Books I Read This Week 2020 – 10

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

My Path to Happy (3 stars): I enjoyed my time with this little book that brings to life the author’s journey with her depression. The drawings were cute and slightly juvenile. If you read this as the story of one person and her journey through this really dark time in her life, I think there’s a lot of authenticity and hope in her own journey even though not a lot of depth. However, I would not recommend giving this to anyone currently suffering from depression. The author makes a lot of choices for herself where she experiments with different ideas and ignores doctor recommendations. That might be completely ok for her but not necessarily great as advice to others since it’s important to see a professional and make your own choices around your mental health.

thank you to netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing fr an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

The Art of Spiral Drawing (4 stars): When I saw the cover of this book, I couldn’t stop staring at the unique and 3-dimensional looking drawings. This book breaks this style into very simple components and shows you how to make some of those much more complicated art pieces on the cover.

I’d never heard of Spiral Drawing but it’s super-cool looking and relatively simple to do. It reminds me of zentangles and once I’ve practiced enough I have no doubt it will be just as calming. If these intrigue you as much as they did me, I am sure you will love this book.

with gratitude to netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

21 Rituals to Connect with Nature (4 stars): I pick a word of the year each year and my word for 2020 is “wild.” My goal is to connect more with nature and to spend more time outdoors. So when I saw this book, I knew I was going to have to read it.

I knew nothing about the author and didn’t read much of the blurb either, so I had no prejudices going in. This book has 3 sections of 7 rituals each. Each ritual has the science behind it, an anecdotal story, and then the “what to do” as well as some thoughts to journal. All of them are relatively basic and simple but powerful exercises. If you go into this book thinking it will be new, complicated or unusual ideas, you will get disappointed.

Most of the ideas are things that involve your senses or intentionally being aware of the nature around you. Trees, birds, water, sun, etc. They might seem simple, but for me, they were the exact reminder I needed that there are really small things I can do each day that have profound effects in my life. I loved almost all the ideas in here.

Most of the ideas in the book are very tangible but there are a small handful of ideas that may or may not resonate with you depending on how you feel about psychic energy. Those didn’t fully resonate with me but it didn’t deter from the power of the overall book, for me.

I cannot wait to do these rituals again and again.

with gratitude to netgalley and Watkins Publishing for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Meditative Stone Art (4 stars): This book is about creating small pieces of art on top of stones. I have done that in the past and loved it but what really drew me to this book was the mandalas. I’ve been trying to learn how to draw mandalas and I loved the ones that were on the cover of this book. So I was hoping it would help me to learn more about how to draw them.

As the title indicates, this book has step by step of 40+ designs. It also has a template for every single one of them at the back of the book. for me, it was the perfect starting book. Besides the mandalas, it also has wonderful examples of beetles, butterflies, fish and other animals and plants.

If stone painting or mandalas are interesting at all to you, you will enjoy this book!

with gratitude to netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Expressive Sketchbooks (4 stars): If you’re a beginner Sketchbooker or are interested in beginning, I think you will really enjoy this delightful book. It has a great collection of the author’s sketchbooks and some really simple ideas to help get you started. And it also has elegant, beautiful, and more sophisticated ideas too. There’s a great mix of ideas with pencil, watercolor, and collage.

This book also talks about the emotional experience of creating, of doubting yourself, of getting stuck and learning to make peace with your art and looking at it as practice and learning. I really enjoyed the author’s kind voice and soft guidance throughout. She was both relatable and knowledgeable.

A great encouragement and idea-filled book for sketchers.

with gratitude to netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Postscript (3 stars): For reasons I couldn’t understand, I kept resisting reading this book. I barely remember reading the original and wasn’t sure if this would feel like an unnecessary extension of a lovely story that should have been well-enough left alone.

Thankfully, it didn’t feel that way. The story had its own proper plot and also had the benefit of seeing a story over time and reflecting on its lessons slightly differently after so much time had passed. Considering how long it had been since the first book, I though this was a nice juxtaposition between real life and the book.

I really liked it, of course. Ahern can write and knows how to weave a story well with memorable characters. If you liked the first, you will likely like this one, too.

Leave Only Footprints (5 stars): “It occurred to me that part of the reason I’d seen so much debate about the year’s first sunrise, and not its last sunset, was that our beginnings always seem more important than our endings. In life, we can often control how things start. Endings are elusive and amorphous and uncertain.”

I loved this book. My word of the year this year is “wild” which is about being in the wilderness more. In 2002, I did a cross-country trip with my husband where we went to 30+ national parks and promised each other to rent an RV when we retired so we could do more of that. So when I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it immediately. I wanted to revisit the parks I’d seen in person and find out about all the ones I hadn’t.

“I don’t know what, if anything, comes after this life. But I can tell you this: If there is a Heaven, I bet it looks a lot like Yosemite.”

And the book did not disappoint. It is the journey of the author over the course of a year as he visits every National Park in the United States. The book has parts that are informative, parts that are funny, and parts that are poignant. For me, it struck the perfect balance between the three, managing to make it a really enjoyable read.

“In a cave, you are simultaneously outdoors and indoors, protected from the elements and yet exposed to all sorts of new dangers.”

I will admit that more than once, I wished the book came with photos. I wanted to be able to imagine what the parks looked like as he told stories about being in them. Some are very briefly mentioned, while the others are longer. But I wanted to see photos of all of them. I spent time going between my book and internet searches so I could see the photos of the mentioned places.

“When I saw the pile, I couldn’t decide if it was depressing or beautiful. It’s probably a bit of both. It’s a monument to our desire to do the right thing, but it’s also proof that, sometimes, doing the right thing doesn’t matter. Sometimes it can be too little, too late.”

I know the author has live video segments, I haven’t seen any of them, but I will definitely go looking for them so I can enjoy all of this once more.

Thank you to netgalley and Crown Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

And there we go, another week of reading in 2020.

Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.