On My Nightstand

Some of you might have noticed to note-to-self I included in Project Life 2013 | Week Five about reading more. I go through phases where I'm completely immersed in reading and others where the last thing in the world I want to do at the end of the day is pick up a book. I definitely feel ready to carve out some time again. The words are calling to me and the pile on my nightstand has been growing tall.

As you read my book list below you might notice that they are all non-fiction. That's where I'm at right now. The common themes are openness, bravery, courage, mindfulness, taking action and memoir. These are the things that I want to fill my head with, what I want to invite into my life as I take the next steps on my own crazy, glorious adventure.

Here's what's currently there to read (or in-progress):

What are you guys reading now?

I'm super excited that Cathy's 12-week workshop Clean & Simple is open for registration.

Here's a bit about the class:

Say goodbye to your rulers and hello to a solution that allows you to use Photoshop Elements (or Photoshop) to build scrapbook pages in the digital method, which you'll print and piece together—using additional supplies from your stash—to create beautiful hybrid layouts. Digital sketching has been the core of Cathy's approach since her very first layout, and it's a key part of the Clean & Simple process. You'll learn how to use Photoshop Elements to plan and design pages, just like Cathy does.

Read more and sign up here.

41 thoughts

  1. Patti L

    2013-02-13 11:46:25 -0500

    I go thru phases with reading too, but I tend to go from book to book, even tho the genres change. I have the easy read type series which are crime mysteries and can be finished in a day at the beach, then there are those much longer ones. Best book I read recently was Stephen King's 11/22/63, a time travel tale about the JFK assassination. I'm not the biggest King fan overall, but that was good. I find I have been drawn to time travel in books, movies, stories lately.
    Right now I'm reading Les Miserables. I try to read one classic a year, it takes me a long time but I'm ok with that.
    Thanks for the non-fiction suggestions!

  2. emily ruth

    2013-02-13 12:25:11 -0500

    icarus is in my pile, too (i love seth, his daily emails are so wonderful!)
    'the painted girls' which i can't wait to dive into...
    'the house at teynsford' which is my book club book this month & very downtony...
    i have great hopes of reading 'the great gatsby' before the movie comes out...
    & i found 'naked' by david sedaris at goodwill & threw it on the pile too :)
    hooray for reading!

  3. emily ruth

    2013-02-13 12:30:08 -0500

    oh & 'wild' is so wonderful! especially as an oregonian. you can picture places (or at least know generally where they are :)
    her book of her advice column 'tiny beautiful things' is absolutely heart squeezing. highly highly recommend (& it's non-fiction, too, so it wouldn't break your trend :)

  4. Leslie

    2013-02-13 12:53:16 -0500

    I just finished Wild, you will love it. It's an amazing journey.

  5. Cori

    2013-02-13 13:17:05 -0500

    I loved Rowing It Alone by Debra Veal and I think you would like it too!

  6. dona B

    2013-02-13 14:54:50 -0500

    That's an awesome list of books. Wild was my favorite read from last year. I'm just finishing Joseph Anton, Salman Rushdie's biography of his years under the fatwa. Fascinating on many levels. I'm planning to start Daring Greatly next!

  7. Carmel Keane

    2013-02-13 15:25:00 -0500

    Would love to suggest to you "The Art of Deliberate Success"
    All about being mindful and very Deliberate in our daily actions to achieve what ever it is we wish for. Available on Amazon and here is the website:

  8. Terianne

    2013-02-13 15:30:37 -0500

    I recently read The Journal Keeper by Phyllis Theroux -- it's excerpts from her journal, and maybe because I'm an avid journaler, I found it very engaging. I also really enjoyed The Writing Life by Ellen Gilchrist.

  9. Melissa

    2013-02-13 15:43:54 -0500

    Ali I wanted to say thank you for posting these books. I sometimes skim your blogs as I don't typically scrapbook but find your work inspiring for the paper crafting I create. The most impactful was when my curiousity about Brene Brown. I typically, well never read non fiction. I watched her TED videos. I can't tell you how it resinated in me where I am in my life. How hard it is to be vulnerable because then I am weak. She is smart,articulate, humerous and real. I cried I laughed. I think I was mean't to see this today and get through the stuff I currently dealing with. I know being vulnerable is one of the hardest things for me to do. I know I will be thinking about this for some time. Maybe even journal about.

    Again thank you

  10. Jenny

    2013-02-13 18:11:51 -0500

    I have been trying to read some of the books my boys have been reading. I loved to read and still do, but less often, but all my books are "girl" books: Anne of Green Gables, Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew. I just finished the first 3 Guardian books by William Joyce. It was nice to read something that level for a change and not heavy as real life is at times.

  11. Sarah

    2013-02-13 18:48:34 -0500

    Thanks for sharing these! I've actually been digging through your site for some of your previous reading lists! I need more ideas!

  12. Hilary

    2013-02-13 20:14:27 -0500

    I'm reading The Happiness Project and I'm looking forward to reading her 2nd book, Happier At Home. I recently finished On Gold Mountain which is an interesting family history.
    I have a large stack of books to get through, mostly fiction, but also some non...The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack and Invictus are in there as well as a couple of Stephen King and Jodi Picoult books and even a few classics I've never gotten around to reading (Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility). If only there were more hours in the day!

  13. Debbie

    2013-02-13 21:29:22 -0500

    Perfect opportunity to say thank you, I've been meaning to tell you that. I first heard of Brene on your blog, then saw her on Katie and am now reading her books. It takes time to read them as they are quite thought provoking. I just love that the two of you value "wholeheartedness". It is what is all about. It is so nice to have my thoughts validated. We all have our not so perfect moments and you and Brene are there to inspire us on. What a wonderful gift your friendship is to each other. Thanks as always for your inspiration!

  14. Michele

    2013-02-13 21:52:48 -0500

    Wild is a great book. Just picked up QUIET and looking forward to reading that one.

  15. Kathy L

    2013-02-13 22:52:59 -0500

    Ali this was a great post. Inspired by what is on everyone's list. Your approach with a book list related to your OLW is a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Linda E

    2013-02-13 23:22:02 -0500

    I read Wild on vacation last summer and loved it!

  17. Glenda J

    2013-02-14 00:56:01 -0500

    I too have a long list and never read enough (I should be doing that right now). Thanks for sharing your list. I'm currently reading Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell... cool book. Thanks for sharing... always love your inspiration.

  18. Elizabeth A

    2013-02-14 07:58:39 -0500

    You have to read "The Language of Flowers"... a great story with the meaning of flowers intertwined throughout!

  19. falwyn

    2013-02-14 14:34:16 -0500

    Some favorite books of mine: The Orchid Thief; Princess Academy and Book of a Thousand Days (both by Shannon Hale); The Last Unicorn; the Little House books.

    I love keeping track of my books on Goodreads.com.

    I've also started listening to audiobooks (mostly through Audible.com) and I am really enjoying that, especially on long car rides. My kids loved The Secret Garden (the Yorkshire accent is so much fun in audiobook form!) and Lord of the Rings, and we are listening to the Ramona books now.

  20. Paula

    2013-02-14 18:33:16 -0500

    I am reading Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children With Sensory Processing Disorder - it's not a new book, but it is really helping me work through challenges with my 15 year old daughther who has Aspergers and anxiety/panic. I am also reading The Maze Runner series aloud with my daughter, which has been great fun! If you liked The Hunger Games, you'll probably like The Maze Runner!

  21. Bonney

    2013-02-14 21:18:27 -0500

    Ali, you have a great bedside pile of books. I also love reading all the responses here with many great suggestions. I tend to read more non-fiction than fiction. One title that has stayed at the top of my "recommend to all who will listen" list is Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down about "a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures." Riveting and thought provoking on so many levels.

    Fiction I would recommend includes anything by Louise Erdrich (recently finished The Round House, am rereading Tracks), Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, and Brooklyn by Colm Toibin.

  22. Melanie A.

    2013-02-15 11:02:14 -0500

    I am currently in the middle of two books...A Dog Named Boo and Beyond Ordinary; When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good enough

    I too love to read and have stacks waiting on me and can never resist getting more. Someone mentioned The Happiness Project, that is on the list.

  23. Evelinne Lopes

    2013-02-16 09:11:11 -0500

    Just finished Gone Girl, it is AMAZING!! I will be done with Thirteen Reasons Why today, very good too. Ali, you would love an app called GOODREADS, it's so cool, you can keep track of your books, and you can be friends with people and there is reviews, it's so cool!

  24. Darby

    2013-02-19 00:19:20 -0500

    Great reading list! I love Brene Brown's books. I am reading A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver, Poemcrazy by Susan Wooldridge, and Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach

    A favorite author of mine is Paulo Coehlo...favorites of his books are - The Pilgrimage, The Alchemist, The Valkyries, and By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.

  25. Sarah

    2013-02-25 18:09:10 -0500

    I often search your blog to see when you make reading lists like this one... I have so many of your recommendations on my bookshelf as well as those from the comments. Thanks for sharing everybody!!

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