Since my last reading roundup, my book time has slowed down. Maybe it’s the increase in the sunshine that makes me want to get up and do things (hello Vitamin D!) or maybe it’s because I actually HAVE been doing more things:
- I learned Reiki.
- I learned Quantum Healing Hypnosis Therapy.
- I started working on a certification in teaching Mindfulness so I can bring the power of this practice to the greater Mount Pleasant community.
- I went to Mackinaw Island with my mom and sister. It was our first “girls getaway” in (I think) forever, and it was fabulous.
- I’ve been cleaning out my basement.
Basement Life Lessons
There is a real life lesson in that “cleaning out my basement” point. The basement of your house is a true foundation, both literally (it holds up your house) and figuratively (representing the foundation upon which you stand.)
If your basement is cluttered and dirty like mine was, it lurks in the back of your mind. I was thinking, “Oh, I’ll get to it some day.”
On the other hand, I had dreams of moving my office space to the basement. In turn, I’d gain a guest room. Or maybe, I’d gain a place to practice both reiki and Quantum Healing Hypnosis Therapy.
Like any big project, I broke cleaning the basement into small segments. For five straight days, I spent 1-2 hours cleaning and straightening.
Like I said, it was a MESS.
Several times during the cleaning process, I’ve stopped and visualized what I want in the basement. And by visualize, I mean I’ve literally walked around, and pretended to show someone around my beautiful basement. I get very detailed, too.
Well first I had to clean, right, and that took a few days. Then I had a friend help me paint the walls. The floor I had done professionally – and it makes such a difference to make it light and bright down here. The office moved down next, and I love using this old desk from the 60s that came with the house. Just walking down to the space feels like going to “work” versus going into a different room. There’s a space here for storage; I’m so happy I can finally store my winter clothes downstairs. The boiler was replaced, and the house finally has air conditioning.
Funny thing is, describing these changes only increases my desire to get the space cleaned. All this cleaning left me little time for reading!
(Total non sequitur) Of course, my reading was also hampered by binge watching the epic sci-fi pseudo opera TV show Babylon 5 as it streamed for free on Amazon Prime in June. It was my first time watching the show and I loved it. Back to the books.
Full disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a link and buy something (even if it’s not the particular book,) I receive a little compensation.
Seanan McGuire is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors. I learned about her from a friend who reads more than me and we both have devoured most of her books – which is saying a lot. The InCryptid series follows professional ballroom dancer turned friend-of-monsters Verity Price as she shimmies at the bar, tumbles across rooftops, and fights the good fight. All that and burgeoning true love. First in the series is Discount Armageddon. I just finished Midnight Blue-Light Special, too.
The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield. As part of the mindfulness certification, I had to read a book or several about mindfulness. Jack Kornfield is a good introduction, and I really liked how he broke down the functions of mindfulness into things I could easily understand and relate. Gentle wisdom and good storytelling combine with modern psychology.
Summers at Blue Lake is the first novel from Jill Althouse-Wood. Take one miserable divorce, two grandmother lesbians, and fond memories of summers spent at the lake…then combine with the pieces of a puzzle coming together in one bittersweet picture. It’s a darned fine summer read.
Clear Home, Clear Heart by Jean Haner. Not long ago I watched a video of Jean Haner in one of those free summits I post about on Facebook. I was captivated by her talking about clearing space, so picked up this book, and within a day or so had cleared myself and my cats – thanks to a pendulum and copper dowsing rods. I cleared the house, too, which may explain the whole basement thing; and yes, the house felt different after I cleared it. Hmmm, maybe I should get certified in space and personal clearing, too?
The “Honor Harrington” novels by David Weber. Also recommended by a friend, this is another sci-fi epic space odessy of novels. I chunked my way through ten of them, then just had to put the books down – not because they’re not good, mind you. Instead, I got tired of the militaristic (war mongering?) focus. But if you love sci fi, don’t let that stop you from trying these out; I suspect I’ll be back into the series at some point. Start with the first in the series – On Basilisk Station – to get a real feel for the brilliance of Honor Harrington.
The Memory Code by Dr. Lynne Kelly. As I write this, I’m about half way through this book, subtitled “The Secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island, and Other Ancient Monuments.” It’s incredible. She’s explored how Australian Aborigines encode memory (events, people, seasons) into places, and then extrapolated and applied to her own life. In one chapter she takes the reader on a walk around her neighborhood. She uses the objects and places to help her remember geological and archaeological history.
As Epsi [her dog] and I walk down the drive from home, the first life – the first photosynthesis- is happening… We walk through geological eras and eons, one per house: Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic, Paleozoic, and into the Mesozoic. The last house on the block has a very messy garden, which makes remembering that this is the Mesozoic very easy. For a reason I have never been able to discern, Epsi doesn’t like the Mesozoic and tries to head back home when we get there. I pick her up and nod to the dinosaurs as I carry her through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. From the Pliocene on, she is perfectly happy to walk, even though the big noisy dogs are at the house with Lucy, the famous australopithecine from the Pliocene who has no idea the stir her skelatal remains will one day cause when they are found over three million years later. I turn the first corner in the Jurassic, 200 million years ago. By the time we reach the next corner, now well into the Cenozoic, we have encountered many long-extinct hominid species. Homo erectus stands upright just as I get to the last house on this block. The corner is one million years ago, which I decided was the best place to change from geologic time to archaeological time and enter the Paleolithic.
But what really kerpd me reading is the fact that she has applied this knowledge of encoding memory into many other ancient monuments around the world – including Stonehenge and New Grange. Fascinating!
The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber A thriller with books, bookstores, book writers, and book restoration? Yes please. There’s a secretive twist on Shakespeare, too. This book spans centuries and continents and is a true fun read. I’d read more by Michael Gruber.
Have you read anything good recently? Tell me about it in the comments.