We are fast approaching the end of summer. Even though I am no longer a student, I can’t help but think of September as the beginning of… something. The thought of it makes me feel reinvigorated somehow. Does anyone else feel this way?
What I want, in periods like these, is to feed that sense of invigoration. For me, that means reading the thoughts of the people I most admire. So, books by women.
Here are a few to kick start your inspiration engine:
Yes Please – Amy Poehler
I thoroughly believe that everyone should read this book. I have the audiobook, and I listen to it whenever I am having a hard day. Amy Poehler is such a giving, open hearted writer. It pours out of her and infects you with its goodness.
“Hopefully as you get older, you start to learn how to live with your demon. It’s hard at first. Some people give their demon so much room that there is no space in their head or bed for love. They feed their demon and it gets really strong and then it makes them stay in abusive relationships or starve their beautiful bodies. But sometimes, you get a little older and get a little bored of the demon. Through good therapy and friends and self-love you can practice treating the demon like a hacky, annoying cousin. Maybe a day even comes when you are getting dressed for a fancy event and it whispers, “You aren’t pretty,” and you go, “I know, I know, now let me find my earrings.” Sometimes you say, “Demon, I promise you I will let you remind me of my ugliness, but right now I am having hot sex so I will check in later.”
The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer is a singer on an art mission. Her memoir chronicles her journey from human statue to record breaking Kickstarter legend.
The Art of Asking is a book about art and trust and love. Amanda’s is a life lived to the fullest reaches of vulnerability and fearlessness. It makes wonderful reading.
“There’s a difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen.
When you are looked at, your eyes can be closed. You suck energy, you steal the spotlight. When you are seen, your eyes must be open, and you are seeing and recognizing your witness. You accept energy and you generate energy. You create light.
One is exhibitionism, the other is connection.
Not everybody wants to be looked at.
Everybody wants to be seen.”
Wild – Cheryl Strayed
Wild is a story of healing. After losing her mother at 21, Cheryl Strayed’s life falls apart. Her family disintegrates, her relationship with her husband implodes, and her relationship with heroin gets intimate.
Until one day she just can’t take it anymore. Until one day she picks up a guide to hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2000 mile track across America. Until one day she decides to walk that trail, alone.
It’s an introspective, vulnerable, funny, heart breaking read.
“The father’s job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse to ride into battle when it’s necessary to do so. If you don’t get that from your father, you have to teach yourself.”
I Was Told There’d Be Cake – Sloane Crosley
There is an essay in this book about how one time Sloane Crosley threw a very tense dinner party and one of guests shit on the floor of her bathroom.
Obviously a must read.
“Life starts out with everyone clapping when you take a poo and goes downhill from there.”
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
Okay, so I guess this one technically isn’t a memoir. It does, however, feature stories from Liz Gilbert’s extensive creative life. If you care at all about creating, or if even a little part of you wants to make something, I beg you to read this book. It isn’t some art instruction manual, or a book about the morning routine that will make you write a best seller. It’s a simple exploration or creativity. It is about the joy of making something just because you want to make it.
It is not a book about success, in the traditional sense. It is a book that asks you to commit to creating because it’s what your heart wants. I think it is a book many of us bloggers would benefit greatly from reading.
“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”