So I've had a few comments and emails asking for another post on books. Seems you know I love 'em, and want to know what I've been reading and what I recommend.
My problem is I read so much, both for my writing work, reviewing for JUNO magazine and for pleasure. I love to talk about books. But having to sit down and write pithy little reviews that convey my true feelings about them, I find... ummm..... dull. And obviously I can't reproduce my JUNO reviews here before they're in the magazine
Which is sad really, because I fully intended to do a monthly book slot on here. It might yet happen.
So, books that rocked my 2012. They were a funny old mix. Some new releases. Some older. All non-fiction, but of course! Here they are!
I Thought it Was Just Me (But It Isn't) - Brene Brown
This is an incredible book. A must read for all women (Mummy, I'm getting you a copy for your birthday!) Brown has been an academic researcher into the subject of shame, especially in women, for a number of years. Her book is deep, totally readable and will make a lot of lightbulbs go off in your brain. I am eagerly anticipating her latest book Daring Greatly when it comes out in paperback in the UK.
Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts
This came out a few years ago now. I avoided it like the plague - pink boas and womanly arts were not for me then. I was aware that there had been a major disagreement between editors at JUNO over this one, so I steered clear. But actually I really enjoyed it. It's all about how to get your feminine mojo going - I wouldn't agree with everything in it, quite a bit comes from the "women should use their feminine wiles to manipulate men" school of thought. But when she's not on that track, I'm totally with her.
Aphrodite's Daughters: Women's Sexual Stories and the Journey of the Soul - Jalaja Bonheim
OK, I've noticed that more than half the list has to do with sex. La-la! I read a lot of books on sex, birth, creativity and the soul - really it's all the same thing. This is a book I've re read a couple of times over the past two years. It's like Women who Run with the Wolves meets The Vagina Monologues. I like!
Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache - Harry Eastwood
My favourite cookery book of the year. It's a cake book. But with a twist. Gluten-free, butter-free, gooey, yummy cakes and divine pictures. See my baking blog for a long review.
Sacred Economics - Charles Eisenstein.
I reviewed this for a feature for JUNO on 'books to change the world' in the forthcoming Spring issue. It is high brow, but very clearly written and superbly researched. A fascinating read on how we can make money sacred again. It's changed my perspective totally.
I Sit Listening to the Wind - Judith Duerk
The second in the Circle of Stones series. This didn't make much of an impact on me the first time I read it, but this time round it was rich and full. It's all about the impact of a woman's overdeveloped masculine side and how it impacts her. Highly recommended.
Vagina: A New Biography - Naomi Wolf. OK this is a contentious one. It has created a feminist fire storm. It's a little bitty, perhaps a little flaky. But it's got lots of great stuff in it which gave me many "aha" moments. It was a real page turner. And opened my eyes. Like did you know that there are men, and women who get paid serious money to do "sacred yoni massage!? They look you in the eyes, say, "welcome goddess", they give you a toe tingling orgasm, you pay them £150, and it's nothing to do with sex, really?!?!?!
Manhood - Steve Biddulph. My husband borrowed this from a friend, and he loved it so much he's getting his own copy. Which I'm delighted by, because I started reading it in the car on the way to their house and got totally hooked - admittedly it was on the bit on men and sex. I lvoe Steve Biddulph - he strikes me as a very honest, caring, compassionate man, parent and teaccher, and has a lot of insight into masculinity in the modern age.
The Mandala Book - I love this book. It's a visual sourcebook for me. As is Celtic Art - George Bain - which I teaching myself to draw Celtic knots and designs from. These are a great form of meditation. I have tried reading a couple of books of Celtic history and culture which were dreadfully written, am looking for recommendations.
Moods of Motherhood - Lucy Pearce
You know when you make yourself cry, and laugh out loud, and it's your life that you're reading, your words, then it must be pretty good really! haven't promoted this book that much. But if you like the blog, then do get the book. It's got the best bits of the blog, my JUNO columns, a number of JUNO articles and chapters that I've contributed to other books, and lots of original pieces too.
And still.... You Can Heal Your Life -Louise L Hay.
I come back to it every few weeks. I've copied out a number of the long affirmations and am considering learning them to recite, like prayers. This is as close to a bible as I get.
What have been your favourite books of 2012? Are there any coming out in 2013 that you're eagerly anticipating? Do share!