House Beautiful

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Motivation Monday

“The most terrible and beautiful and interesting things happen in a life.  For some of you, those things have already happened.  Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours.  Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow.  Let it nurture you, because it will.”  – Cheryl Strayed, as once-anonymous columnist “Dear Sugar”.  From the book Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.


Picture (via)

Books To Sink Your Teeth Into

The object of my lady crush, Nigella Lawson, in her home library

*Sigh*… what is it about this picture of Nigella quietly toiling away in her library, surrounded by thousands of books, that just pulls at me… that just puts me at ease? I mean listen, I love settling in front of my laptop for a marathon sesh of Pinterest just like the rest of the world, or watching the hoochie Housewives swirl their chablis on TV, but that indescribable calm from being around a bunch of books and then nestling into one… it’s incomparable.

The past couple years I’ve thrown myself back into my very first love… reading.  I’ve been devouring everything from tawdry memoirs to searing fiction pieces to my very first Hemingway.  If it pulls me in and makes me escape in the slightest bit, I’m there. Below is a list of the books I’ve read in the past few months; some voraciously, others which required a bit more patience.  Also, check out those I’m currently knee deep in (I tend to go back and forth between several at once).  And lastly, those on my To Read list:

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver – I’m slowly starting this compelling book, recommended by one of my favorite bloggers, B at Think it’s going to be an intense read, especially with recent events, but I’m ready for it.

Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David WalshIf Armstrong’s painted-on smirk during Oprah’s interview didn’t make you want to wretch a little, this incredibly in depth account of doping in pro cycling, and Armstrong’s personal quest to ruin the lives of those questioning his super human performances (including the author) – well, this’ll do it.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt Touted by two of my closest friends as one of the best books they’ve ever read.  “Part psychological thriller, part chronicle of debauched, wasted youth” – I’ll take it.

Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnWhile Christian Gray’s settling into domesticity and waiting to be portrayed on the silver screen by Ryan Gosling, this book’s taking over as the conversation piece amongst bajillions of women across America.  You don’t have to be a Dateline obsessive like yours truly to appreciate the suspense and fun of this murder mystery.

The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLeanA novel about Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley, and their steady then slowly tempestuous marriage in Paris in the 20s.  I felt like I was experiencing the roller coaster of a young, heady marriage right alongside both of them.

Wild: From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed – Strayed tells the story of her emotional devastation after the death of her mother and the weeks she spent hiking the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail.  I devoured this memoir like I do my Girl Scout Samoas: Voraciously, but constantly wanting more.

The Fault In Our Stars by John GreenCalled “one of the most genuine and moving ones in recent American fiction” by Time magazine, Stars centers on a teenage girl stricken with terminal cancer who falls for a boy in her support group. The two form a bond as they deal with their illnesses.  Lovely.  Wrenching.  Sweet love.

Her: A Memoir by Christa Parravani – “A blazingly passionate memoir of identity and love: when a charismatic and troubled young woman dies tragically, her identical twin must struggle to survive.”  Let’s do this.

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will To Lead: Sheryl Sandberg – No joke, I watched her 15-minute interview on 60 Minutes two weeks ago and had around 18 epiphanies.  I absolutely cannot WAIT to jump into this and only wish it’d been written years ago.

Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise SaganA timeless (it was written in the 50s) and scandalous story about a 17-yr-old girl named Cecile who visits her father in a villa outside of Paris for a carefree, two-month summer vacation, begins an affair with an older law student, and finds herself embroiled in a coming-of-age adventure.  Lolita meets Fear Of Flying.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey EugenidesAn amazing storyteller (anyone read his book Middlesex?  Crikey…), Eugenides has supposedly written another doozy of a novel about three college seniors in the 80s who graduate and move onto their first steps of adulthood.

Ok, so I won’t be completely replacing the humming of my laptop as I peruse Pinterest, or our TV while Hubby and I get our third hour of Bravo in for the night.   But I’m wholeheartedly throwing myself back into my love for the book.  I’m going back to appreciating the peace and quiet of the mind while engulfed in a great story. What about you?  What are YOU reading right now?!  Let me hear it, people!