Finding Inspiration in “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within” by Natalie Goldberg

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.
Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

Seeking inspiration to start writing? Then pick up Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Goldberg encourages her readers to begin writing and stop planning to write, stop complaining that they can’t write, and stop procrastinating on their writing task. To become a writer, to be able to write, one must first begin to write.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Goldberg helps her readers buckle down and start writing by offering tips and some tricks to get started. She also quotes words of wisdom that she picked up from her Zen master, Katagiri Roshi, and applies them to the art and life of writing.

You can’t help getting swept up in this book and lifted by Goldberg’s inspiring words. By the end of it, you will immediately want to pick up a pen and begin to scribble away. Like Dorothea Brande, Goldberg makes you believe that writing is possible. All it takes is for you to get started.

I especially recommend this book for beginning writers. Goldberg makes you want to start writing and keep writing. Here are a few words of advice that stood out to me:

Continue reading “Finding Inspiration in “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within” by Natalie Goldberg”

“Literary Fashions for Serious Book Nerds” — Flavorwire

For those of us who are fashionable book-nerds, here is one for you. Flavorwire has compiled a list of outfits inspired by books and/or made from them. My favorites are below:

By Carrie Ann Schumacher
by Carrie Ann Schumacher

This beautiful dress was made by Carrie Ann Schumacher from 50 romance novels. It’s very lovely and represents well what it is made from.

by Tata Christiane

by Tata Christiane

This outfit, designed by Tata Christiane, is based on Gabriel García Márquez’s, 100 Years of Solitude. It is made to represent magical realism, an important element in  Márquez’s novel; though, I must agree with Flavorwire here that the outfit is more magical than realistic. I like it because it is whimsical.


“Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere” by Lauren Leto

Judging a Book by Its Lover
Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

Here’s another hilarious book on books.

I came across this one on It was up for grabs on the Giveaways section. I liked the title so I entered the drawing but, as fortune would have it, I did not win the free book. Upset, I decided to forget about about reading it but while snooping around Barnes & Noble for a copy of the Steve Jobs autobiography, I stumbled upon Judging a Book by Its Lover and decided to buy it.

I enjoyed reading this book. Leto is funny. I read it while on the plane, which was a bit distracting since I’m always staring out the window at the clouds, almost blinding myself by the sun. This was a quick read and by the time the plane landed, I was a few pages from its end. The flight was about 4 hours long.

Judging a Book by Its Lover is a book of essays on books and book-lovers and types of book-lovers. My favorite chapters were “What Your Child Will Grow Up to Be if You Read Them…” and “How to Fake It.” I might just use some of the tips listed in “How to Fake It” for fun. Many readers have faked reading a book, though they might never admit to it. I faked reading the Lord of the Rings series for quite sometime before I knuckled down and began reading it. Back then, if I found myself in a conversation about the books, I would just use my knowledge of the movies to carry me through.

The references to books and authors will keep you giggling throughout. Sometimes it will wear you down, though, as sections drag on. But if you stick with it, you are sure to enjoy the book.

Quote from book: “People aren’t fully formed yet in middle school, they’re just globs of hormones and wandering personality traits gained through osmosis from pop culture, with senses of humor consisting entirely of canned lines from funny movies.”

“One for the Books” by Joe Queenan

One for the Books
Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

I totally enjoyed reading this one. Queenan is hilarious and very sarcastic. I chuckled so much while reading this book on the train that quite a few times a fellow passenger would inquire of what I was reading. This book is like a tribute to books. Queenan discusses his weird, bookish quirks and all the places that books have brought him and that he has brought them.

This is one for book-lovers. A wealth of bookish topics are discussed as Queenan recounts his experiences with books, such as how to read books, whether or not to write in them, e-readers, organizing books, and book clubs (the section on book clubs is one of the funniest parts).

I hope to re-read this book in the future when, I hope, I can understand all the literary references stated in it. Being quite young, I haven’t read as much as Queenan who has thus far read about 6,128 books in his lifetime. I do wonder if he really has read that many books or if he’s just throwing out a random number. Anyways, I have no idea of how many books I’ve read thus far in my life. I know it’s quite a lot since I have never went without a book or stopped reading them since the day I discovered books, which was pretty early in life since my mother was an English teacher, but I do hope to top that number.

I discovered this book on the Wall Street Journals website where I read an excerpt of it. I love reading books on books and since it was hilarious, I dashed to Barnes & Noble to get a copy. Check out the excerpt here.

Quote from book: “A reading life, a friend once told me, is an adventure without maps where you meet unexpected soulmates along the way.”

“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

Available at your local bookstore.
Available at your local bookstore.

It’s my second time reading The Giver and again I am quite taken by the story. Here is a society in which every aspect of reality is controlled from the weather, to what people eat, to what they are allowed to think, for the most part.

The story opens with Jon, an observant boy who is about to turn twelve, the age at which he will receive his Assignment. He is anxious about it: Who will he be assigned to become? What role in the community will he be assigned to fulfill?

Opening the story with Jon gives us a sense of the type of society he lives in. Through his eyes, we are able to see how unnaturally structured the community is and how much the people’s lives are controlled by those in charge.

Everyone is expected to act the same and abide by the rules in the community. There is a three-strike policy and if a person breaks a rule a third time, he is “released” from the community. Sameness is of utmost importance and difference is not accepted. Those who may seem different must assimilate to the community’s practices or they will be “released.”

At the community’s Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas receives his assignment as the Receiver of Memory, an honored position in the community. For this position, Jonas will receive all the memories of the community, which is like the history of the community and the human race. Being the Receiver of Memory, Jonas is exempt from Sameness. He is allowed to be different. In being different, he is allowed to feel and experience emotion, something that other members of the community are unable to do. Until this moment, Jonas was unaware that he was prevented from experiencing emotions or being able to choose.

Continue reading ““The Giver” by Lois Lowry”

“9 Fun Etsy Items Inspired By THE HOBBIT” — Book Riot

So while perusing Book Riot, I came across this post 9 Fun Etsy Items Inspired By THE HOBBIT. They have some cool stuff listed. My favorites are below.

Directions to Middle Earth (The Hobbit) wall art
Directions to Middle Earth (The Hobbit) wall art

This wall art is so cool. I plan to get it soon to hang in the hallway.


"You have excellent manners for a thief and a liar" - Smaug (the dragon from The Hobbit
“You have excellent manners for a thief and a liar” – Smaug (the dragon from The Hobbit)

I like this print as well. I would hang it in my dining room.