Books I Read This Week 2019 – 38

Very few books this week. It was a long, long week. Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

The Practicing Mind (4 stars): “Habits are learned. Choose them wisely.” 

I’ve highlighted so much of this book. I picked this book up because someone at work recommended it to me and even though it’s a tiny book, it took me a while to read it because I knew pretty much right away that this is one of those books that I need to read slowly to keep reminding myself of what I know to be true but can’t seem to remember when it matters.

“….life itself is nothing more than one long practice session, an endless effort to refine the motions, both physical and mental, that compose our days.”

isn’t that a wonderful perspective? If life were a practice session and there was no end goal, we could focus on the present moment so much more.

“… the practicing mind is quiet. It lives in the present and has laser-like, pinpoint focus and accuracy. It obeys our precise directions, and all our energy moves through it. Because of this, we are calm and completely free of anxiety. We are where we should be at that moment, doing what we should be doing and completely aware of what we are experiencing. There is no wasted motion, physically or mentally.”

I have experienced this before and it’s magical. Being in the present moment, and focusing on what matters most right now is an incredible feeling. 

“You cannot control what you are not aware of. Awareness must come first.”

This is the biggest truth for me. There’s a whole section in the book about observing yourself. Seeing what you do/think and correcting it. If you don’t pay attention, if you’re not aware, nothing else matters because you’ve missed step 1.

“When you focus your mind on the present moment, on the process of what you are doing right now, you are always where you want to be and where you should be. All your energy goes into what you are doing. However, when you focus your mind on where you want to end up, you are never where you are, and you exhaust your energy with unrelated thoughts instead of putting it into what you are doing. In order to focus on the present, we must give up, at least temporarily, our attachment to our desired goal. If we don’t give up our attachment to the goal, we cannot be in the present because we are thinking about something that hasn’t occurred yet: the goal.”

I love this. I wish I could do this more and better. Let’s say I am still practicing getting better at this.

“The problem with patience and discipline is that developing each of them requires both of them.”

Ain’t that the truth. 

“Regardless of the stage of growth and evolution you are in, in every moment you are perfect at being who you are.”

And this is the best part for me. Because it’s also the truth. We are each constantly evolving and growing and changing. And we are also each perfect at being who we are. I love the idea of adopting the practicing mind and being better at observing and correcting myself so I can continue to focus on the practice and not the goal. 

It’s going to require daily practice and discipline.

The Turn of the Key (3 stars): This was a perfectly satisfactory thriller. I have read several books by Ware and haven’t always loved them so I wasn’t jumping to read this one but I was in the mood for a thriller and this was next up in my queue. I ended up really enjoying it. The “haunted” parts of the book were actually more interesting and chilling than the mystery itself and by the time the reveal happened I had guessed a bunch of the book. (Though I hadn’t guessed the killer, even though it was pretty obvious in retrospect.) There also were bits of the story that didn’t wrap up that I wished had. But overall it was a satisfying and quick read.

A Bend in the Stars (4 stars): I usually try not to read novels set around WWII but this particular story takes place during WWI-era Russia and the ratings were so high that I decided I had to give it a try. I am so glad I did. It was a great story mixing history with science and feminism and romance and highlights the complexities around being a woman (especially in science) and being Jewish and highlights all the complexity and hatred during this time. It was a beautiful, at times harrowing, at times uplifting story to read. I also really loved that it centered around a real solar eclipse in 1914. I really enjoyed reading this one and recommend it to fans of historical fiction.

And there we go, an ok week of reading. Here’s to a great week next week.

Books I Read this Week 2019 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 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.

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