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deletedSep 18, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker
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Those are all wonderful books. Peggy my heart is with you and hope you can feel my complete love for you from here. I don’t have any advice; I do know that something that has helped me greatly is learning about boundaries, both for my self and for others, but also loving what is by Byron Katie which changed my life. In any event, my whole heart is with you as you navigate your relationship with your daughter.

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So curious why you didn’t dig Mother Hunger? ♥️

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I knew it would be a controversial statement <3 I just didn't. I listened to it on audio, I think it felt very severe, very dramatic, and even though my therapist uses the framework and I agree with the helpfulness of it in practice, I think I'm burnt out on the energy I felt present in this particular narrative. I can't put my finger on it. I'm sure there's also some subconscious resistance to it.

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Understood. My therapist was like, yeah you are gonna have some stuff come up with this book. Xx

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Lols

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Sep 18, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

Please, I beg of you, read All of This (Rebecca Woolf). Also, please watch iCarly. (trust) 🖤💫

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iTrust

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Sep 18, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

I'm a fast reader but a slow book-finisher, so these aren't necessarily summer, but they're recent enough.

Marcus Aurelius - Meditations - the new translation. Stoicism is my jam. Between this and zen buddhism, I'm mostly set.

The Daily Stoic - this just reminds me to read something useful every day. I resisted buying this for a long time because it's a "quote-a-day" thing, a type of book that makes me nauseated, but this one works for me.

(also +1 to Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Someone gave this to me like 15 years ago, and it's always near by. )

The Urge by Carl Fisher - really great. It definitely appealed to me in an empathetic way (I cried a lot), and I did read it pretty much straight through. I probably won't remember most of the scholarly aspects, as the longer I'm sober the less I'm interested in books about sobriety.

Dilla Time - I'm a huge fan of J Dilla, and this biography was equal parts geekiness and raw info. He was a very flawed fellow, and his unique approach to making music reverberated far beyond hip-hop into jazz, pop, everything.

Electri_City - an oral history of the heyday of electronic music (think krautrock, Kraftwerk, etc.) in Düsseldorf. Another geekfest.

Credible: Why we doubt accusers and protect abusers - the name says it all. Turkheimer lays it all out clearly. Harrowing, and challenges so many subtle biases.

Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution - again, the name says it all. Honestly if you don't want to get even more pissed off at conditions in the USA, you might pass on it.

Samantha Irby's semi-regular newsletters recapping Judge Mathis. Samantha Irby makes me laugh harder than anyone else.

What We Owe the Future by William MacAskill - (reading this currently) - a little too much groundwork in the form of probabilities and other mathy stuff, but definitely making me think in new ways about our collective responsibilities to people who don't yet exist (and animals). Also realizing that moral philosophy is really interesting to me.

Fiction:

Inspector Maigret novels by Georges Simenon. I often forget how much I like detective fiction, and I had never read Simenon's Maigret books, so I recently started from the beginning. He reminds me to shut up and listen and to delegate when I can.

Woman on the Edge of Time - Marge Piercy. I've read this 3-4 times now. So good and heartbreaking and still relevant.

A book I couldn't finish: The Inland Sea by Donald Richie - ostensibly about the last pre-modern Japanese villages. The author's exploitative thoughts were way too much for me and I just stopped.

How do I deal with giving up on a book? This book made it easy, so I'm not sure what to say. I just stopped and grabbed a different book.

Orange.

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Orange is beautiful. Carl is who recommended me Norman Fischer’s book and it makes sense his story would appeal. Two beautiful souls. I have what we owe the future on a wish list very helpful! xx

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Carl is in my wife's buddhist sangha, which is why she got me his book as a gift when it came out! I'm often overhearing her listening to Norman Fischer's dharma talks in the other room.

I also highly recommend the book The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo. Kodo Sawaki was supposedly one of the most important zen teachers of the 20th century, but hardly any of his stuff has been translated into English. Anyway, it's a great book - a collection of newspaper columns he wrote for a Japanese paper over the years, with commentary by two subsequent generations of zen teachers. Very approachable and I think you'd dig it.

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Sep 18, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

On the subject of giving up on books that you aren’t enjoying: I’m all for it. Sometimes I give a book a break if I’m not into it and try again in a few months, but if I still don’t enjoy it after a second attempt I just move on. E.g. I tried three times to read Guns, Germs, and Steel and finally gave up. I’m sure it’s a fine book, but I just couldn’t do it.

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Very very good points. sometimes I power through! Like matrix I thought was awful and set it down for months, but accidentally brought it as the only paper text on my trip, and then there I was loving it.

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Sep 18, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

My, To Read, list is growing strong 📚

I’m saving this post - thank you!

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Sep 18, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

“A Manual for Cleaning Women” by Lucia Berlin. Short stories. Gorgeous.

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Holly a few books there that immediately grab my attention. I have a tough week ahead with a court hearing about my estranged mother and her ability to make decisions for herself (she is in a nursing home in FL) I am a Brit in Oakland. I have not seen her for years and last phone call was 15 months ago when I drank pretty badly that day and ended up drunk on the kitchen floor sans Vodka. I say that as I wish my mother dead. There I said it. The child abuse was bad. I don’t feel like drinking over this and I won’t (guess why Tempest and your idea of how to get sober kinda rewired my brain a bit!). Anyway will read that book. I intend to start my 16 month of sobriety at the end of September. Thanks Holly as always for all you do in this hard and beautiful world I inhabit 💜🙏🌱🌻

Miranda xo

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Miranda, congrats on 16 months! What a triumph. That book is the best selling book in the country for a reason. Wishing you so much love and peace in the weeks ahead.

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Thank you Holly! 💜

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Thank you for this list- Pema is one of my all time favorites too. My favorite books this summer were World as Lover, World as Self by Joanna Macy and The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch.

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"World as Lover, World as Self" was staring at me from my shelf yesterday. What makes it a favorite, if you don't mind me asking?

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I liked it because it doesn’t sugar coat the nature of the things that can feel dire like climate change, fear, and disconnection..it was truthful and had an undercurrent of belief in humanity, possibilities, and joy. It made me think.

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Well sold me! Thanks Amy!

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Thank you!

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Sep 19, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

Have you started reading Gabor Mate’s The Myth of Normal? I just got it and dove in. Curious if you read it what your thoughts are.

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YES. So far a little disappointed. :/ I think in part because it’s a restatement of what I know, and I had a hard part with what felt like very gendered ideas about motherhood and a woman’s natural place plus the structure is kind of like get to the point? That being said I’m on page 300 and it’s starting to get into why I bought it.

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Sep 19, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

Love your book posts! Including books you didn't finish felt vulnerable and refreshing, thank you. Xo

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♥️

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Sep 19, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

book I loved = Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father - Alysia Abbott

book I tired to read for MONTHS before my mom literally took it out of my hands and wouldn't give it back to me because I wouldn't stop complaining about how I couldn't get into it = The Murmur of Bees by Sofía Segovia

favorite color = glitter

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Lol. Your mom, also glitter is such a great color.

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I'm a fan of "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind" too, though it's been a couple years. I'm a BIG fan of "Temple Dusk," a book of zen haiku by Suzuki's wife, Mitsu Suzuki.

I read "Bittersweet" too. Or listened to it. It started strong but ultimately lost me.

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Interesting on bittersweet! I do think the points could have been made more succinctly but my favorite part was toward the end with the oncologist who was going on about what he loved about life. Will look into Temple Dusk! Though admit I am one of those people who wants to be a person who loves poetry and haiku but can’t.

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I loved Mother Hunger but everything the author wrote on Instagram resonated with me. Working my way through The Presence Process by Michael Brown for the second time and struggling with it knowing that it’s exactly what I need to be doing.

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I typically read about 15-20% of a book and if I'm not ALL IN by that point then I stop reading. Life is too short! There are so many incredible books! Reading is something I do for fun, my most favoritest hobby, and I don't want to force myself at any part of it no matter what.

This summer I loved:

- The Arc of a Scythe trilogy, by Neal Shusterman

- Equal Partners: Improving Gender Equality at Home, by Kate Mangino

- How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing, by KC Davis

- Finance For The People: Getting a Grip on Your Finances, by Paco de Leon

- Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch, by Erin French

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Sep 21, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

I loved Butler’s Parable books. Kindred is also a compelling, fun, read. Butler writes Sociology masquerading as fiction.

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