I so appreciate that this fun opportunity appeared for me late this afternoon, just as I considered what to write about today. Checking in on Facebook, I discovered a tag from my friend Sara, and an invite to participate in a new-to-me challenge.
The 7 Day Book Cover Challenge Rules
Called the 7 Day Book Cover Challenge, the rules are simple.
Every day, for seven days, post a photo of a book cover on Facebook or Instagram, without including an explanation or a review. Then tag a friend to play along.
I love to read, and books have played a crucial role in my life from an early age on. At the tender age of five, I learned how to read and the world shifted for me. New places, different time periods, futuristic adventures all invited me in to explore, through the pages of books.
Books continue to be my greatest resource. If I want to know how to do something, I read a book. If I want to deepen my knowledge, I find a book to take me on that journey. And if I want to be entertained, my imagination fires up as I lose myself in a book.
Books like Eat, Pray Love, the cover photo Sara posted and tagged me on, shifted my perspective and my life. The fantasy work of JRR Tolkien radically changed the way I viewed myself, even thoughLord of the Rings is not classified as a self help book.
I will enjoy mentally and physically sorting through books, and choosing seven that have impacted me.
At the end of the seven days, I’ll share a follow up post and present the seven book covers that I chose. (Curious which covers I chose? You can read the follow up post: 7 Day Book Cover Challenge Completed)
Thanks Sara, for the invitation and the inspiration. Challenge accepted!
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Today I felt drawn to spend time reading. Although getting lost in a good book is one of my favorite things to do, I don’t indulge in this past time as much as I used to. Nevertheless, I keep a stack of books next to my bed, and typically read in several concurrently. You can tell a lot about people, by peeking at the books on their bookshelves or bedside tables. What interests them? What troubles them? Where is curiosity leading?
I actually have 15 books on my bedside table at the moment, fiction and nonfiction, covering a variety of topics. This evening I read in five of those, jotting down a quote from each book, that grabbed my attention.
A Mind at Home with Itself by Byron Katie
This is the fourth book that I’ve read by Katie. She has done much to free me from stressing over reality. When I can clearly see and accept what is, without creating stories around it that are not true, fear and worry, anger and frustration fall away.
“But the mind can never be controlled; it can only be questioned, loved and met with understanding.”
By questioning a troubling thought with the words…is that true? and answering honestly, I can prevent my mind from getting caught in a loop of endless angst and turmoil. What a gift Byron Katie offers.
Ageless Soul by Thomas Moore
This new release by the author of The Re-Enchantment of Every Day Life, comes at a good time in my life.
“We fear growing old when from a more subtle point of view, we were old from the very beginning. We’re just discovering our age or putting it into practice. In this way of picturing it, aging is a fulfillment of who we are, not a wearing out.”
I am appreciating Thomas’ insights. He suggests aging is more about growing into the person we are rather than becoming less than ourselves because the body ages.
Thyroid Healing by Anthony William
I have shared briefly about this book already. As I read, I am more and more convinced that we are all becoming sicker and sicker. Sadly, the disorders and diseases that are plaguing us are showing up earlier, in youth and children. There is hope. We can heal.
“Stage Four Epstein Barr Virus is not a life sentence. When you learn the true cause of what’s keeping you ill, and when you learn to use the tools contained in this book about how to resurrect your health, you hold the power to rebuild your immune system and regain control. It is not solely about getting back your liver or your reproductive system or your thyroid or your nervous system…it’s about getting back your life.”
I love that. It’s about regaining control of your health and getting back your life. Everyone would benefit from reading this book and putting Anthony’s protocols into practice.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
I need something magical to read, amid all the life changing books! I’ve seen the Harry Potter movies many times. I am enjoying reading through the series of books for the first time. And there are life lessons to be learned from the boy wizard and his friends and teachers.
It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” Dumbledore
A great reminder that we grow into the person we are meant to be. Our life is a journey of becoming.
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
I confess this is the first Brené book I’ve read, although I am familiar with her teachings. It was the subtitle that drew me to this new release: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone.
Brené: I’m doing that thing I do when I’m afraid. I’m floating above my life, watching it and studying it, rather than living it.
Murdoch: I know. But you need to find a way to stop and bring yourself back here. This is a big deal. I don’t want you to miss it. Don’t study this moment. Be in it.
The conversation above was between Brené and her manager, a Scotsman, on the eve before her first appearance on Oprah. I can so identify with Brené’s words about floating above her life. I learned to deal with fear by doing the same, taking myself out of the moment.
Brené realized the next morning that she needed to write herself a permission slip, as she would for a child going on a school trip, giving herself permission to have fun. That was the first of hundreds of permission slips she would write for herself. I like that idea and I will be playing with the concept.
I enjoyed my time of reading tonight. And although the books are very different, topic wise, there was a flow to my reading and a thread that ran through each one, connecting them and connecting to me. I vowed to do this more often, once a week at least, read a chapter in several books or several chapters in one book, with a steaming mug of hot tea in hand.
I’d love to know…what books are on your bedside table, or next to your favorite chair?
Out running errands this morning, I seized an opportunity to stop by Joplin’s newly opened public library. The grand opening took place while I was in Italy. I have driven by the building site for months, watching with curiosity as the library rose on the corner of 20th Street and Connecticut Avenue. Moving from its former location downtown, the library was taking up residence in the heart of the tornado zone.
Wishing to take a peek inside the gorgeous, contemporary building sprawled on its six acre landscaped lot, I thought I would dash inside for a few minutes and look around. I should have known better. I love books. A fun outing for me involves leisurely browsing through a bookstore, pulling intriguing books off the shelves.
The moment I stepped into the Joplin Public Library, I was wowed. My immediate first impression was that this place had less the feel of a library, and more the feel of a bookstore. Except the books are free…as long as you return them!
Let me show you around. Join me on a visual tour of the library.
Clean contemporary exterior. Huge parking lot.
Front lobby includes check out area with automated self check stations and New Books sections, fiction and nonfiction.
Gathering areas, right and left of the main lobby.
Genealogy, Local History and Post Memorial Art Library section. Beautiful!
Snack area with vending machines!
General reading section includes computer labs, dvds, music, audios and books, of course. New bookshelves are lower, creating an open, spacious look. Ample floor to ceiling windows let in lots of natural light.
My favorite additions to the new library…cozy, inviting seating areas!
My favorite chair in the library! It swivels and feels secluded…a true reading nook.
There are “unconference” rooms and study rooms around the perimeter of the building, available for use.
The colorful and amazing children’s library.
Computers for kids
Children’s play stations
Here too there are inviting seating areas that are playful as well.
The round windows in the children’s area are padded and function as fun seats.
Art gallery leading to conference room.
I was so impressed with the new library. Although I was a frequent visitor at the old site, I never lingered in that library. The building wasn’t all that old, but it seemed dark to me, with a heavy energy. Perhaps that was due to the building’s design. Or perhaps my intuitive senses picked up on the fact that the downtown library was built on the site of the old Connor Hotel. A man died there, trapped in the building, when a planned demolition went wrong. Whatever, the reason, I always felt uncomfortable there.
Not so in the new library. I love this space. It is beautiful, spacious, and full of light. The energy is incredibly positive and uplifting. I felt inspired and invited. I wanted to linger there. I wanted to curl up in a comfy chair with a good book!
And I shall do exactly that, very soon, when I have a free afternoon. I hope to see you there.
Today is Read a Book Day. And what is better than reading in one book? Reading in six! I always have several books going at once, since my interests change throughout the week or even during a single day.
Dr Seuss said, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”
I discovered the magic within books at a very young age. I learned to read before I ever stepped inside a school. My kindergarten teachers didn’t quite know what to do with me. Reading wasn’t taught until first grade. I have a clear memory of sitting on the floor in the “big kid” library, reading aloud to a group of perplexed adults that included the principal.
I overheard their whispered conversation as they discussed whether I was actually reading or had somehow memorized the story. The principal pulled book after book off the shelves, and invited me to read. At last he shrugged and suggested I be allowed to visit the library every day and have a reading time. I’m grateful that rather than ignore my interest, they catered to it.
My parents had no such confusion about my ability to read. They enrolled me at age five in a book club. Each month a new book arrived, wonderful classics such as Black Beauty, Alice in Wonderland and Big Red. I loved holding that new book in my hands every four weeks, aware that a fresh adventure was about to begin. I still have that set of classic books. They are a little worse for wear, as my sisters and I read through them often and played school and library with them. They still possess magic.
This is my current stack of reading material. No classics there. Instead there is an eclectic mix of fiction and nonfiction, cookbook (if a book full of recipes for raw food can properly be called a cookbook!) and creativity. I’m rereading Anthony’s life changing book, Medical Medium, after purchasing a second copy so that I can loan out my first book.
The Whoniverse feeds my love and knowledge of the Doctor Who fandom and came from the Joplin Library. Dean Koontz is an amazingly complex fiction writer. I’ve read many of his books and introduced his writings to daughter Elissa. That’s her book! And Walking in This World continues to awaken my creativity.
I mentioned I was reading in six books. Although I still prefer the feel of an actual book in my hands, it is convenient to have the Kindle app on my iPhone. If I am waiting somewhere, I can easily read to pass the time. E cubed is a fascinating sequel to E squared, with energy experiments in it that prove how magical the universe really is.
I don’t need an excuse to read, however it is nice to have a day set aside for celebrating the wonder of books. I’ve traveled through time and space, learned about other cultures and countries, and found a way into my deepest heart, all by way of a ticket with B O O K stamped on it.
It is not a surprise that writing naturally flowed from my love of reading. I hope to open up new paths to new adventures for others, as so many authors have done for me.
One of my discoveries, during this year of firsts, has been the website, holidayinsights.com. At this site I can click on the tab labeled Bizarre and Unique Days, which pulls up a list of the months. By clicking on each month, I can see the dates and see what unique holidays are celebrated on that day. I have found that there is a holiday for every day, ranging from the silly…yesterday was not only Grandparents’ Day but also Neither Rain nor Snow Day… to the amazing…September 13 is Positive Thinking Day. This has been a valuable resource for me and I check the dates often.
Today was a great day to celebrate. September 8 is International Literacy Day. I have not been aware of all these unique holidays, and therefore, have not celebrated them properly. For my first today, I focused on and celebrated literacy.
International Literacy Day promotes literacy all over the world. It was created by the United Nations and first celebrated on September 8, 1965. The aim was to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), about 714 million adults lack basic literacy skills. One in five adults are still not literate and 2/3 of those are women. UNESCO hopes to raise awareness of the importance of literacy through this global observance and also celebrate the fact that while many are still illiterate, more than 4 billion people are literate.
Turning locally, I researched Joplin’s NALA (Neighborhood Adult Literacy Action) Read program. They serve under educated adults through a tuition free adult literacy program that pairs adult learners with volunteer tutors in a one-on-one setting. Sessions cover reading and writing, as well as basic mathematics, and are guided by the adult learner’s goals in four areas: life long learner, worker, family member, citizen. Joplin NALA Read also has an English as Second Language program that is set up as a one-on-one tutoring program.
Literacy is defined, simply, as the ability to read and write. Many of us, including me, take this skill for granted. I have been reading since I was pre-kindergarten, learning to read snuggled up on my mom’s lap long before I went to school. Books have been my friends, my gateways to far away places, in the past, the present and the future. They have taught me what I need to know about a huge variety of subjects. All my life, if I have wanted to know more about something, I read a book about the topic. I love books that enrich me, stretch me, open new doors for me. I have a fondness for historical fiction, epic novels, such as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga, and books that assist me on my spiritual journey. I would be bereft without my books, my companions in life.
I am appreciative of this International day that raises awareness world-wide, and raised my awareness as well. Today, to celebrate, I did the research. I read, enjoying a cup of hot tea and a chapter in Dragonfly in Amber, book two in the fascinating Outlander series, which is set in Scotland 200 years ago. And I am making a donation to the Joplin NALA Read Program, where funds can help wipe out illiteracy locally. There is a link to their website, below.
Malcolm X says, “People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.” I know mine has been. I want that same opportunity for everyone.