It’s hard enough for us parents to find time to read, let alone to decide what to read. Head to the library and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the stacks upon stacks of interesting-sounding titles (who can blame us for judging a book by its cover?). Just keeping up with book lists can seem like a chore. That’s why we here at LiveMom are introducing you to local authors, who will be giving you the skinny on what’s on their reading lists…because who better than a writer to turn you on to new and interesting books?!
We first met Julia Aziz when she wrote a guest post here on LiveMom about how to integrate multiple belief systems within a family during the holiday season. We also heard from her soon after she started a spiritual direction/life coaching practice. Since then, she has become a mom to kid #3, a daughter, and birthed another child of sorts, Lessons of Labor: One Woman’s Self-Discovery Through Birth & Motherhood, a memoir which was released on February 1st. In Lessons of Labor, Julia recalls the birth stories of her three children, as well as a miscarriage, and reflects upon what these experiences have taught her. BookPeople will host a booksigning and speaking event with Julia on February 26th at 7pm. If you can’t make the book signing, you can still order your very own signed, personalized copy of the book here.
We are grateful that Julia took the time to suggest five books you might enjoy. Here is what she had to say:
I read a lot, mostly within a few different genres. It was hard to come up with just five recommendations! But here are a few off the top of my head:
Have you ever read just the right book at just the right time? That’s what The Untethered Soul was for me. Singer’s direct, clear language makes all the complications of life feel truly simple. One of my favorite quotes: “The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learn from your experiences.” Yes! I will keep this book by my bedside for years; I go back and read passages whenever I lose my sense of direction. A reference book for living freely.
I read and enjoy a lot of fiction, but few novels stay in my memory. The Dive From Clausen’s Pier is an exception—its compelling narrative kept me alert and engaged even after I finished reading. The story is about a woman who is getting ready to break up with her boyfriend, but then he unexpectedly gets injured for life. It’s an insightful exploration of what we owe others vs. what we owe ourselves—the tug of war between our loyalty to loved ones and following our own hearts.
Anita Moorjani has quite a story to tell, but even more important is the message underneath her individual experience. In Dying to Be Me, Anita describes her struggle through terminal cancer, a near-death experience of organ failure, and her return to life with the spontaneous healing of that cancer. Her experience is quite miraculous, but that’s not what struck a chord for me. I was most impressed with what she came out learning, which was to love herself unconditionally. She is not a guru, just an ordinary person who had an extraordinary experience, which makes her feel like a real, relatable person with much to teach us.
4. Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition (3rd Edition) is my go-to book for all things diet and nutrition. It’s a readable guide to Chinese medicine philosophy as it relates to food and dietary practices. I use it when my kids are sick with the stomach flu to find foods to feed them outside of the Western standard BRAT diet. When I’ve done cleanses, I’ve used it to determine which type of fast is best suited to my own body and environment. A great reference book for the kitchen.
I read Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood soon after I had my first child, and it was like a balm to my frayed nerves. Karen Maezen Miller shares her own stories, applying a Zen Buddhist approach to pregnancy and motherhood. Reading this book made me feel understood and relieved—and it was one of the major influences on my own motherhood memoir.
Looking for more ideas on what to read? Take a look at our past Reading Mama Recommendations here.
This post contains affiliate links.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nicole-Basham-Sara-Marzani-Photography-livemom.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 8-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]