I never did get my Summer Reading finished and that’s that last time that I wrote about books I have been working on. Since that time I managed to devour three more books, but know that this will end as this semester gets going. So here’s a few things that I enjoyed and highly recommend.
The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West by Michelle Goldberg
You know that I LOVE reading yoga books! Well, I decided to read one about a woman who is always credited with bringing yoga to the US and is considered somewhat of an idol in the yoga community. If you’ve ever studied yoga you’ve probably heard that women were not allowed to do yoga until the 1920’s. Most of this was due to a mistaken understanding of female roles and anatomy; basically they thought that if we did most strenuous activities our uterus would fall out and then we wouldn’t be good for anything at all!
Well, Indra Devi experienced some of the same sentiment toward her when she began practicing and yet she persevered. However, this book highlights a lot of the ways in which she may not be the celebrated feminist hero of yoga that many of of us are lead to believe. This book was well written and very interesting, but referenced a lot of names and history that I was not 100% familiar with. It made me wish I’d paid attention a little more in high school social studies.
Despite that, it helped me to understand, deeper, the many errors that lie in our yoga practice. Sometimes it’s idealism and sometimes it’s selfishness. No matter what, we’re not perfect, none of us. Humanizing Devi helped me to like my own yoga practice (as a daily way of living) even more.
Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
When I used to travel a lot for work I would spend time in airport bookstores and newsstands taking pictures of the books I wanted to read. I would add them to my list on my library account and have slowly worked through some of them. This must have been one of them as I’m not sure where else I would have come across this book.
This is the story of two teenage girls who lose an uncle to AIDS in the 80’s. It’s a wonderfully told tale that seems to have little to no purpose or outcome. I kept waiting for some big plot twist, but there wasn’t any. It was a good story to read and made me think about how I would deal with a similar situation in my life….losing someone when no one really understands much of what is going on. However, it was a little unbelievable at times.
Maybe we’re just too far removed from the times when children were left to their own devices a lot more than they are now. When we didn’t have cell phones to connect us. When supervision was so low that you could basically skip school and travel into the big city and spend the day with your dead uncle’s boyfriend and no one seemed to really notice…..more than once?
One Day in December by Josie Silver
This must have been another title that I chose from the racks of an airport newsstand. I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would. As soon as I started reading it I realized that it was a love story. This is not my usual cup of tea, but in the first bit it references two of my favorite movies of the season: The Holiday and Love Actually. If you have ever seen and liked either of those movies, then this is the combination of the two smooshed into book form and it was lovely.
I found myself seeking time to read this one and was grateful for some peace and quiet of my children’s return to school to finish it. It was the kind of love story that only happens in movies and books and made me want to believe that it could happen in real life. It changed my mind about that “type” of book.
On to the semester
And now that I’ve returned these books to the library, I haven’t checked out any more. This week was my first week back and the only reading time I know (guaranteed) that I’ll have time for is reading to my children at night (we’re still on the Narnia series) and some light news/blog reading.
Please share what you’re reading, thoughts on these titles, plans for future reads, great blogs I should check out, or whatever else is on your mind.