Month: January 2017



The books we read reflect who we are and what’s important to us. They also represent the cutting edge of who we hope to become.


table top books
FINDING HOPE, A Book of Quotes and Inspiration has been reported to have a permanent place on many nightstands. ūüôā

This morning as I write, I have beside me an end table. It’s¬†a “modern” 50’s piece my mother purchased for her home back in the day. Without drawers or frills, it’s a style that has come full circle, and¬†still not my idea of beautiful. I ¬†love it because my mother loved it. When I touch it, or polish it, or glance at it, I feel her presence with me.

All scuffed and marred from years of traveling hither and yon, and too many moments of neglect, I toy with the idea of refinishing it. For now, it has a different purpose. It shelves my wish to read or re-read books and the working copies of my own creative endeavors. I keep them close by, like the table, to remind me of what I love and what I yearn toward. This 16″ x 24″ x 36″ space symbolizes¬†the growing edge of me, my intentions and the mystery yet to unfold.


A stack of books on the bottom shelf contain a few my favorites and¬†a few more I want to finish. ¬†On the bottom of the pile is a recent edition of American Poet, a wonderful journal of poetry I receive as a member of the Academy of American Poets.¬† I love poetry, though¬†I don’t¬†spend¬†near enough time¬†writing and reading it.

‚ÄúA poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Robert Frost

Next are a couple of old standbys and a few new ones:

Stack of booksSIMPLE ABUNDANCE, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,¬†by Sarah Ban Breathnach – Is it ever possible to get too much of this gem?¬†If you don’t have a copy, get one. The next thing you know you’ll be buying one for a friend.

DEFY GRAVITY, Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason by Caroline Myss РA synthesis the writers lifetime of work and writing as a medical intuitive, Myss shows how she sees healing, not just a physical process, but as one that requires transcending reason. She believes, in fact, that healing is a mystical phenomenon.

THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP – I am forever hopeful. It is¬†a great book and has helped me pare down and simplify my life, even if it’s still a work in progress!

MY LIFE STORY SO FAR, A journal of personal history, unforgettable people, and the details — big or small — that have shaped my life. My sweet, sweet, daughter-in-law gave me this journal for Christmas this year. She knows me already. I most definitely did not lose a son. I gained a daughter, something I always wanted.

WRITING CREATIVELY & WRITING UP A STORM (Two versions of the same book) by Celia Leaman, a writing instructor become friend. This gem is packed full of need-to-know information on the practical matters of writing. Her British wit and humor turns some very dull topics into a delightful read.  I turn to her books whenever I want to work on my craft.

LEARNING TO WALK IN THE DARK by Barbara Brown Taylor¬†– ¬†Taylor’s book is the next book I intend to read as¬†part of my daily reflective reading (Lectio Divina*) practice. I will say more about it after I’ve read it!


Two¬†books on top of my armchair¬†table, books my mother never had the opportunity to read. Mine. She knew I wanted to write, and saved everything I ever wrote to her, but it wasn’t until her last days that I found the courage to go beyond the random poem or journal entry.¬†The first piece published was about my family’s struggle to manage her care. I didn’t share it with her because I didn’t want her to know our difficulties.

She would be proud of my meager attempts. She always saw the best in me, though she couldn’t begin to understand my struggles. I believe, however, that her ability to see the best in everyone provided the cornerstone of hope in my own life.

My books are still a work in progress. I see their flaws and find it difficult to set them free. I understand this is a writer’s affliction. I’m most content with Finding Hope, though I still want to re-write the first few essays. As for Midlife Pathways? I want to trash it and start over. I keep it in view to keep me honest and I make notes in it from time to time.

The question remains: WHAT BOOKS ARE ON YOUR  END TABLE? What do they say about the cutting edge of who you are and what you yearn toward?

(Look closely at the stack of books in the picture and you will see a¬†bookmark in each. A gift from a friend, I received these bookmarks in a freshly printed copy of her new book Note to Self, A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth.¬†¬†Laurie Buchanan’s book is¬†a great read! You also owe it to yourself to pay a visit to her website and read¬†her blog. Tuesdays with Laurie. Each Tuesday, without fail, she gives her readers something to think about.

*”Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, that means “divine or sacred reading”. A traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer. It the broadest sense, it is a practice of reflective reading whereby one reads inspirational literature¬†with an open mind , heart¬†and spirit with the intention¬†to listen, hear and experience a closer connection with Spirit.¬†