The 7 Books I’m Reading Right Now

I just realized that I’m actually reading 7 books right now (well, one of those 7 is actually a collection of e-shorts…but I’m counting that as one.)

Reading multiple books at a time is normal for me, I admit. I tend to need my reading material to be as flexible and changeable as my moods – which are many! But I think 7 at once might be a new high, even for me. And yet somehow, it doesn’t feel like an overload!

Maybe it’s because they’re kind of spread around.

I realize, as I type this, that I have one in my bag, one on my phone, one on my desk, one by my bed, one beside the couch, one beside the tub, and one beside my yoga mat. So basically, depending on where I’m planting myself, there’s a book to accompany me!

I figured I’d mark this moment in time (7!)  by listing them out 🙂 :

1-The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and author Douglas Abrams

This is the one by my bed. Reading a few pages at night as a winding-down tool is proving to be really useful.

Between this book and my Calm app, my pre-bedtime time has been so peaceful lately!

2-#Girlboss, by Sophia Amoruso

This is the one by my couch. When I need a break from…well, whatever else I’m doing/thinking about/dealing with, I pick up this one and read a few pages.

I found Sophia Amoruso interesting when Chase Jarvis interviewed her for Creative Live’s 30 Days of Genius series last spring – and her book is like her interview, only (as you might imagine) more detailed and more personal. Just more. Which is a good thing. Her perspective on entrepreneurship and goals and success is giving me a lot to think about.

3-100 Works of Art That Will Define our Age, by Kelly Grovier

This is the one in my bag. It’s a little bulky to carry around, but it fits in there with the laptop pretty easily, so I’ve been carting it with me and pulling it out here and there, when I have a minute free, or otherwise want to put my mind someplace else for a few minutes.

I’ve been going through it not so much with an eye toward agreeing or disagreeing with the editor’s choices (as to these works being the defining works of this time period.) I’ve been using it rather to educate myself – particularly as I’m kind of missing my formerly easy access to the Smithsonian museums. There’s not a lot I miss about the greater-DC area, frankly – but taking a spontaneous trip downtown to spend an afternoon strolling around the museums, thinking, learning, experiencing art, was really, really great! I do miss that.

I’m also exploring, as I read, the ways in which the works featured in the book have an effect on me personally – or not. I’m always interested in probing my own reactions to art; it’s a good way to garner a little bit of self-knowledge.

This book has, so far, been interesting for that as well.

(I probably have more to say on this, and on some of the specific works in this book. In another post!)

4-LIFE: Selected Quotations, by Paulo Coelho

This is the one by my tub. I pick it up and read through a few of the quotes while I’m soaking.

I have a strange relationship with Paulo Coelho’s writings. I loved both The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes – like, passionately loved those books. Both of them were enormously powerful reads for me – the kind that connect with you, deep inside, touching on some kind of personal truth that you weren’t able to elucidate on your own.

But that being said, I dislike pretty much everything else I’ve ever tried reading from him. Not just don’t connect with it…but actively dislike it.

I want to like his other writings, because The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes were/are so important to me…but I just can’t. I find them cliched or sappy or dull – and, in the case of one of them, actually flat-out distasteful. I don’t seem able to have less than extreme reactions to his work.

This collection of quotes is a possible exception though. I’m finding it…nice. Not bad…not amazing. Just…pleasant.

5-free e-shorts, by Karen Chance

This is the one on my phone.

When I read on my phone, it’s typically news stories, via Twitter. I don’t usually want to hold my phone and read fiction on that little screen. But, that being said, these short stories and novellas (available for free via Karen Chance’s website) are, I’m finding, a good length for when I do have my phone in my hand and a little time to kill – and I know that reading one more article about the things our new president is doing here in the US is going to put me over the edge. It’s really, really, really nice in those moments to escape into a little urban fantasy.

Though I think my favorite of these shorts so far aren’t actually the urban fantasy ones, but rather the novellas set in Elizabethan England (like this one.) I’d love to read a full-length version of either of those!

6-Head First JavaScript Programming, by Eric Freeman & Elizabeth Robson

This is the one on my desk.

I LOVE this Head First series. I’ve leafed through several of them and found them promising, but now that I’m working more in-depth with the JavaScript one, I’m realizing that I have to get my hands on the one for CSS. I think it might fill in some of the holes I still have with CSS – which would be great!

As a series, Head First manages to be breezy, light – and yet, FULL of information. It’s just laid out really well for my learning style, I guess.

I’ve looked at lots and lots and lots of coding and web design how-to books in the last several months, as well as many, many, many online resources. I really think the Head First series might be the best I’ve found.

I’ll let you know for sure if/when I get a hold of the CSS book. I have MANY other CSS resources to directly compare with it. (That – the comparison of resources – might make for an interesting post, now that I think about it…)

7-Hot Body Year Round: The POP Pilates Plan to Get Slim, Eat Clean, and Live Happy Through Every Season, by Cassey Ho

This is (perhaps obviously!) the one by my yoga mat.

I want to get stronger…plain and simple. Lose weight…sure. Tone up…yes. But my main issue right now is that I feel weak. And I think remedying this starts with strengthening the core – and pilates is fantastic for that.

This book caught my eye a week or so ago at the library – but having gone through it now and tried some of the exercises, I think I might have to go ahead and buy it. I like Cassey Ho’s positive, cheerful, encouraging attitude. I like the recipes she included to go along with the exercises (I like those quite a bit, actually.)

The exercise plan is pretty straightforward and easy to follow, with enough diversity to keep it interesting. I tend to get bored with this sort of planned activity stuff really fast – but so far, the way she has things arranged suits me.

Fingers crossed for success!


It was fun, writing this out!

Now I’m feeling inspired to write out a music list and a video list…and maybe some others.  I haven’t done a new Lists of 5 post in a while either.




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