What I’ve Been Reading: Making Change

"Every Day is a Fresh Start" Hand lettered on a spiral notebook in black ink sitting on a wood table

I am fascinated by the optimal conditions for personal change. What helps us change? How do we stick to our resolutions? How do we turn intentions into habits? Is it possible to help other people change?

You’ve probably heard the adage you can’t change anyone other than yourself. But I recently heard a presentation that challenged that assumption. The presenter said we wouldn’t have coaches if we couldn’t effect change in other people. (Don’t try this with the unwilling or everyone will be unhappy.)

This realization led to a new stack of books:

What have you been reading?


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What I’ve been reading

Woman reading on a couch

I have mostly read to this month: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and The Diplomat’s Wife by Pam Jenoff. If you have someone to read to or someone to read to, hug them tight. It’s such a gift. 

I have been reading Play Anything by Ian Bogost. So far, I have to say that it’s not what I expected. It does make me think about the seriousness with which we attempt to control our lives and environments and what might change for the better when we stop trying to do that.

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Read in Color

Little Free Library next to a lime green chair and a wood fence

I am a Little Free Library Steward* and took the pledge to Read in Color. Read in Color is an initiative to bring diverse books to Little Free Libraries. Everyone deserves to see themselves in the pages of a book, or better yet, as the hero of the story! Thanks to the excellent recommendations of @asianlitforkids and @ihaveabook4that, I have new books to add to my library. 

If you are interested in supporting Read in Color, you can donate here. You can also support the LFL Impact Library Program. This program provides no-cost Little Free Library book exchanges to communities where books are scarce. And you can become an LFL steward by purchasing a ready-made library or by building/creating your own.

*Little Free Libraries are free book exchanges hosted by individuals, schools, and companies. Here’s a map to Little Free Library locations around the world. Once you start seeing them, you will see them everywhere. There are three in my rural neighborhood! 

What I’ve Been Reading

Woman holding fairy lights by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash

This will come as a surprise to those of you who know me IRL: I’ve been reading fiction. I recently finished Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer and Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson. My better half read Midnight Sun out loud to us at night. I love vampire stories as much as I love being read to. Being read to is something I never grew out of, or maybe more accurately, I grew back into as an adult. Currently, the Chez Haiku read-aloud selection is The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (also recommended). If you have other book suggestions with midnight in the title, let me know. Why not collect them all?

I’ve also been reading books about darning. I am interested in fixing things in general, and I learned about visible mending as an art form last year. 

Mending Life has a beautiful piece about socks that made me re-think my “hole-equals-throw-it-away” mentality. I’ll keep you posted on my darning adventure! If you aren’t ready to commit to darning, consider recycling your old socks with Smart Wool

What I’ve been reading

Bookshelves with Red, orange, yellow and green books

My reading lately has taken me deeper into the problems of the climate crisis and capitalism and also currency, creativity, and coaching. All the Cs have a home. 

Coach the Person Not the Problem by Marcia Reynolds
The best book on coaching that I have read so far. 

Having and Being Had by Eula Biss
I tried not to read this book. But I was sucked in and I’m glad that I was. 

Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing by Jacob Goldstein
A seriously fascinating read. Money has no real value. That’s a mind-bender for you. 

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson
We have to face climate change. It’s difficult and deep but also more urgent than most people realize.

The Creative Cure: How Finding and Freeing Your Inner Artist Can Heal Your Life by Jacob Nordby
I’m a fan of Jacob’s book Blessed are the Weird and equally at home with his latest book. Humans are creative. All of us. Without exception.

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What I’ve Been Reading

Sometimes, you just want to hide beneath your hat

I’m currently reading Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski. I learned about these amazing twin sisters from Brené Brown, and less than 10 minutes into the podcast, I was checking out the book from the library. I picked it up yesterday and read the introduction and the first chapter this morning. I highly recommend it to anyone (everyone?) dealing with stress and burnout. 

TL;DR? Listen to the Nagoski sisters on Brené Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us.

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