Doodle Outreach

Recommended Reading, Feb 2018

on February 5, 2018

I read somewhere that as little as six minutes of reading can soothe anxiety. I didn’t look for any scientific proof. I just kept it in mind, and I picked up books and disappeared into their pages.

* * * * *

Well, I’ve been at it again, reading kids’ books galore. Added in with a few audio books and some other self-development stuff, I’ve been cranking in the reading department, and absolutely adoring the library and its generous sharing.

Take advantage of your local library, people! They have tons of books and will likely deliver your requests to your local branch. Also ask about their streaming services. My library has both Hoopla and Libby, through which I can stream audio and video to my phone and other devices, and I can also check out e-books to read.

Here are a few books that I’ve read or listened to lately that have made a difference for me (click on the images to link to the books’ Amazon pages — by the way, I’m not affiliated with any of these authors nor do I get a cut if you buy the books; I just like to share):

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
This first in a series of three offers the mysterious tale of people living in a city with no natural light. Everyone goes on like normal, except that the city itself, and its electric source of light, are breaking down. Our young heroes, of course, go on a journey to save their city. The writing is poignant and the ideas original. I’m in the second book of the series now, and I’m equally as captivated.


This Dark Endeavor (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein) by Kenneth Oppel
What’s more fun than the back story of the characters we’ve known – or at least heard of – since childhood? Recommended to me by a librarian, this story meets young Victor Frankenstein when he’s 16 years old and is just turning on to science. This book is filled with passion and adventure. (I haven’t read the next in the series of three yet, but I did read another book by Kenneth Oppel, The Boundless, about the world’s fanciest train and the Big Foot tribe that haunts its creation. Also filled with lots of action and adventure — what do you expect from a train ride on the world’s fanciest train?).


The Magic Mirror (Concerning a Lonely Princess, A Foundling Girl, A Scheming King, and a Pickpocketing Squirrel) by Susan Hill Long

Just a few days ago, I finished reading this charming, warm, funny, fun, and smart book. And I adored it. After the intensity of the stories above, this book – set in a fantasy land of travelers and bandits, castles and hidden identities, a pickpocket squirrel and a strong heroine in a young girl with a limp – was a delight. At first the quirky writing took me a a while to get used to, but when I found myself laughing and smiling at the writing, and when I got excited and wanted to know what was going to happen next, I knew I had a keeper.




On Audio Book (and also available to read — I just happened to listen to these):

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

I say this book found me, rather than the other way around. And it was just in time. I was looking for something to listen to one day while doing a several hour task. I’d been struggling in the mornings, having trouble getting going, feeling a bit lost, but I wasn’t looking for anything specific about mornings. When I came across this audio book on YouTube, I thought, well, I may as well have a listen. (By the way, my library’s free audio book streaming system also has this book. Check out your library’s availability!)

The book offers compelling reason and evidence for taking control of one’s morning in a super uplifting and focused way. Using tools that many of us already use and compacting them into an extra-focused morning routine, Hal Elrod gives reader the opportunity to take conscious control of the first part of the day such that the rest of the day benefits. I’ve been doing the practice for 35 days now (and intend to write about it on The Therapy Booth blog one of these days!), and I am experiencing benefits, including: more confidence and energy, feeling happier, and definitely losing a little weight. I’m getting more done each day and am noticing how well I’d been doing that I wasn’t giving myself credit for. If you struggle in the mornings, check out this book!


Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I will admit to you readers that I was reluctant to read this book for a long time out of, yes, jealousy. But one day I was in the library looking for audio books, as I find myself in the car a lot more lately, and I wanted something useful to hear while driving. I saw the CDs of Big Magic on the shelf and set my ego aside long enough to begin listening to this fellow creativity encourager. I’m very glad I did. I experience benefits as I’m moving into my own work/s in ways I’m sure I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t had a listen (I both listened to CDs in the car and streamed the audio via the libary’s free app). Any book that nudges me in any way to keep going with my creative output, no matter what it might be, is worth having a listen (or a look, as the case may be).



Herein lies my invitation to you to find something — anything — that holds your attention and entertains and enriches you. I love to read young adult fiction because it keeps me in the realm of all possibility. Our young heroes are always doing great things, often in magical lands. Why not keep that alive in ourselves as so-called adults? Magic and creativity — see Big Magic, above — also go hand in hand.

Now get out there and play in some!

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