The chapters of creativity and inspiration.

Whether on an iPad or flipping through actual paper pages of a good book, I find that reading provides a relaxing escape and an awakening of the creative senses.

I spend much of my day on the computer, writing and talking with clients, colleagues and media. While these connections are thankfully still very active, being #SaferAtHome allows me to revisit the bookshelf and feed my forgotten appetite for reading. After each book, I often am reminded how much I enjoy (and miss) recreational reading and jot down at least one reference in a personal or professional ‘idea bank.’

Researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown asks each of her guests at the closure of her podcast, Unlocking Us, ‘What’s on your nightstand?’ My nightstand, as seen in this photo, is a stack of color-coordinated books I should be reading.  Scratch that – I will read within the next few weeks.

You may notice a semi-purposeful mix of fun and function to include fiction, non-fiction, biographies and more. This helps maintain interest, spur creativity and virtually travel to other places and eras.

My sweet mom could read me under the table at lightning speed and is the source of much of my collection. She hand-selects books that she thinks I will like and relate to and the others go to her neighborhood book swap store. She is rarely, if ever, wrong in her recommendations.  It’s like having a personal literary stylist.

With her spot-on curation, I also follow her ‘100-page rule.’ If the book does not grab you in the first 100 pages, it’s not going to so you can move on to more exciting titles.

And lastly, a shout out to my friend Susanne who got me hooked on Libby, the free app for library card holders. Once I activated my card, I was launched into the world of audio books*. Perfect for an avid walker to hit the pavement and listen – a new daily habit that I also plan to keep for months for come.

As next month’s reading list is shaping up nicely, here’s a look at the past few week’s titles. Leave a comment with your recommendations and let’s be book worms together, yet apart.

Have You  Read?

Becoming, by Michelle Obama (in progress) *

Agatha Raisin Mysteries, by MC Beaton (#1, 4 and 5 so far) *

You are a Bad*ss, by Jen Sincero*

Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown

Anybody Out There, by Marian Keyes

The Three Miss Margarets, by Louise Shaffer

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