Writer Life

Fairy Tales, Health, Inspiration, Oh My! Books I Read in February

Fairy Tales, Health, Inspiration, Oh My! Books I Read in FebruaryThe best advice ever given for writing is to read and often.

Of everything you “should” do as a writer, this is the one that comes easiest to me.

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been a voracious reader. Y’all, in kindergarten, my Show and Tell thing was to read a story to my class (my mother is still proud of that fact to this day – 30-plus years later). In 1st grade, my teacher took me to the side and handed me the entire set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books to read. I read the Chronicles of Narnia the next year.

I’m a reader.

Eventually college, then work, then kids turned reading into a luxury. It was only when I hit my 30s that I said, “Screw this shit” (or something like that) and became a regular at my local library (because really, I can’t afford my own book habit. I buy books that I can’t live without, and I borrow the rest from the library – but when you see how many I read in a month, you’ll understand).

I figured it was time I started sharing the books I read to help others find something good, too. Hell, if you’re here reading my stuff, I figure you’re a reader, too. (The links to each title are affiliate links, and yes, I make a small commission if you buy something – but no worries, you don’t pay a penny more and I’m not offended if you don’t buy a single book – I’ll meet you over at the library instead.)

What did I read in February? A little bit of everything…

And by everything, I mean O-M-G everything

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

I first read Kate Forsyth’s The Wild Girl and fell in love. She takes fairy tales that you know and love and tell you the real story behind them all while spinning a magical tale. Bitter Greens is the tale of Rapunzel, a little girl named Margherita kidnapped by an evil sorceress in Venice. But it’s also the story of a woman who longs for love and a life she can call her own, Charlotte-Rose de la Force who’s exiled from Louis XIV (also known as the Sun King) in Versailles, France in the 1600s. At the same time, it’s the story of a courtesan who fears growing older and dying and so uses dark magic to have what she wants most.

Historical fiction meets fairy tales. Kate Forsyth is brilliant, and I want her to re-tell every fairy tale with an eye for historical accuracy and magic. Because, based on the two books I’ve read by her so far, it is possible to have both.

Health, Diet, and Nutrition

I mentioned in an earlier post that I read three different books on sugar, glycemic index, and metabolism this month – all in an effort to figure out how to correct my declining health.

The G.I. Diet  by Rick Gallop
The Sugar Solution from Prevention
Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

Ultimately, I decided to follow The Sugar Solution more closely than the other two. If you decide to read any of these, don’t be surprised if some information doesn’t sound right. For the past few years, we’ve started to learn more about artificial sweeteners and what they can do to our bodies. Both versions of The G.I. Diet and The Sugar Solution that I read (the original editions) were quick to suggest diet sodas and artificial sweeteners. While Master Your Metabolism was quick to say not to let a single chemical come near you. In my experience, the answer is usually somewhere in the middle.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I’ve loved Elizabeth Gilbert since I discovered Eat Pray Love. Of course, I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I saw the movie and still haven’t read the book. But her story was life-changing for me, and inspired me to change my own life. (Of course, it helped that Julia Roberts was a great actress and the move was really good.)

When a fellow blogger mentioned Big Magic on her own blog several weeks ago, I was intrigued. The subtitle is “Creative Living Beyond Fear.” I devoured this book in one sitting and itched for a highlighter to mark every meaningful, life-changing word I was reading. Of course, I didn’t – it was a library book. So that night, I ordered my own copy from Amazon so that I could re-read it and make notes to my heart’s content.

Her ideas come from magical thinking (which she freely admits) and it fit with my own personal view of the “Universe” as some sort of entity that can help guide our lives. Elizabeth Gilbert believes that ideas are living, breathing things, and they’ll come to you and wait (sometimes patiently) for you to do something with them, but if not, they’ll find another person. Ideas want to be born into this world. I’m going to do a more in depth post on Big Magic soon – after I read it again! – because there were so many ideas that I think writers and people everywhere could use to help make a different life for ourselves.

Sexy, Erotic Reads

Okay, for those who find sexual, mature content offensive, this isn’t for you. If you find kinky sex offensive, also, not for you. While I love the library for a lot of things, I adore my Kindle for giving me the option to read steamy, hot, wonderfully inappropriate books without worrying about the kids (or anyone else) asking questions I don’t feel like answering.

This month’s sexy, erotic reads (with plenty of BDSM in both) were:

Taking the Lead by Cecilia Tan
The Gazillionaire and the Virgin by Lisabet Sarai

I’m not ashamed to admit I enjoy books heavy on sex and light on build up. What I love about these two authors is that they told a good story at the same time. Take out the kink, and you’ve got two love stories with a lot of miscommunication, angst, and personal growth.

My tastes in reading are fairly eclectic. In any given month, I’ll read historical fiction, fantasy, erotica, business, marketing, health, and more. Up for next month are a few books by Seth Godin and Sharon Kay Penman’s Sunne in Splendour (I’m halfway through and ran out of month.)

Michaela Mitchell Visit Website
Storyteller. Writer. Introvert. Mom. Sarcastic, caffeine-fueled, type-A, over-thinker.
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