"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What's On Your Book Shelf?

After doing a bit of yard work yesterday, I found myself in need of a little rejuvenation.

(And by the way, my rose bushes are blooming beautifully!) I only wish I had planted them in previous years.
I decided to take a quick trip to a local "quality" thrift store in my area; for me it's relaxing. And for those who may be turning up their nose at the thought, let me tell you this...
I kid you not---I have the most extensive book collection. It almost rivals that of a real library! And the cool thing is that when I score my reads at the thrift store, I get rock-bottom prices. Spending less means I can buy more. And that's just plain smart in my book!

For example, I bought The Purpose Driven Life, Dr. Phil's Relationship Rescue, Gordon Parks's poetry and photography book, and several of the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" titles for less than 10 bucks!

And I'm talking about in excellent condition, some even brand spankin' new, folks.

A point of reference...
Since childhood, I've always loved to read. I thank my mom to this day for cultivating a love of literature and learning, which has definitely served me well over the years--in college and in my career.

In fact, as an avid reader, it's not unusual to find me reading and thumbing through multiple books at the same time, depending upon my mood.

Here's this week's round-up of what I'm reading and what I recommend:

***Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (for women)---It must have been by divine intervention that I happened upon this treasure. Since I'm already a big fan of the series, I was drawn immediately to this title written by Kristine Carlson, the wife of best-selling author Richard Carlson. Wow, what an "I" opener! If I were stuck on a desert, and could only have 2 or 3 books, I'd choose this one. But then again, I guess that most of the advice would be inapplicable out there on that desert! Anyhow, it's a must read for moving forward with greater peace and purpose for women. It's the best advice available in book form for females (that I've come across). Here are a few chapters to check out: Don't fight fire with fire; Stop comparing yourself to the media measuring stick; Don't get over committee-D.
I must say that I liked it even a little better than "Simple Abundance", which is an awesome read!

***By the Waters (A Collection of Prayers for Everyday)---by Ellyn Sanna---The writing is eloquent and the photos are scenic and soothing. This read allows us to look at the connection between quenching our physical and spiritual thirst so that we may live in balance, beauty, and in awareness of our daily blessings. The nice thing too is that it doesn't have chapters so you can approach it in any order you'd like. It's also a great gift to give to a friend or loved one.

***Creating Affluence---by Deepak Chopra---I dig Deepak. He's (deep). Dating back to when he came out with "Ageless Body, Timeless Mind", I've been fascinated by his work. And you will be too. Though this one is a little more abstract than I'd like, there are still tools and techniques you'll find useful in developing a prosperous mindset.

What's on your book shelf? Do you think that being an avid reader helps writers to be better at their craft? What's your take?

Image Salvatore Vuono


  1. I think writers must be readers. It helps sharpen our skills and broaden our horizons.

    Have a great week,

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 10, 2010 at 6:04 PM


    How true! Thanks for "reading" my thoughts and weighing in. :-)

  3. I pretty much always have multiple books going at one time. Right now I'm reading About a Boy by Nick Hornby, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers and (admission time) I'm rereading the Twilight series at bedtime each night.

    I agree that writers must also be readers. It helps us on our paths as writers, but also, we have to support each other!

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 12, 2010 at 5:43 AM


    Welcome! How great to have you here. Sounds like some interesting reads you've got going there. :-) Thanks for your input today.

  5. Jennifer: Thanks for passing on some good recommendations and book titles. I remember you commenting about a week ago that you were a Deepak fan. I also am as well and loved that book Creating Affluence. I am looking forward to checking out the others recommendations. They sound great.

  6. Hi Jennifer,
    I have books on health, education, growing a garden, blogging, html, juicing and some personal growth books.

    I do believe that being an avid reader does help enhance one's writing craft.

    I can remember having my head buried in a book when I was a young girl. I'm just like you..you can find me reading more than one book at a time. LOL..

    Thanks for sharing your picks!

    Take care,


  7. Jennifer:

    This is excellent! I'd love to see your library!

    I'm reading two books at one time right now -- one being "Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow" by Marsha Sinetar.

    Also, last week my wife and I visited an old book store and bought 4 books for under $10.00, one a book about prayer that was on the stores back porch -- aka discard area for .25 each -- and my wife plowed through it.



  8. Just read 1984, not too long ago. Any one here read it? Its by George Orwell. A classic by the way. Check it out.

    But yeh, reading sharpens the mind and strengths your intelligence. You cant catch me without a great read in my hands.

    I suggest you do the same.

  9. Hi Sibyl,

    Glad you liked the recommendations. Yep, I dig (DEEP)ak! I'm also a big fan Of Wayne Dyer.
    I also have a load of motivational books on tape, when I need to multi-task. Gotta' get that literary fix. :-) I appreciate your input.

  10. Evelyn,

    Welcome back!

    Sounds like we like similar topics, too. And I definitely need some good gardening books!

    Thanks for your thoughts today.

  11. Steve,

    Great to hear from you! Maybe I'll post photos of my in-home library. Now that's an idea. :-)
    Sometimes you can get some good "discards" from local libraries too.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 13, 2010 at 8:51 AM


    Hi! Welcome...I am familiar with 1984; it is indeed a classic. I read it many moons ago. :-)

    As they say, "readers are leaders!" Thanks for your comments.

  13. I love a great used bookstore! The DSTSS books are classics to keep around. Kudos on getting a few at such a great deal too. I just reread The Celestine Prophecy. It's part of my spiritual library and I am go glad I had a gut feeling to hold on to it all these years. I got so much more from reading it this second time. Here's to books and the fabulous ones that love them. :)

  14. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 13, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Hi Emma,

    Nice to hear from you again.
    I'll have to check out the Celestine Prophecy; I've heard of it but never had the pleasure of reading it. Thanks for your visit. :-)

  15. Hi Jennifer, I've just followed a link from your most recent post October 2014 to find this one...four years later! And it is still relevant...I would LOVE to see your book collection, sounds wonderful. I have always dreamed of having a floor to ceiling book shelf that expands an entire wall where it even has a shelf above the door and you need a sliding ladder to reach for the books! As I am partially-blind however, I use mainly audio books these days and they are so great to have so I can be reading a book while cooking our evening meal or when I am doing the garden. Then there are the times when my partner will share a book with me and reads it to me as my own private bedtime story - how cool is that, I call him, the bard in my book!
    One amazing story we shared was called 'The Elephant Whisperer' by Lawrence Anthony - a real life story of how he grew to be accepted by a herd of wild elephants - worth a read. Otherwise, I do find reading the writing of others helps me so much to observe their craft so I can hope to craft my own words too.
    Once again, this blog has so many helpful articles, it is like a library in itself! Thanks jen...Maribel

    1. Maribel,
      How lovely to get your feedback 4 years later. Awesome! I really love your comparison of my Blog to a library. It's the ultimate compliment. :-)