I love to read, and I love to talk about the books I like best with other people. Every couple months here on the blog I choose my favourites from what I’ve read lately and write about them. As always, you can see everything I’m reading on my Goodreads profile. You can also check out what I’m reading in real time at #stephlovestoread on Instagram.
This summer was a great one for reading! I finally came out of my reading slump and ended up flying through so many books this summer that I did a double-take when I saw how many books I’d read in July alone. I decided to put the last 4 months together and pull my favourites from the past few months. Yay! So much good stuff to read.
The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
This was the first thing I read on vacation – I borrowed it from Katie as soon as I landed in New York and was promptly swept away on an Italian getaway. This books spans several generations and moves (almost too) quickly through them, but happily you love each new set of characters as much as the last. It’s a long book, but I also didn’t want it to end. Also: can I visit this fictional island?! My heart is broken that it doesn’t exist.
Just Kids by Patti Smith
This was our book club’s pick for August and damn, was it good. I came away feeling so inspired to make things just for the sake of it, to stay focused and committed to your work, and to love the hell out of your friends. Patti Smith is an amazing writer, and she writes so beautifully about her friendship with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. This is one of Seth Godin’s favourite books, which is what brought it to my attention at first. Our discussion during book club was all about art, friendship, meaning, and finding community. So good!
Wabi Sabi Welcome by Julie Pointer Adams
The basic premise of this book is that you can entertain imperfectly, and it can be beautiful. She emphasizes that the most important thing is gathering often with your favourite people, no matter what that looks like. The book is also full of absolutely gorgeous photographs from different places around the world that embody wabi-sabi entertaining: Japan, Denmark, California, France and Italy. The photos are not polished or staged, just perfectly imperfect in and of themselves. It felt like such a refreshing (and approachable) way to bring people together.
Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer
A journalist tries to improve his memory and ends up winning the U.S. Memory Championship one year later. In this book, he tells the whole story while also explaining lots of practical techniques for improving your own memory. My friend Laura recently tested me almost a month after first reading this book, and I could remember a whole grocery list of random items that I’d memorized in a memory palace, verbatim. It’s not hard, and so fun! My social insurance number now lives in my childhood bedroom (in my mind). Highly recommend: fun and helpful at the same time.
You can see all my book recommendation blog posts here.
What’s the best thing you’ve read lately? Tell me your recommendations!