer than summer to complete is The Guardian’s “100 Best Books of the 21st Century.”
Other miscellaneous book recommendations I have gathered from social media:
- “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Amazon Description: “From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & the Six—an entrancing and “wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet” as she reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.”
- “Dead Dead Girls: A Harlem Renaissance Mystery (Book 1 of 2)” by Nekesa Afia: Amazon Description: “The start of an exciting new historical mystery series set during the Harlem Renaissance from debut author Nekesa Afia. Harlem, 1926. Young Black women like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead.”
As in most things in life I take the road less traveled (I have more of a tendency to like things that aren’t hugely popular). So delving into “summer reads” lists or mainstream popular fair isn’t always the way to go since those tend to cover more mainstream fair. However, I felt pretty good about these lists and a little mainstream might help me get back into the creativity groove. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Since this whole post is about how I’m not reading, let alone creating of any kind, it should come as no surprise that I have no Daily Doodles to share!