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January Reading List | An Inward Glimpse
This month I’ve been allowing myself an inward glimpse. I’ve been reading and journaling, circling around the thoughts of this new year and my persistent aspirations. I am managing a significant life change, and I would like the decisions I make over the next 4 to 6 weeks to have a lasting positive impact. So, I’ve been reading these books to help me see into my soul-self a little more clearly. Some of these books are new reads, some are old favorites.
What are the books you turn to, time and again, to help you manage change?
My January reading list in print form is 100% seed catalogs. Bob and I are re-working our vision of the market garden and that work is being informed by the beautiful and inspiring collection of seed catalogs that fill my mailbox in January. I must have at least 25 catalogs to review, but my favorites are:
- John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds
- Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
- Seed Savers Exchange
- Territorial Seed
- Johnny’s Select Seeds
What’s your most trusted source of seeds?
On the Kindle
- The Goddess in Older Women, by Jean Shinoda Bolen. I am simply looking for insight on how to age with authenticity. Jean Shinoda Bolen is a Jungian analyst, a feminist, and a thought leader in female spirituality. Her books have helped me navigate every turn in my adult life, from the Goddess in Every Woman, to Crossing to Avalon, to Like a Tree, I have found her thoughts and words to be penetrating and illuminating. She writes from her personal experience, and I find this style to be particularly helpful at this point in my life.
- The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer is a very practical guide for learning to let go of all the worries and concerns that clog up the mind. Singer teaches this approach to clearing the mind so that one can meet life with clarity before action. I read it in one sitting, but think I need to go back for a second slower read.
- Making Life Easy by Christiane Northrop, MD. Dr. Northrop is a leader in women’s health. She created the first western medicine clinic dedicated to a holistic approach to women’s wellness. This book is a detailed description of her life and the spiritual practices that helped her manage the patriarchy within western medicine, the disruption of her marriage, and the healing of her relationships with her mother and her daughters. I found this book to be simply powerful and instructive. A roadmap for the modern woman.
- Stitches by Anne Lamott. Probably my 5th read of this collection of essays on life, chaos, living, and healing. If you haven’t read Anne Lamott, start with this book and find a new best friend.
- Braving the Wilderness by Dr. Brene Brown. If you are unfamiliar with the work of Brene Brown on guilt and shame, then stop right now and watch this TED Talk. It’s been watched over 32 million times because she puts out there in raw terms what its like to actually recognize the guilt and shame we walk around with and the hard work of healing. Braving the Wilderness is an essential read for anyone confused by the current political and cultural moment and looking for meaningful ways to participate in public discourse.
How do you nurture your spirit and grow your soul?
My Audible library has been purely for entertainment this month. I’m listening to The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I’m obsessed with WWI and WWI European history and the role women played in those wars and creating modern culture. Historical fiction from this period inspires me. The local book club is reading The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, also from the same period. As a western white woman, I love knowing whose shoulders I stand upon. These historical novels offer a sense of history and purpose to my petty personal struggles.
For distraction and entertainment, I listened to the current production of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. This full-cast Audible production is very engaging and reminded me of old time radio programs.
Whatever your read and however you enjoy books, I hope you get the most out of this very chilly January. Seek spiritual nourishment, heal, and get lost in the folds of a great story. Spring will be here soon enough, and we won’t have time for All The Books.
Did you see the December reading list? I’m still enjoying the Hedgewitch Book of Days by Mandy Mitchell and used it to design our Winter Solstice gathering here at the farm. She has a nice calendar ritual for January that’s a little more detailed than my own.
A Few More January Seasonal Resources
How to Make a Hot Toddy with both cocktail and mocktail recipes.
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