Tag Archives: memoir

Do You Have a Favorite Image for Falling Asleep?

“I once had a favourite image for falling asleep…After waiting a minute or two before switching off my lamp, collecting awareness so that I would fully appreciate the embrace of darkness, I turned face downwards, sprawled my arms and legs, and my bed became a raft which floated me out onto the sea of night. It produced a sensation of luxury; the more seductive for being enlivened by an almost imperceptible thread of risk.”

Somewhere Towards the End: a Memoir, Diana Athill

I love this image.

To go to sleep, I often imagine that my alarm is about to go off. Thinking that I must get out of bed helps me feel tired.

Do you have a favorite image that helps you fall asleep?

Revealed! Book Club Choices for November. Excellent Reading.

First, a moment of self-book-promotion — feel free to skip.

I’m excited, because the Better Than Before Day-by-Day Journal just hit the shelves. Part resource, part tool, part keepsake — it will help you change your habits. To watch a short video where I show the book and describe its design, go here.

Now, for the recommendations! Because nothing boosts happiness more than a great book, each month, I suggest:

· one outstanding book about happiness or habits

· one outstanding work of children’s or young-adult literature–I have a crazy passion for kidlit

· one eccentric pick–a widely admired and excellent book that I love, yes, but one that may not appeal to everyone

Shop at IndieBound, BN.com, or Amazon (I’m an affiliate), or your favorite local bookstore. Or my favorite, visit the library! Drumroll…

 

A book about happiness, good habits, or human nature

Plant Dreaming Deep by May Sarton (a journal)

Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

 

An outstanding children’s book:

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (I was astonished to realize that I haven’t yet recommended this book, one of my all-time favorites. Also the inspiration for some of the best writing I’ve ever done in my life, on the last page of Happier at Home.)

Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

 

An eccentric pick:

Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind : The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint by Maura O’Halloran

Buy from IndieBound; BN.com; Amazon.

Some readers have said that they wished that I’d describe and make the case for my book choices, instead of just providing links. I’ve noticed that many times, when someone describes a book to me, I want to read it less. And often, weirdly, the better a book is, the worse it sounds.

Nevertheless, because so many readers have requested it, I’ve decided to give a bit more context for these choices in the book-club newsletter. So if you’d like to know more about why I made these selections, check there. To get that free monthly book-club newsletter, and to make sure you don’ t miss any recommendations, sign up here.

In any event, I assure you that, for all the books I choose, I love them; I’ve read them at least twice if not many times; and they’re widely admired.

If you read last month’s recommendations…what did you think?

And please, send me your recommendations! Recently a reader told me about a a Noel Streatfield book that I’d somehow missed, and another reader gave me many science-fiction entries for my library list. I love getting suggestions.

Revealed! Book Club Choices for October. Such Great Books.

Pardon this moment of book self-promotion: Did I happen to mention that I can now reveal the jacket of the paperback for Better Than Before? Oh right, maybe I did. Anyway, here it is again!

Because nothing boosts happiness more than a great book, each month, I suggest:

· one outstanding book about happiness or habits

· one outstanding work of children’s or young-adult literature–I have a crazy passion for kidlit

· one eccentric pick–a widely admired and excellent book that I love, yes, but one that may not appeal to everyone

Shop at IndieBound, BN.com, or Amazon (I’m an affiliate), or your favorite local bookstore. Or visit (more…)

A Lesson in Happiness and Love I Learned from Rob Lowe

I’m not a particular fan (or not) of Rob Lowe, but several people had recommended his memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, so I decided to read it.

It was very interesting for many reasons, and I was particularly struck by a story Lowe told, recalling a visit to the White House during his time on the show The West Wing: (more…)

7 Terrific Books If You’re Getting a Dog — What Books Have I Overlooked?

As I mentioned, my family has a new puppy! Barnaby.

It’s very exciting, and a bit overwhelming, to have a dog in the apartment. It’s wonderful; and it’s also lot of change, and I wouldn’t say that I’m the most….flexible person out there.

As my sister said in episode 27 of our podcast, as she quoted from the theme song to The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, “It’s gonna be a fascinating transition.

For me to process any experience, I really need to read about it. So I’ve been reading tons of dog books. Some are how-to, of the “Ultimate Guide to Dogs” type of book, but I really enjoyed — and got more — from the memoirs. Below are some of my favorites so far.

7 Terrific Books If You’re Getting a Dog

1, Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals, Temple Grandin. I love reading Temple Grandin.

2. You Had Me a Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secret of Happiness, Julie Klam. How could I resist that title? (more…)