In The Happy Spot. More on Medium.

Not one published in 2020.

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Books make us wise. They allow us to see from another’s perspective through story. A good book can take you out of your own life and drop you into someone else’s, taking you to a place you’ve never been while giving you lessons you’d never learn otherwise. Books feed the soul, as well as the mind.

Twyla Tharp said,

All the books on the list I would read a second time. I’ll never recommend a book that I wouldn’t read again. Because when you evolve through different life experiences, reading a book you’ve already read can give you new insights when you come at it with a different perspective. That is just one of the many glories of reading books. …

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Warning: the following books delve into the resiliency of the human spirit. I wouldn’t classify them as “light reading,” although, they’re easy to read because they are so well written you won’t want to put them down once you’ve read a paragraph or so.

If you have a weekend to dedicate, read one of these, you won’t be sorry. The brilliance of the storytelling will get you out of your head.

There are no affiliate links in this post. I don’t use affiliate links. I’m just passionate about books that break you open, make you think and feel, describe the human experience in vivid detail, and crack open your heart a bit to let the light in. …

And make you a better human for having read them.

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A few times, during a dark hour or a confusing time, a book came along just when I needed it and changed my perspective.

Books can be incredibly powerful. They can point us in a different direction, teach us a lesson, help us articulate our emotions, take us on a new adventure, and change the way we think. They inform us, give us a new perspective and help shape us.

The most powerful ones change our lives forever.

If it weren’t for the books I’ve read, I’d be a different person today.

Books, especially the great ones, have that power. At least three books have fundamentally changed me as a human being, and I bet you can think of at least one that changed you for the better. …

Gavin de Becker’s six survival signals.

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During the first week of my freshman year at college, the junior Resident Assistant (RA) gathered the undergrads in a small room and told us the story of her rape. A man climbed through an open window of her dorm room and raped her.

I walked around the next six months to a year terrified, fearful I would be attacked if I wasn’t vigilant. I never went anywhere alone after dark again.

Many women can relate to this feeling of not wanting to walk around a city alone — we don’t feel safe doing so. I still think of that RA, I can still see her face, demeanor, and how the rape altered her, something bright was lost, at least put on pause for a while. …

The seven books I read once a year.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Books shape who we become. A book is like a friend. The right book can re-educate us and inform our lives for the better. A book can be a mentor when we have none or entertain us when we have no one.

There are a few books that have stood the test of time and are so good I reread them once a year when I’m feeling off track.

I find new revelations of meaning. I skim through their pages and read highlighted paragraphs and sentences that resonated with me during the first pass.

Sometimes, a book crosses our paths when we are not ready to meet it; its message goes right over our heads. This is what happened when I picked up number two on this list the first time I tried to read it, the second, and the third. Not until the fourth time, after my life took a turn, did I understand its wisdom. …

For healthy connecting.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Growing up, I didn’t witness the most functional communication skills from my parents. The model of an intimate relationship demonstrated was one of dysfunction and codependency.

My parents divorced after 25 years of marriage when I was out of the house and in college.

For the past couple of decades, I’ve been on a quest to learn how healthy people communicate — an autodidact of functional, communication skills and how to relate to others in a way that honors each person’s best self.

Becoming one’s true self in coupledom takes two people who commit to being fully realized on their own — whether in a relationship or not. …

Books give.

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Being a writer can be a lonely gig.

I don’t want to complain, but sometimes it feels I’m trapped in a room with isolation.

When I don’t want to write, and I feel like the only company I have are the thoughts in my head — and those thoughts just aren’t cutting it — I pick up a book, take off my pants, climb into bed, and read.

A book is a good friend. Engaging, entertaining, relaxing, reliable.

A good book can take you to Rome or Africa or Paris, or all three in one story. A novel can take you into the mind of an orphan or a fighter pilot or a comedienne.

Reading expands you, your ideas, and makes you think and feel. A good book allows you to develop empathy for a person you would not have understood had you not picked up that book.

For a writer, reading is a great way to spark ideas and is essential for growth.

For me, there is nothing like reading before bed to give me a good night’s sleep. …


The Happy Spot

“We read to know we are not alone.” ― C.S. Lewis

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