What I’m Reading: January 2015 + One Helpful Internet Tool

Before I share some of the words I have been enjoying lately, I want to tell you about one of my favorite reading tools. It’s called Pocket, and it saves interesting articles or blog posts that I find so that I can read them later. So simple, and yet it allows me to stay focused in my easily distracting social media job, and it also gives me a place to keep all the neat and inspiring things I encounter on the internet.

I’ve been using Pocket for a while, as well as the corresponding iPhone app and Chrome extension, which allows me to add articles to my reading list by right clicking on the link. And for those blogs whose posts I never want to miss, I set up an IFTTT recipe to pull new stories from the RSS feed into my list. Then when I have a few minutes, I can flip through the stories I’ve saved at my own pace. It’s a great tool.

Anyway, on to the things I’ve been reading, most of which came through Pocket at one time or another:

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown TaylorLearning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor: Have you ever had an experience where everything in your life seems to be pointing you in the same direction and you just know that’s where you need to be? This book is the result of one such convergence. I’ve been hearing about Barbara Brown Taylor for years and meaning to pick up one of her books but never had. On one of my holiday drives, the local NPR station was rebroadcasting an interview with her about this particular book. When I looked it up online, the Kindle version was on sale for $2, and after I started reading it, some significant conversations pointed me in the very direction her writing was already taking me. Whoa.

Apart from that, it’s a lovely little book. She looks at all of the metaphor and spiritual connotation and reality of darkness–I love this sort of focused study–and unlike self-help writers who appear to have all of the answers, Brown Taylor is content to invite you along on her own journey of exploration, without any promise of panacea. Still reading, and can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

“Your Literary New Year’s Resolutions Should Include ‘More Writing,’ and Here Are 12 Reasons Why” by Laura I. Miller on Bustle.com: I have some vague goals about doing more writing in 2015. Yea, I should probably write those down somewhere, plan then out a bit more. But so far, it seems to be going well. If you’re into writing and you need more reasons to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) this year, this makes for a light motivational read.

“15 Quotes Everyone Woman Should Live By in 2015” by Catherine Pearson for HuffingtonPost.com: From Nora Ephron to Susan Sontag, a few inspirational sayings to start off your New Year.

“The Lie and the Truth About Marriage” by Momastery: At the end of December, Glennon (who, hold the phone, is coming to Asheville this winter!!!) was recapping some of her 2014 posts that received the most attention, and this was one that she had shared. Like so much of her work, it just seems to get at the heart of reality. I also encountered this post just a day or two after a friend had shared this article from the New York Times about how marriage issues are seemingly the last remaining taboo on social platforms otherwise defined by oversharing. The two together make a thought-provoking combination. (Personal note: This is not any kind of vague reference to anything happening in my life, just well-written articles about a topic I feel gets glossed over all too often in general.)

Not for Robots by Laini Taylor: Again with the writing goals. Taylor has compiled several of her essays on writing and put them on this site with the slogan: “Writing is hard. People for whom writing is not hard are robots and should go away. Thank you.” Tips, ideas and encouragement for writing, which I found via Stephanie Perkins’ website.

“Be Your Own Life Coach: 7 Techniques to Live Your Dreams” from Yoga Journal, February 2015: It’s a new year. A great time for thinking about goals and dreams and how to make them happen. An interesting look at this process through the lens of yoga.

I’m always looking for new books to add to my shelf or articles to add to my Pocket. What have you been reading lately? Any suggestions?

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