Thursday, June 13, 2019

Jan's Summer Reading 2019 ...




Fill your house with stacks of books,
in all the crannies and all the nooks!

Dr Suess



Hi Everyone!

I've just finished my last workshop of the season, the new Compassion Fatigue: Going Deeper - Trauma, Spirituality and Resilience, and it went wonderfully well according to the evaluations. So now I can turn my face to the long, happy days of summer with the wedding of my goddaughter, Rebecca, at the end of the month and, two days later, a flight to Toronto followed by a long drive and boat ride to the Kahshe Lake cottage for two glorious weeks of rest, writing and rejuvenation. (Thank heaven for dear friends willing to share their waterfront retreat!)

As usual, I'm having trouble deciding how many books I can fit in my suitcase! Here's the list from which I'll be choosing this year:

1.  Work Fuel: Boost Performance. Improve Focus. Eat Your Way to Success. by Graham Alcott and Colette Heneghan. (2019)
This book focuses on viewing food as fuel and making choices that will give your brain and body the best chance for optimum performance. For those of us who work, it promises ways to boost energy and productivity and fit healthy eating into already busy lives. I'm a sucker for books on healthy eating and this book's post-it phrases like "ditch the al desko lunch" and "be a fuelie" promise a light touch.
2.   The Art of Typing: Powerful Tools for Enneagram Typing by Ginger Lapid-Bogda. (2018)
This new-to-me book by one of the organizational experts in the Enneagram field, is written to help people type themselves or help others type themselves in a more accurate way. It offers detailed differentiating questions to help others clarify their type and, specifically, to differentiate between type pairs from the nine Enneagram personality types. I like Ginger's straight-forward teaching style and look forward to gleaning some new pointers in Enneagram typing. (If you're interested in the amazingly accurate and powerful Enneagram, I will be offering a beginners workshop on Friday November 22nd on Granville Island. You're very welcome to join us!)
3.  Life on the Ground Floor: Letters From the Edge of Emergency Medicine by James Maskalyk, MD (2017)
This award-winning memoir has been waiting on my shelf for the past year and, remembering my own years in critical care nursing, I'm looking forward to hearing how things have changed (or not) as I've gone off in other directions. I understand that it is a somewhat raw read so it may be a book to pace slowly over a couple of weeks.
4.  Rumi's Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart and the Spirit by Rumi and Maryam Mafi (Translator) (2012)
A collection of 196 poems, previously unavailable in English, from the 13th Century Sufi poet, Rumi, focusing on coming to grips with the inner life. This small book is a guide to the inner journey, one which I hope will make a good companion for contemplation on quiet sunrise mornings by the Lake.
5. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans (2015) I was drawn to this title as I researched the Trauma, Spirituality and Resilience workshop and I have to admit that I'd never heard of the author, Rachel Held Evans. As I researched a bit further, I discovered that she was an American Christian columnist, blogger and New York Times best-selling author, all by the time she was 30. And that she had died suddenly and tragically of flu complications on May 4th of this year, leaving a loving husband, two small children and a world-wide audience. She was apparently "radically inclusive" in her progressive beliefs and "wickedly funny" as she pointed out Biblical contradictions and church frailties. I'll look forward to good conversations about these ideas sitting on the deck as the sun goes down.
6. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown (2017) My good friend, Sandra, and I have been reading this book together -  she, as she faces into widowhood after years of carepartnering and me, as I make one more attempt to complete a book on chronic sorrow. For each of us, there is a sense of vulnerability and an enhanced perception of what Brene calls "the wilderness" as we walk our individual paths. Brene defines the wilderness as an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching, a place as dangerous as breathtaking, as sought after as feared. It is where we show up as our true selves and brave uncertainty, standing alone, and potential criticism. 
7.  Slow Dancing With a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer's by Meryl Comer (2014) This is a re-read for me. Since I first opened the pages of this book five years ago, three friends have been diagnosed with early onset dementia and I want to go through Meryl's poignant writing once again to resensitize myself to the experience of spousal caregivers dealing with dementia. (I say "re-sensitize" because I've often thought that caregiving is a little like labour and delivery - excruciating in the moment but gradually forgotten once the pain ends.)
8.  The Black Ascot (2019) and A Forgotten Place (2018) by Charles Todd.  These books will provide my escape reading while lying on the dock. Each is one of a series - the former about a British police inspector returned from World War I with shell shock or PTSD and the latter about, Bess Crawford, a returned WW I nursing sister. Both struggle with personal demons as well as a murder mystery in each volume in the series.

So, there's the list for this summer. I intend to enjoy as many books as I can while at the cottage and hope you might enjoy a few of them as well.