When I was a little girl, I would lock myself in my room and write “books”. These books were loose pieces of paper stapled together with some cover art. They were based in boredom and make-believe. There was one about a man who smoked cigars on the moon (that’s why we have clouds, duh) and another entire series about a girl who ran away from home and lived in a treehouse with a family of fairies that hid her existence from the rest of the fairy village. I never said they were GOOD books, but I loved the process.
It turns out writing a book people will actually read is a lot more involved. Penn and I just turned in our very first manuscript to our publisher last month. This book, based on the fights every couple faces, will be titled “Everybody Fights: So Why Not Be Better at It?” is set for release Spring 2021. As a child I used to sit in a corner by myself and create stories out of dreams. Now, I was writing about my actual life with a spouse as a writing partner. There were more than a few times I longed for the days of my cigar-smoking characters — instead of fighting about the fights we wanted to include in the book. And no, the irony isn’t lost on me that we would fight about the contents of a book meant to improve relationships. In the end, the process helped us grow as a couple. Even if no one reads it (please Dear, sweet baby Jesus, let people read it) the act of talking and writing with my husband is one I will cherish.
My Nightstand Book Stack
While we were writing, I stopped reading non-fiction, self-help style books in fear I’d unknowingly pull from someone else’s work. As an avid reader, I couldn’t wait to hit the send button on the manuscript so I could dive into the stack of books by my bed. The comfort of holding a book in my hands relaxes my insides and allows my anxious brain a break from reality.
Here’s the some of the stack I’m reading right now. Note: I’m sharing Amazon links so you can read reviews. If you’re inclined to purchase, think about supporting a local, independent bookstores if you’re able. But if Amazon works best, you do you!
Calypso – David Sedaris
David Sedaris is a best-silling author, humorist, and radio contributor. His essays are the perfect bite-sized escape. I have all of his books and find myself reading an essay or two at night just to calm my anxious brain. Penn and I went to hear him at a reading last December and I laughed so hard I peed a little. If this whole “pandemic” thing ever clears, and he comes to a city near you, buy a ticket and thank me later.
Untamed – Glennon Doyle
I’m breaking my “one book at a time rule” and reading this alongside the next book on this list. I started following Glennon ages ago. Her evolution from mommy blogger to activist is inspiring. She weaves words together in ways that have left me breathless.
White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo
In a previous post, I shared that I joined a virtual book club to read this. I received 3 messages of disgust. Here are direct quotes:
“Unfollowing. I refuse to feel guilty about being white.”
“I’m not fragile. I’d read it if it had a different name.”
“Racism doesn’t exist! Stop fear mongering.”
Ummm guys. You’re proving the point. If you can’t be open enough to read a book on why it’s hard to talk about racism, you’re officially part of the problem. This book captures why it’s so hard for white people to acknowledge our role in racism. “But I’m a good person! I don’t use racist language! I worked hard for everything I have!” I’m on chapter 5 and my mind is blown. I’m supposed to loan it to a friend when I’m done, but I’ve highlighted and underlined so many things I doubt she will be able to read the actual text.
My Next Two Reads
I like to alternate, fiction and non-fiction books when I can. So I’m excited to dive into my next two fiction reads! Have you read either of these books?
I’d love to know what you’re reading! Should we start a book club?