Summer may be halfway through (gasp!) but it’s not too late to check a few books off your “must read” list!
I’ve lost touch with the power a book holds. The summer is already half-way over (how?!) and I haven’t had the time to read even just one. Is it really lack of time? Or is it just me prioritizing other things? It’s both, and I’m to blame. Seeing as I write every single day for my job, reading should to be a pastime that is more frequent in my life. Actually, it’s necessary. The more you read, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you know. Words have the power to enrich the soul, to inspire. I realized the other day that I haven’t read a book in quite some time, and I felt really bad about it. I have a strong desire to improve my writing, and I believe reading other’s work is the door to new perspectives, different points of view, a fresh verbiage. To get myself jumpstarted, I asked my friends here at home office to recommend the best of the best. The books that leave pages marked in their lives, the ones that make them laugh, the ones that help them grow. The summer isn’t over yet, and it’s never too late to start a reading list that can then be carried on into the seasons ahead.
Below is a list of reads that the people of FP recommend. I would love to hear your recommendations too. So if you will, please leave a comment with a book you think we need to add to the list!
Julie, Editorial Specialist: Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
On my last trip home I snagged my mother’s old copy of Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I remember this book being on her nightstand when I was younger and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to crack it open. Estes is both a Jungian psychoanalyst, and a cantadora (keeper of the old stories of the Latina tradition), and in WWRWTW she uses both sides of herself to analyze and redefine fairytales and folklore from different cultures in order to help women reconnect with the wild part, the Wild Women, within themselves.
Abby, Content Director: 1) Sea of Poppies by Amitav Gosh , South Of Broad by Pat Conroy
Gosh is an absolute linguistic genius and takes the reader on an epic adventure aboard a ship called the ibis through 19th century India and Mauritius. His creative and superb use of language is so inspiring and such a treat! I can’t wait to read River of Smoke, the next book in the series.
One of my all time favorite summer reads is South Of Broad by Pat Conroy. Packed full of all the delicious southern drama, wit and hauntingly beautiful imagery that I only imagine fully depicts the south. Quite a page turner by one of the south’s greatest contemporary story tellers.
Naomi, Marketing Specialist: Travels With Charlie: in Search of America by John Steinbeck
I recently read and loved Travels With Charlie: in Search of America by John Steinbeck. It’s the perfect summer read. It’s quick, full of adventure, and a deep look into Steinbeck — one of America’s great writers — as an actual man. Unlike his other books, it’s written as a memoir, recounting his journey driving across the USA in a custom-built camper, accompanied solely by his dog Charlie. You see the entire country through Steinbeck’s eyes. He ponders politics, human nature, global warming, societal shifts, geography, and so much more. Even though it’s written in the ’60s, part of what I love is that so many of Steinbeck’s observations still stand true. And yet, some things, like the ability to post up and camp anywhere, have changed so much. I’ve also heard that you can go visit Rocinante, his camper, in Sausalito. I would love to go check it out someday. I imagine it as the perfect bachelor pad on wheels.
Rachel, Assistant Videographer: 1) Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon, 2) The Golden Compass (and The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman.
My dad gave me Blue Highways right before I left on a three month, technology-less road trip with a few friends. It follows the author’s road trip around the United States, in which he traveled only on ‘blue highways’ (highways that used to be drawn in blue on old maps – no interstates, only the back roads through small towns.) It’s an awesome look into what makes people connect, and the things you can learn from strangers.
I’ve been known to cry when I read books… or watch movies or listen to music. Some things touch you, and you can’t help it. But at the end of The Amber Spyglass, in the backseat of my mom’s car on our way to Florida for Christmas – I must have been 15 or so – I WEPT. Wept. Uncontrollable, inconsolable weeping. It’s the story of a girl from a world much like our own, but one that took a different turn at some point; where there are witches and magic, warrior polar bears who talk, and all humans’ souls are visible in the form of an animal who hangs out with them all of the time. (How cool!) When her friend is kidnapped, she sets out on a journey to save him – and in doing so, learns more than she ever dreamed about her world and our own.
Christian,Video Editor: A Giacometti Portrait by James Lord
A Giacometti Portrait has been one of my all-time favorite books since I was in high school. The result of writer James Lord sitting down to pose for his good friend, the famed painter Alberto Giacometti, the whole book is an attempt to capture and share the artist’s full creative process from conception to fruition.
At just under 130 pages, it’s a pretty deceptively quick read, but it’s packed with some fascinating insights on the personal creative arc from one of the most celebrated painters, draftsman, and sculptors of the 20th century. Each chapter opens with a photo of where the painting was at that given point, letting you know what was changed, added or abandoned.
Running through virtually the entire emotional spectrum — from manic pride to wavering uncertainty to self-depricating anguish — the book in a lot of ways is a message of support, almost consolation, to anyone who has wrestled with their own creativity.
Dawn, East Coast Social Media Manager: 1) Just Kids by Patti Smith 2) Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Patti Smith’s memoir takes me back to a time before myself that intrigues me. As struggling young artists and musicians during the late 60s and 70s, Patti and Robert came to feel like old friends to me.
Wild is memoir that takes you along the Pacific Coast Trail with Cheryl as she battles her inner demons. Yes, she was wild and maybe did things she shouldn’t have, but haven’t we all!! The point is to take it as a life lesson and move on, which she eventually does. I found myself rooting for her the entire way and still feel inspired to give that trail a try one day!
+ Comment with your recommendations below!