Oh hi! Back at it after a little break—I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling exactly filled with abundant creativity right now. I feel fine for the most part but am definitely just struggling with motivation, which I think is actually just fine. I saw a quote recently that someone had shared from their therapist that said “instead of sinking or swimming, what if you just float right now?” I feel like that’s such a beautiful way of sharing the resilience that people are demonstrating right now, and the compassionate approach that we can adopt for ourselves if we don’t exactly feel like starting a new side project, organizing our entire pantry or writing the next great novel.
Speaking of the next great novel, while I was journalling today I noted that while I actually have a lot I could be doing work-wise at the moment (partnerships are basically all cancelled or delayed for the time being which is slightly disconcerting but have a lot I could be doing from a preset and site perspective since I have new developments going on there), I’m having a hard time doing much more than one or two work-related tasks these days. All that I really feel like doing is puttering around my patios, getting them set up for spring and summer and cleaning them up after a wet and cold winter, doing some workouts, going for nice walks to scope out the blossoms, chatting with my friends/family and just tearing through books.
I thought it’d be nice to share my all-time top 5 favourite books—these aren’t particularly “cool” selects or anything like that, they’re just the classics that I turn to time and time again to find inspiration, to uplift and to comfort. You’ve likely read most of them but if you haven’t or if it’s been some time since you did a reread, hopefully one of them catches your eye! Also, if you’re also in the Vancouver area I have a list of local bookstores that you can buy from to support small businesses during this time! I know as a small business owner myself what it’s like right now so supporting those locally is so key (feel free to do some digging if you’re outside of Vancouver to find someone local to support yourself – a lot are doing curbside pickup or even delivery!).
East of Eden
This isn’t a light read or necessarily an easy read, it’s pretty heavy and dark for the most part. But I’ll always return to it and love it because it gave me my motto for life: timshel. It’s a Hebrew word that roughly translates to “thou mayest,” and in high school, reading this and realizing the free will I have to not only decide on a life path but my moods, attitudes, etc was huge. It’s kind of a Ulysses-level (though not quite) challenge to read sometimes but it’s worth it!
The Harry Potter Series
I don’t even care if this is dorky—this is one of the best book series ever (I also love LOTR but always come back to HP), and I’ve made a tradition out of reading this once a year. It doesn’t matter how old I get, all the books are such good reads and the lessons in the book are actually so timeless and meaningful, no matter what age you’re reading them at!
I Capture the Castle
This was one of my favourite reads when I was younger (actually, these are all books that I discovered when I was a kid or a young teen—they truly are my lifelong faves!). Dodie Smith is famous for writing 101 Dalmatians but she also wrote this young adult novel that I love. It was truly a heart wrenching read for me when I was younger, and made me fantasize about moving away to somewhere in rural UK. A light and fast read and really a classic feel-good one for me!
My mum gave me her copy of Little Women that she grew up with when I was a kid and I read it so many times (I’d say around 100, honestly) that the spine fell apart. Matt for Christmas surprised me with a new, beautiful copy and I reread it all this winter. This story is just such a huge part of my life and my childhood, if you’ve only ever seen the movie, read it only as a kid or even haven’t seen the movie or read the book this is a great, longer read to tackle now during quarantine!
Pride & Prejudice
I feel like my list reads a bit on the basic side but who cares…these are all classics that resonate with generation after generation for a reason! Part of the reason I love all these books is because they feature strong women as their leads, which is why reading these as a kid or teen was so impactful for me and they resonated so much with me. Elizabeth is such a relatable and inspiring character and this is probably my ultimate favourite love story.
And as promised, some local bookstores: Iron Dog (Hastings Sunrise area), The Paper Hound, 32 Books (North Vancouver), Book Warehouse (Main, doing delivery for small $5 fee), Banyen Books, Kidsbooks (Kits, apparently they also carry adult books!) and Pulp Fiction. What are your all-time favourite books? Tell me in the comments below!