I heart books (books I love)
“A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another.”
– Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby
Books are one of my favorite parts of life, my most treasured possessions. I love being surrounded by books, and luckily, since my husband and I are both nerds (someone told me another word for this is “scholar” ;), I am surrounded by dozens and dozens of books, on shelves, in piles, all around our little house. Between the two of us, we have extensive collections on peace, nonviolence, conflict resolution, sustainability, Buddhism, depth psychology, Indigenous studies, yoga, Latin, Greek, war, classic literature, and a rather large collection of baby books for our daughter. They’re one thing I can’t really stop myself from buying. I love seeing them on my shelves, I love having one with me wherever I go. I love holding them in my hands, I love writing in them, I love being able to go back to them and reference them. They give me endless delight.
One good book always leads to another. A favorite author cites someone else and suddenly you are down a glorious rabbit hole of words and information and perspectives that never ends. Life feels to short to read all the books that deserve attention.
In 2018 I participated in the social media “book cover challenge,” posting 7 book covers in 7 days with no explanation (you can visit my Instagram account for all 7 covers, featuring my daughter Daphne, who was then just a few months old).
Mine seven book covers were, in no particular order:
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire*
Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown*
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Who Do We Choose to Be? By Meg Wheatley*
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke*
The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope*
Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh*
*I would also include any other book by these authors!
But who can name only seven books?! I would add, to make it an even 10:
Bearing Witness by Bernie Glassman
Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks*
Coming back to Life by Joanna Macy* and Molly Brown (the only reason Joanna wasn’t in the first list was because I had lent all her books out 🙂
Returning to Rebecca Solnit’s quote (who should also be on the list – Hope in the Dark and Men Explain Things to Me and basically anything she’s ever written), these books beat in my heart. Wildly. Passionately. Imaginatively, Inspiringly. They’ve opened my world, expanded my mind and heart, changed my life, filled me with endless delight.
What books beat in YOUR heart?
Special thanks to Nadia Colburn, whose online writing class inspired this post! You can find out more about her wonderful work and classes here.