In a few days, I'll be in a completely different Era of my life and I thought that I would spend the week seeking God and meditating on being more proactive moving forward. To that end, I thought that I would spend some time in books that will delight and inspire me.
Ruth: I've been dabbling in the She Reads Truth devotional for The Book of Ruth over the last few weeks, and I thought that I would use this week to focus a bit more on it. I've always adored Ruth and how the Lord brings her and her mother in law, Naomi, from a desolate place, into a place of grace and worth. It begins with Ruth's decision to go with Naomi, and leave everything she holds dear...even after losing her husband. She takes on new responsibilities and trusts God and Naomi's guidance to eventually move her into a wealthy place, embracing the now, as opposed to wallowing in her tragedy. I spent most of my twenties pretty discontented, seeking the next best thing, or wondering why this happened or didn't happen. For once, I just want to embrace Jesus, and the contentment He brings. To resist the temptation to allow desires that have yet to come to pass to dictate my peace in life.
The Crossroads of Should and Must | Elle Luna: I chanced upon this book during a spontaneous trip to Urban Outfitters with my cousin (and partner in crime) Ashley. It was strategically placed by the cash register, and when I stumble upon books like this, I usually feel that they are definitely divinely placed. Within the first 20 pages, I knew it was exactly what I need as I'm taking time to ponder my journey. Elle Luna wrote a wonderful essay of the same name, that although I haven't had a chance to read yet, was the inspiration for her book that encourages everyone to move away from what we think we should do, and instead embrace what we are compelled in our hearts to do. It has a beautiful unconventional layout that's filled with artful creativity that makes me want to journal so badly! More importantly, I'd love to embrace my God given, childlike love and walk in it.
The War of Art | Steven Pressfield: This freaking book. Full stop. I've been an aspiring writer for my entire life, studying the craft of fiction and screenwriting ever since I was in Middle School, but unfortunately, with great dreams comes immense insecurity in some cases. My best writer/editor friend, Thesanica, suggested that I purchase his book and it's literally been one of the best books I've read on aspiring to do any grand, artistic, ambitious thing. It encourages us to fight negativity, procrastination, and all the ways we, ourselves, resist the process of creation. I recommend this to the Human Race. It snaps my excuses like hollow twigs and basically says, "You could be sitting in a corner whining about why you think you aren't talented, or you could be sitting in a corner cursing negative thinking with every new sentence. You choose."
Paris Letters | Janice Macleod: Ever since my first visit to Paris in 2011, my heart has dwelled there. At first, I viewed the City of Lights as a highly romanticized place that perhaps wouldn't feel the same once there. And then I got off the plane, and the very air wafting through Charles De Gaulle Airport was charged with an infectious sense of carpe diem. I love hearing stories of American expatriates who live in France, and I am enchanted by Janice Macleod's account of her time in Paris. I'm in love with how she focuses on inspiring readers to step out on faith, and consider what they would do if they weren't tied down to a nine to five in the dreamiest way possible.
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë | Syrie James: Before reading Jane Eyre, I combed the stacks in search of a classic to call home. I'd never felt so close to, or likened in sensibility or spirit than I did with Jane, and I believe that Charlotte must have infused lot of herself in the novel. I'd read a snippet of Syrie James' The Lost Memoir of Jane Austen, and immediately thought that she is a master of voice and tone. Simply amazing. So when I found 'Secret Diaries', being the Brontë enthusiast that I am, I knew I had to snap it up. So far, James captures the voices of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne so beautifully. It feels like living day to day, and experiencing their joys and challenges with artistic freedom in lieu of demeaning attitudes towards women in the time period.
*Glamour in Glass | Mary Robinette Kowal: If you're an Austen fan, or even a fantasy lover who's wanted a taste of Austen before jumping in, Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories series is the one for you. She is a master of capturing Regency Era literature with uncanny authenticity. But what makes her books super special are the enchanting addition of Glamours, or Glamourals which have been elevated to a gorgeous art form in Kowal's universe. She layers it into Austen's world in a way that doesn't seem foreign, but like a daily occurrence encountered at dinner parties or fluttering like fine silk curtains in aristocratic sitting rooms. I'm reading the second in the series, and I'm in love with Jane and Vincent's adventures! I've been in a historical fiction mood lately. They make me feel shrouded in Autumn.
*Living in Midnight is an allusion to Lianne La Havas's song Midnight from her new album, Blood. It's pretty much my anthem of the moment. And it speaks to my desire to walk confidently, regardless of others' opinions. There's a whole world beneath the surface of things.