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If you’re a writer and you write anywhere close to the way I write, the writing process doesn’t feel very zen—or those zen moments of pure inspiration where the pen seems to move itself are few and far between. So often, many words feel clunky, I keep a timer going to clock my writing time, and I feel a sense of relief when I stop and get to go make some coffee. On the more difficult days, this book of essays by the author of Fahrenheit 451 brings me back to why I’m writing in the first place. All of the essays are short enough to read in a small period of time, and they all feel like a conversation with a friend about this whole writing thing and all the joys and frustrations that come with it.
This book came to me from a dear friend, and I'm happy to pass it on to you as a dear reader and member of our Literati community. More eloquent people than me have already lauded the technical virtues of Alice Munro, and there's no denying her skill at her craft. What made me love these stories, though, is how they reopened my eyes to all the depth present in the breadth of daily experiences that we all have. Buying a dress, eating a meal, visiting a nursing home, going to a coffee shop—all become profound actions under Munro's keen eye. These stories changed how I view the world, and I hope they do the same for you.
Read this after or with Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists! This collection features the voices of women often out of mainstream feminism, including the superb author Brit Bennett. The introduction by activist June Eric-Udorie blew me away; she skillfully presents the challenges (internal and external) that feminism faces today, and she's only twenty! Required reading for anyone who considers themselves a feminist or is interested in what feminism really means today.
Edna St. Vincent Millay writes a killer sonnet, but don't be deterred by her lyrical poetry style! Even though she wrote in the twentieth century, her poems feel refreshingly modern and every day. I appreciate the emotional control in these poems; she doesn't go for high dramatics, but lets the emotions simmer in smaller ways. Check out "Grown-Up" in this collection in particular.
As an adult, I spend a good amount of time reminding myself to be more present and to live in the moment. This book encourages kids to do the same by loving and appreciating what's in front of them. Simple, but joyful and powerful!
The title says it all! I haven't seen or listened to Hamilton, but I follow Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter and always loved his morning and evening inspirational tweets. This little book takes those passing tweets and makes them into quiet moments of reflection and encouragement. I keep this book on my nightstand and open it at random when I need a boost in the morning or need to recenter after a busy day.