2018 (SO FAR...) IN BOOKS
The first thing that Italians notice when walking into my house is that I don’t have a TV. The house of course came with one, but I gave it back to the owners. It’s not that I don’t like watching TV, it’s just that I get sucked in for hours and hours. Reality TV especially is like a drug, and I could easily sit and watch an entire season of Bravo’s Real Housewives in one weekend. I don’t have Netflix either - I find that my time is more valuable spent reading. I spend more than enough time on glowing screens between my computer and cell phone, so a book is a lovely break for the eyes and a chance to play with my imagination.
This year I read some great books, and I’m sharing them with you in order from how much I LOVED them. It’s an eclectic collection, from business to spiritual, with some must-read bestsellers and Italian novels in between.
The first book I read in 2018 and one of the most profound. It’s a funny read that really helped me change my mindset of abundance. Money can be made anywhere, it’s really true - but first we have to be open to receiving. This read prompted the start of a book club where I had the great honor to meet badass, business-minded women around the world.
Full proper post coming soon! This is EVERYTHING. I’ve had it in my house for years and it somehow made it with me to Palermo even though I could have sworn I threw it out. I started the 12-week program after I broke my ankle and needed to establish some kind of routine since I could no longer run. This program gave me the gift of the ‘morning pages’ (30 minutes of writing every morning), which have now become more necessary than coffee. Do all the exercises - they are there for a reason, especially the weeklong media detox.
Strangely enough, this book is from 2007 but everyone seems to be talking about it NOW. It’s written very simply, but the message is profound. It all just makes sense and will help you work through the trauma you’ve been carrying around with you without even realizing it.
Totally odd and addicting. Plus, Eleanor is such a lovable character. Read it in a day and you’ll find yourself both crying and laughing .
Last year at my former office in Milan, we set up a book corner where we could exchange books. Everyone told me to read this one, but I wasn’t ready for the italian tearjerker. I finally caved in and can confirm that it is one of the most unsuspecting endings to a book that I have ever read that literally had me gasping to myself out loud.
“Does it spark joy?” A question I ask myself before I buy ANYTHING. And this book came at the perfect time, right before I moved to Palermo. I donated a ton of stuff that I did not want to bring with me to my new life. I pride myself on being a minimalist, and I was able to fit my entire life into a small SUV. The less stuff I have laying around for no reason gives value to the things I actually do have.
I understand why EVERYONE is talking about this book. Holy crap this is amazing, even better than the Housewives. It’s a really easy read, even though there are so many characters. It’s super juicy and makes me want to go back to Asia - but this time to check out the grandma’s house in Singapore!
This one felt like it was written for a male audience, but it was just the spark I needed under my ass and to push myself to come up with my best ideas every day. It helped me regain a sense of pride in my work, and what I have to offer this world.
This was my third time reading this masterpiece, and each time I take away something different. What really struck me is the act of surrendering and when things are meant to be yours, they really will find a way to come back to you.
Last year I bought A Course in Miracles after hearing so much about it and quickly became discouraged. Not exactly an easy read. I love Marianne’s book because she takes the principles and turns them into a more bite-sized version. I’ve learned so much about surrendering, patience and connecting to our divine nature. One of the quotes I keep coming back to: “To place something in the hands of God is to give it over, mentally, to the protection and care of the beneficence of the universe. To keep it ourselves means to constantly grab and clutch and manipulate. We keep opening the oven to see if the bread is baking, which only ensures that it never gets a chance to.”
Another book club read. Lots of great business tips to get yourself aligned with your dreams. I especially loved how they opened up about failure, the importance of contracts in business and the Chalkboard Method (something I have tried and saw results with!).
What would you do if you knew you only had 100 days to live? My friend Laura brought me this witty, raw and refreshing read (her copy was translated in English). It really got me thinking about how I want to spend each day of my life, and inspired me to be bold and take more chances.
The cover made me pick the book up, but the story itself intrigued me. A pastry shop owner who falls in love with a voice she hears on the radio. A strange but interesting Italian novel, and I like how the author goes into such detail about both her real and fantasy lives.
BOOKS I HAVEN’T JUST FINISHED YET...
Just because I haven’t finished them yet, doesn’t mean they aren’t fantastic. These three books are ones that I pick up, read a few chapters, then go back to later on.
Being honest here: I can’t read more than one chapter at a time. It’s a book that every woman she read in her lifetime, and each page is filled with deep meaning. The opening is intense, so much so that I had nightmares. That’s a sign of a good piece of art - one that haunts you. More than anything, this book makes me want to ask the uncomfortable questions about what it means to be a woman and to explore the power, yet softness, of the divine feminine.
A thoughtful gift from my friend Linda of The Beehive in Rome after I got back from the hospital. I like to leave this beautiful book on my coffee table, as it brings great comfort like a warm hug or cup of tea to all who skim through it and stop on a story.
Did you know that legend has it that tarot originated from Milan? I had no idea. My dear friend and fellow card-lover Jackie gifted me this funny and informative guide to the mystical world of tarot cards that I keep going back to as I periodically pick cards.
What are some of the books you’ve read in 2018? Let me know in the comments.