Review of Big Magic By Elizabeth Gilbert

Do you have the desire to create something? Is there a novel, short story, poem, play, or script on your mind and in your heart but not on paper? Would you like to make a quilt, a painting, a clay pot, or a pair of mittens? If something is holding you back, you have come to the right place. This is a review of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I recommend Big Magic

Maybe I should correct that. This is less of a review of Big Magic and more of a recommendation to read Big Magic. I LOVED this book. It was entertaining, enlightening, and encouraging. Gilbert introduced me to ideas so far out of my realm of experience that I could feel my brain stretching. For example:

Review of The Empty Nest by Karen Stabiner

Since my own nest emptied recently, I have been reading books about the empty nest. This is a review of The Empty Nest by Karen Stabiner.

The full title of the book is The Empty Nest, 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, And Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop. This book is a collection of 31 essays by a very diverse group.

I enjoyed the diversity of the authors. All are professional writers so the quality of writing is very good. Included are essays by traditional couples, single moms, single dads, gay parents, and one man who is not a parent but a very involved godparent.

Not all gained empty nest status by their child going to college. One son joined the army. One girl left for boarding school at 14. Death claimed one couple’s son.

Review of From Mom To Me Again

This is a review of From Mom To Me Again, How I survived My First Empty Nest Year And Reinvented The Rest Of My Life  by Melissa T. Schultz.

I was prepared to not enjoy this book. After LOVING Going Gypsy and enjoying My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space, I didn’t plan to enjoy From Mom To Me Again.

Even the title didn’t really grab me. From Mom To Me Again implies that ME got lost in being MOM, which sounds so depressing to me. 

Then I started reading the book. And sentences I read started resonating with me. For example,

Review of My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space

For obvious reasons (my own nest just emptied) I have been reading books about the empty nest. This is a review of My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space: The Amazing Adventures Of An Ordinary Woman by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Scottoline Serritella.

It is very obvious that Lisa is a professional writer and that this is not her first book. She is very good with words. Her sentences are crisp and she often employs a play on words which made reading this book enjoyable. I love her writing. What I don’t love as much is that the book is a collection of essays. I guess I prefer a more cohesive story. Yes, it’s all about Lisa, or her daughter, or her mother. But it just didn’t flow very easily for me, which made it too easy to put down and forget. 

Put Your Feet Up And Read

Cleaning for someone new

A few weeks ago I got a new cleaning job. It was for an older lady who needed help to be able to stay in her own home. She was 85 years old. I know this since she told me several times. When I went to her house for the interview, she was sitting on the couch reading. I also noticed a pile of books on the table beside her bed. This lady loved to read!

Since she was quite elderly, she would be there while I was cleaning. That’s not my favorite situation, but in this case it was necessary.

Well, when I arrived at her house to clean the first time, she was sitting on the couch reading a book. She was actually reading The Lipstick Jungle! Of course I cleaned every other room first so as not to disturb her, but eventually I ended up in the living room. She was still on the couch reading. I dusted the whole room. I shook out the rugs. Then all that remained was vacuuming the carpet.

The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin

I read The Happiness Project a few months ago. A couple of weeks later I went back to the library to check it out again. It made such a big impact on me, I wanted to read it again.

How The Happiness Project started

The Happiness Project is not a novel. It is not a biography. It is not a self-help book. The Happiness Project is a journal of sorts of Gretchen’s year-long commitment to increasing her happiness.

As she put it, “I wasn’t as happy as I could be, and my life wasn’t going to change unless I made it change. And that single moment, with that realization, I had decided to dedicate a year to trying to be happier.”  

Review of Going Gypsy By David And Veronica James

Since ’empty nest’ is the name of our new season of life, I have been reading some books relating to having an empty nest. I recently read Going Gypsy  by David and Veronica James and I highly recommend it. This is a review of Going Gypsy, a delightful book.

I read this delightful, inspiring book in an afternoon. Delightful because it is well-written and enjoyable to read. Inspiring because it opened doors in my mind to the possibilities, the what-ifs, the why-don’t-we?

What do I mean? This couple is facing the emptying of their nest when their third child leaves for college. Veronica  is a self-diagnosed helicopter mom. Anticipating life with no children to hover over, she takes the empty nest harder than her husband David.

So what did they do? They got rid of the nest! They sold their home and took up life traveling the United States in an old RV. Along the way, they reconnected with friends and family and saw the US and its beauty.