| Angie Counios

Angie's Top Three Reads

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not a truth.

~ Marcus Aurelius

In one of our now rare face-to-face sessions, Dave and I talked books, which sparked my suggestion that we write about our favorite books of 2014. Dave thought it was a good idea….and right in the middle of that week I tossed up a post that had nothing to do with our favorite books. Dave (justified) teased me about my quick left turn.

Then he put up his list.

And I did this directly into the screen of my computer --“FORTY BOOKS!!! YOU READ FORTY BOOKS!?” If there is such a thing I had a very clear case of reader’s envy.

It's suggested that if you're a writer you should also read as much as you can. No arguments here. I was always a very slow reader. I felt bad about it. In my head, there was this idea that smart people read fast and dumb people read slowly. I expressed to my brother what I felt was my inadequacy. He has more books than anyone I know. He may have more books than all the people I know collectively and he also reads more than anyone I know—even Dave.

He suggested I read 10 pages a day. He said 10 pages are not daunting. 10 pages are totally do-able. He said that with the average book being about 300 pages I would get 12 books read a year more or less with little effort or stres. Once he broke it down like that, the pressure to read shifted from pressure to pleasure.

For fun this year, I made a goal of Twelve 12’s. This was a list of 12 categories with 12 things to complete in each: twelve new recipes, twelve new learnings, twelve movies I haven’t watched etc. One thing on the list was 12 books. I thought I’d done well…

Oh well as the saying goes: Comparison is the thief of joy so I will enjoy my reads for what they were to me.

My list:

  1. Love and the Mess We’re in by Stephen Marche
  2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl
  3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  4. Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho
  5. The Great Saskatchewan Bucket List by Robin and Arlene Karpan
  6. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
  7. It’s Not How Good You Are It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden
  8. Second Honeymoon by James Patterson
  9. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  10. Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
  11. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  12. A Moveable Feast by Earnest Hemmingway

Love and the Mess We’re In by Stephen Marche

I heard about this book while jogging on the treadmill and listening to CBC radio. The book is as pretty to read as it is to look at. There was a very conscious decision on how the pages were laid out and how the words were placed on the page. It was conscious and it was poetic, literarily and visually. It’s a love story but in its presentation it offers some intricacies that a regular typed page does not. It also included a map of New York City. It appeals to my love of words as well as to my visual nature.

Speaking of poetry…

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

I have had this little paper back for a long, long time. I read the first bit when I was in art school and thought of it as poetry. Mr. Hemingway uses his words in such a way that descriptions feel like decorations. I picked it up recently and thought the very same thing I did two decades ago. There is something nostalgic about the way he delivers this story. The things I felt over two decades ago were the same things I felt reading it now. My life circumstances are totally different but the mood of this book is completely solid. I also like reading about his life as a writer. It’s pretty darn romantic and I am curious about the life of writers.

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

This was a heavy book dealing with survival at Auschwitz. But, it deserves the time if you want to be shaken out of your First World Problems pity party, or if you want to shift perspective on your life, or if you want to find gratitude. Holocaust stories are dark, but here Viktor Frankl offers insight into the experience and how an individual can survive. There are learnings in the book and not just stories of brutality.

I enjoyed all the books on my list for very different reasons.

Well… time to start another book.

Currently I have Wild by Cheryl Strayed on my coffee table…39 to go Dave.

Tags: Reflections

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