Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Therapy: Lessons Learned

There was a moment the other morning when I felt completely and utterly content.  I was sitting in my (cat-shredded) green gingham chair, Sheba was on the windowsill checking out the dog-walkers in the courtyard, and the apartment was filled with mid-morning sun and a light breeze.  It was really pretty perfect.

Sheba and I have many mornings together like that, which is one of the things about my life that I truly love, but life (my life, at least) is often a mixed bag.  There are ups and downs, times where I feel stretched to the limit and others when I feel underutilized, moments when I'm anxious, restless, curious, silly, when all I want is to be with my friends and when all I want is to be left alone.  I'm...pretty sure this makes me human.

If you haven't heard of Tolstoy Therapy yet, stop reading now and go check it out.  Lucy writes about handling life's many moments with books - poems, literature, essays, nonfiction - and the lessons we learn from them.  I love the idea, and the site, and decided to make a list of my own.  Here are some of the authors whose writing I find helpful/inspiring/comforting during:

Delicious (weekend) mornings:
Terry Pratchett
Jasper Fforde
Dodie Smith

The lonely hours:
JK Rowling
Diana Gabaldon
Jonas Jonasson
Muriel Barbery

Escaping on a lunch break/commute/evening of insomnia:
Joanne Harris
Steig Larsson
Jussi Adler-Olsen
Daniel Silva

The doldrums, or when you need a laugh:
P.G. Wodehouse
Dorothy L. Sayers
Agatha Christie
Sarah Addison Allen

Terrific resources:
Reading Lists from a UK organization called "Reading Well"
Bibliotherapy Recommendations from Tolstoy Therapy
Lit Therapy, where you can pick an emotion and find bookish recommendations.

What would your list look like? Have you heard of bibliotherapy?

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