Several months into living in our new home, I got the itch to take my toddler to the library and make him a book worm. Which is weird, because I've never been much of a reader of fiction. I read a LOT of news, devour books that might help me coach better, but I've not really ever been a reader for "fun." But as my son has grown and starts to play more independently, I want him to be around a mom who has her nose in a book rather than on a phone or tablet whenever we have idle time.
Plus, I've always been intimidated by libraries. I don't know why but they make me feel so inferior somehow. In college and for my graduate degree, I did everything I could to avoid having to search for actual books for research -- I just preferred journal articles that could be found online. I'm a little ashamed to admit that. This is not something I want my son to feel.
So for the first time since college, I have a library card. And we've been using it! The kiddo loves to pick out books from the shelves, and I love not having any sort of deadline or objective to my book selections.
I wish I had read for pleasure sooner, because it's been amazing the types of things I've learned that would have been applicable to my old life. Also, the mental task of staying present in the story strengthens focus and the ability to ignore distractions, something which is super useful on the course. As does the ability to push through to finish a book when it gets slow or difficult. It's a sin and a shame that I did not make this effort sooner.
Here have been some of my favorites from the past few months, and what I loved about them. (non-affiliate links provided)
The Martian, by Andy Weir. My first successful sci-fi read as an adult, this book infused me with a jolt of "can-do" positivism, and made me feel encouraged to really dig in and love what I do. Have yet to see the film version, since I wanted to read the book first.
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. This is one where sticking with it payed off with a great twist, even if I didn't love the ending.
Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secrets of Games, by Ian Bogost. I wasn't prepared for the philosophical treatise that this book was, but after chewing through it slowly and surely, I look at everything differently now. The mundane now has potential, and I have a much different attitude about both games and chores. Plus, he has a whole section about how golf is an "intentional interaction with nature" that I found incredibly enjoyable. What I gleaned from this book could take up an entire post in itself, which maybe I will do in the future.
Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. This book was possibly the most profound of all of them so far. It's just an amazing read; difficult, but so meaningful.
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions you Should Have Answers To When You Work In The White House, by Alyssa Mastromonaco. This was a birthday present from a college friend, and it's a great book for any young person working these days. Mastromonaco clearly kicked ass at her job and this book is full of fascinating stories and advice. I am so thankful my friend gave me this kind of book, as it really helped me to feel connected to the working world again.
Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty. Really smart, really quick, and lots of fun things to talk about with all your girlfriends who might be reading it at the same time.