Archive for the ‘You Should Read This’ Category

You Should Read This: The Happiness Project

November 27, 2011

{via google image}

I’m a traveler and a bookworm, which means I spend a good chunk of change on airport reading material.  If I’m about to get on a flight without at least two books to read I go into panic mode.  It’s weird, I know.  I’ll work it out later.  I was browsing the bookstore in some random city airport when I stumbled onto The Happiness Project.  I’m working with a 50/50 chance of random book purchases being worth it when I buy blindly, without knowledge of what’s inside.  THIS was a great purchase!  I LOVED it.  Maybe because I’m a pretty happy person and maybe because it’s about a lady who studied the theories and principles of happiness for an entire year or because it’s full of great quotes or because Gretchen Rubin is a blogger.  Whatever it was, she had me at the first page.

{print on Etsy, found here}

Here are a few of my most favorite lines from the book:

-The days are long, but the years are short.
-Studies show that each common interest between people boosts the chances of a lasting relationship and also brings about a 2 percent increase in life satisfaction.
-What you enjoyed as a ten-year-old is probably something you’d enjoy now.
-Fun is energizing.
-I can do anything I want, but I can’t do everything I want.
-Taking the time to be silly means that we’re infecting one another with good cheer, and people who enjoy silliness are one third more likely to be happy.
-Everyone from contemporary scientists to ancient philosophers agrees that having strong social bonds is probably the most meaningful contributor to happiness.  

Intrigued yet?
You can purchase the book here!
You can also check out Gretchen’s blog, The Happiness Project, here.
An entire study on happiness.  I like.


Mark Twain Was The Coolest

January 17, 2011

I’m sure all of you have read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or Huckelberry Finn at some point in your life.  I was in third grade the first time I stumbled upon the mind and imagination of Mark Twain.  His life and works have fascinated me ever since.  Plus, he’s got one heck of an award winning mustache.

{google image// check out that stache!!}

A few years ago, while in Hartford, CT I visited his home and took a tour to learn more about this man that outraged and won over so many different people during his life.

{Mark Twain’s house// google image}

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because I’m a huge nerd and totally geeking out about the Mark Twain autobiography which was just released.  He didn’t allow it to be published until he had been dead for 100 years…which is now.  That’s how you build some intrigue!  I’m currently reading his biography but will start the new one soon.  You should check it out, if you’re into that sort of thing.  I’ll leave you with some of my fave Twain quotes.  Who doesn’t love a good quote every now and again? Exactly.

{We Heart It}

A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.

Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

Love is the irresistable desire to be irresistibly desired.

//i could go on forever but i’ll stop here.

Into The Wild

November 21, 2010

I guess you can say that I read a lot. Well, I read a lot of new books and rarely go back to the same book twice. That is until I experienced the tragic beauty and honesty of Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. It’s a powerful book and a gorgeous movie. Yes, I like it all a great deal.

{google image}

The message stirs something in me. I’m sure most of you have already read it but I’ve listed out a few of my favorite quotes below. So good.

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.”

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

“You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.”

“I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that you are forced to lead. I don’t think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.”

“The peculiar thing about Everett Ruess was that he went out and did the things he dreamed about, not simply for a two-weeks’ vacation in the civilized and trimmed wonderlands, but for months and years in the very midst of wonder…”

“…a challenge in which a successful outcome is assured isn’t a challenge at all.”

Ohmuhgawsh, I love it.

This afternoon, I just began reading a new book. I had finished “Into the Wild” and started to panic (yes really) because I forgot to bring a second book on my trip. I found it at the airport bookstore and can’t put it down! In fact, I will return to it now. Goodnight!

Follow Me To Freedom

September 12, 2010

I was in Philadelphia, PA all weekend and realized (once it was too late) that I had been within a few miles of Shane Claiborne’s community, The Simple Way.  Total fail on my part.  I’m wishing now I would have planned ahead and made a trip over there.  I’ve read a few of his books and have a huge amount of respect for his way of life. 

I recently finished Follow Me To Freedom: Leading and Following As An Ordinary Radical.  It’s a great read on leadership and what it takes to be a leader full of wisdom and compassion for others.  Shane Clairborne wrote the book with John Perkins, another great man.  Below are some of the many quotes from this book that inspired me:

If we cannot be reconciled with people that look different than we look, then what is reconciliation?  And there will be no true freedom for any of us unless we are first reconciled to each other and to God.

You can’t be a great leader if you can’t guide your own family with love and honor.  The basis for leadership and the greatest environment in which to develop leaders it the family.

We have a God who is continually interupting us.  We don’t want anything to alter our course, even if we know there is something beautiful on the other end of interruption.

We can learn that vulnerability is a value, not a threat.  It’s something that good leaders know well: they need other people.

The content of your character will determine the caliber of your relationships.

Courage is fear holding on for one minute longer.

I am convinced that Jesus did not just come to prepare us to die; He came to teach us to live.

Seems as though too many leaders have been soloists, and I guess that’s why so many of them are lonely people.

We need a holistic teaching – we need to be concerned about the body, the soul, the experience, the quality of life of people within the community.

The Christian life is about surrounding ourselves with people who look like someone we want to become, people who may be a few steps ahead of us on the journey.

Leadership books about vision can help.  But they can also mislead.  If we take a personality test, make a list of goals and get motivated, but it is all out of our own willpower, then ultimately, if it succeeds, it will only result in self-gratification, not in real change.  If our leadership is designed to satisfy only ourselves, ultimately we will not have many followers. 

Ok, I’ll stop now! All of that goodness was in the first 59 pages alone which means there are about 200 more full of helpful content.  Read it!! Read anything…period.  So many great books and so little time.

I Have a Crush on Roald Dahl <3

June 8, 2010

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” 
–Roald Dahl

I ::love:: books in an incredible way.  I especially love the ones that inspire you to dream and take your imagination to a different level.  Yes, I’m a dreamer and I still believe in magic.  I hope to own the entire Roald Dahl collection one day.  Here are some of my favorites, and probably some of yours as well:

“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.”
–Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
–Roald Dahl

“The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”
–Roald Dahl (The BFG)
“Matilda said, “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”
–Roald Dahl (Matilda)

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
–Roald Dahl (The Twits)
“my darling,” she said at last,
are you sure you don’t mind being a mouse for the rest of your life?”
I don’t mind at all” I said.
It dosen’t matter who you are or what you look like se long as
somebody loves you.”
–Roald Dahl (The Witches)
“My dear young fellow,’ the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently, ‘there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet.”
–Roald Dahl (James and the Giant Peach)

“I therefore invite you all,” Mr Fox went on, ‘to stay here with me for ever.’
For ever!’ they cried. ‘My goodness! How marvellous!’ And Rabbit said to Mrs Rabbit, ‘My dear, just think! We’re never going to be shot again in our lives!’
We will make,’ said Mr Fox, ‘a little underground village, with streets and houses on each side – seperate houses for Badgers and Moles and Rabbits and Weasels and Foxes. And every day I will go shopping for you all. And every day we will eat like kings.’
The cheering that followed this speech went on for many minutes.”
–Roald Dahl (Fantastic Mr. Fox)

(We Heart It)

A genuine love affair of reading is one of the most important traits a person can grow up with.  I’m with Mr. Dahl on this one, mainly because he helped foster mine. 

“The prime function of the children’s book writer is to write a book that is so absorbing, exciting, funny, fast and beautiful that the child will fall in love with it. And that first love affair between the young child and the young book will lead hopefully to other loves for other books and when that happens the battle is probably won. The child will have found a crock of gold. He will also have gained something that will help to carry him most marvelously through the tangles of his later years.”
–Roald Dahl

And of course, you must see one of my all time favorite scenes from Matilda.  These stories make wonderful movies, don’t they?


You Should Read This// Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

May 24, 2010

My television set broke which means even more reading time.  Oh, don’t feel sorry for me.  I’m wondering if I should even replace the thing.  It’s been gone for about two weeks and I haven’t missed its absence at all.  Compare it to that boyfriend/girlfriend that you didn’t really want around but…….ok, I digress.  Back to the book.

If you are one of those people who want a story that fully resolves and that follows your basic book pattern then…this isn’t for you.  However, if your heart stirs from lovely tales woven together by a childs unbelievable imagination then I’d say grab it. Now.  Get it here if you’d like.

This is the (fictional) tale of Oskar Schell as he searches the burroughs of New York City.  He’s looking for something that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11.  Oskar warmed my heart and brought me to tears in more than one chapter.  Jonathan Safran Foer, who also wrote Everything is Illuminated, is a fantastic story teller.  I can’t wait to read his other works. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
–Some had fallen asleep, and the park was a mosaic of their dreams.

–Instead she said, ‘I love you.’  The words traveled the yo-yo, the doll, the diary, the necklace, the quilt, the clothesline, the birthday present, the harp, the tea bag, the tennis racket, the hem of the skirt.  “Grody!” The boy covered his can with a lid, removed it from the string, and put her love for him on a shelf in his closet.  Of course, he never could open the can, because then it would lose its contents.  It was enough just to know it was there.

–“Dad had a spirit,” she said, like she was rewinding a bit of our conversation.  I told her, “He had cells, and now they’re on rooftops, and in the river, and in the lungs of millions of people around New York, who breathe him every time they speak!”

–That’s the difference between heaven and hell!  In hell we starve!  In heaven we feed each other!

–she wants to know if I love her, that’s all anyone wants from anyone else, not love itself but the knowledge that love is there.

It’s so good.  Seriously.  Come on, you can trust me.  Ok – back to reading more books!! I just finished House Rules by Jodi Picoult (eh, it was ok) and am trying to finish Follow Me to Freedom: Leading And Following as an Ordinary Radicle by Shane Claiborne (LOVE him) and John Perkins (this book has been mind blowing so far and I cannot wait to finish it). 

(if you’ve ever wondered what I’m doing in my spare time, well…this is it.  reading book after book after book in my cozy little space.)

{Read…read…then read some more}

April 29, 2010

The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision
and strengthens our most fatal tendency–
the belief that the here and now is all there is. 
–A. Bloom 

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.
–R. Bradbury

The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one
on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.
–Benjamin Franklin

I’ve been labeled a ‘bookworm’ since I was a small child.  I love to read – always have and I always will.  Books are so emotional and beautiful plus full of incredible amounts of knowledge….and for such a cheap price!  My apartment is full of books and void of television.  (I have a television set but no cable and the stations don’t even work.) I hope it’s always that way.  Roald Dahl says it best — “So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.”  So I did….and the bookcase continues to fill with the most amazing types of literature.  Oh, it makes my heart happy just thinking on it. 

So, I’ve decided to post about books I’ve completed and ones I am in the process of reading.  I shall call it ‘You Should Read This’.  If you have suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them.

Which brings me to book #1:

I first heard of Timothy Keller from Josh White, the pastor of Door of Hope (a church in Portland that stole my heart and opened my eyes to the unconditional love and grace of Jesus.)  Here are a couple of quotes from this book that spoke to my soul in a personal way::

//In the book of Romans, Saint Paul wrote that one of the worst things God can do to someone is to “give them over to the desires of their hearts.”

If anyone puts a child in the place of the true God, it creates an idolatrous love that will smother the child and strangle the relationship.

The most painful times in our lives are times in which our idols are being threatened or removed.

God’s salvation does not come in response to a changed life.  A changed life comes in response to the salvation, offered as a free gift.

To the degree that you grasp the gospel, money will have no dominion over you.

The human heart’s desire for a particular valuable object may be conquered, but its need to have some such object is unconquerable.

When love of one’s people becomes an absolute, it turns into racism.  When love of equality turns into a supreme thing, it can result in hatred and violence toward anyone who has led a privileged life.

We become like what we worship.//

There are so many true statements in this book!  I can’t write them all out because I don’t have time, you should read it for yourself, and it’s probably illegal. 

I’m currently reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  He’s also the author of Everything is Illuminated.  It’s a lovely book!! It’s hard to put down. 

Until next time….
(from a magical night on the Oregon coast – one of my all time favorite moments….ever)

PS – the book picture was found at and taken by Aline Smithson photography.