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Reading with Earbuds

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Rain! Finally rain. It's nice to see all the young green things poking up once again!

I mentioned a few months back that I got myself a library card and downloaded Libby (the library app) so I could listen to audiobooks. This little act has profoundly changed my life and how I see the world. I have found that the stories and ideas of others playing through my earbuds while I work with my hands is somehow soothing, cathartic and healing! Not only that, but listening to others' writing has inspired my own. Libby helped usher me through the transitions of learning to live with a broken heart, accept that my lifelong dream to own a restaurant was not meant to be, and begin to find a new path. Boy, am I grateful!

I thought I'd share with you what I've been reading in case you're curious.

I've focused mostly on my favorite genre, Memoir, as I often find the voices, experiences and epiphanies of others intriguing and thought-provoking. I tossed in a few fictional reads, and lately, a couple of random self-help books that came up in memoir searches. Just like I used to teach my fifth graders, I have coded the book list with an R for I would recommend or an A for I abandoned this one. En masse these books provide a cumulative take away: I am reminded to follow the path of my ideals, integrity and beliefs, and I see more clearly how to find and tune into my own strength, courage, and intuition. There is nothing like a few good books to help us navigate life and all its wavy paths!

This is the list of books I've read since I met Libby in May:)

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi (R)

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy (R)

Fieldwork by Iliana Regan (R)

Hunger by Roxane Gay (R)

I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins

Educated by Tara Westover (R)

Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont

Know My Name by Chanel Miller (R)

Broken by Jenny Lawson (A)

You Shouldn't Have Come Here by Jeneva Rose

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl (A)

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey (R)

The Dutch House by Ann Pratchett (R)

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

What Happened to You? by Oprah Winfrey & Bruce Perry (R)

I'll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (A)

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward (R)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (R)

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson (R)

Just Kids by Patti Smith (R)

Tastes Like War by Grace Cho (R)

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich (R)

Thirst For Justice by David Boyd

Heavy by Kiese Laymon (R)

Hartland by Sarah Smarsh (R)

I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Small Fires by Rebecca May Johnson (A)

Hold Still by Sally Mann (A)

Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart (A)

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (R)

Flat Broke with Two Goats by Jenefer McGaha

Invisible Child by Andrea Elliot (R)

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (R)

Enchantment by Katherine May

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power

The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall (R)

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (R)

The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck

Unf#ck Your Brain by Faith Harper

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (R)

Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (R)

Lust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughs (R)

Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs (R)

The Choice by Edith Eva Egar (R)

Whole by T. Colin Campbell (R)

You Are A Badass at Making Money (R)

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho (R)

I've also been following my neighbor, Nate Hagens and his podcast, "The Great Simplification" as discussions around environment and healthy living also consume much of my thinking lately. He interviews all sorts of thinkers, authors and experts around the world who are working to address the overwhelming complexity of our economic and environmental situation. I find many of the episodes not only thought provoking, but also helpful as I travel away from a 9-5 mentality and towards the personal sovereignty of farm life and a self-employed entrepreneur.

I've been going through a lot of changes the last few years (no longer living in the city, new husband, new business, flip-floppy heart, crushed dreams, gray hair, and all the other things related to getting older), and all this reading and listening has helped enormously. Sometimes friends and family don't understand the problem or the solution, so having books as a guide has been a HUGE AHA for me as I travel this road of transition.

Yadda yadda.

What have you been reading or listening to? Any good recommendations out there? I'd love to hear what's impacted you lately.

The FARM STORE has all sorts of new goodies and farm treats. We're open DAILY 9-5 until the frozen tundra arrives.

Sending lots of love from the farm,


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Oct 05, 2023

Whoa, we have read A LOT of the same books recently. Let's have a memoir + fiction book club! Both my other book clubs favor non-memoir non-fiction. But I love memoirs and I love [highly literate, extremely well-written] fiction! 📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚 [friending you on Goodreads now]

Sarah Brenner
Sarah Brenner
Oct 05, 2023
Replying to

Ok! I'd love that. I'll take a look at Goodreads...that's not a thing I've paid much attention to. Maybe there are a few others out there interested in a Memoir + Extremely WELL-WRITTEN Fiction Book Club? Let us know, folks!

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