Sometimes fiction comes too close to fact. Recently, I’ve had to take a break from reading thrillers that feature crazy despots and dishonest politicians cavorting with the enemy. I’ve found three books that calm me down, inspire me to work for change, and provide hope that this too will pass. Buy one or more for yourself and don’t forget that special friend who desperately needs to de-stress.
Gmorning, Gnight! Little Pep Talks for Me & You
Illustrated by Jonny Sun
Get your day off to a positive start and end your day so you can sleep like a baby with uplifting words from Lin-Manuel Miranda. The master mind behind Hamilton, one of Broadway’s juggernauts, Miranda manages to craft a few words that are uplifting, happy, and many times funny. “Gmorning, friendos! Make good choices! Listen to you inside voices!” Will set you on the right track before you’ve even gotten out of bed. Before your head hits the pillow, end with, “Gnight, friendos! Make good choices! Live your life and raise your voices!” I have the hardcover, but reviewers rave about the audio version where Miranda himself delivers each line. Illustrations by Jonny Sun add to the fun.
Almost Everything – Notes on Hope
Anne Lamott remains one of my favorite writers. Her Bird by Bird continues to inspire writers young and old. This book is a treasure, She doesn’t avoid some of the headlines haunting us these days. But she quickly finds positive things that we can focus on to get through the bad times. And she’s funny! When asked by an elderly friend about death, she says: “Death is not the enemy; snakes are. And cheese: it is addictive and irresistible. I have had three kinds fo far today.” And she delivers advice perfect for these times: “We have to make ourselves available to one another, or we can’t experience goodness.” Amen to that.
The Sun and Her Flowers
Rupi Kaur, who was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to Canada as a child, is only 26. Her last book of poetry and prose, Milk and Honey, was a New York Times bestseller. The Sun and Her Flowers is broken up into five sections – wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming – wiht her poems and illustrations. There’s something simple yet complex about her poems, allowing for thoughtful contemplation after each one. This is a book to be read slowly over time, savoring every morsel.