Hello book lovers! It's time for the book club, but let's change it up!

Last month I picked two books, but we didn't have nearly as much participation as the month before, and I think I know why. Two books is just way too limiting, isn't it?  I read a few at once, and I'm a fan of quitting whenever I want. So instead of just  picking 2 books for us to read and discuss together, let's just make this a space to talk about everything we're reading.

I'll share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can share your list of books in the comments, or we can talk about any of the books that you want to read along with me.

April's Reads

Icarus Deception. 

Amazon | IndieBound | GoodReads

This book was a big YES to everything I feel about my own creative business, and the way I encourage creatives in their own. It directly inspired this post about the Only Work You Have to Do, whose discussion led to this one on connection…which led to these two posts about creating a path of connection for your customer.


Market Yourself.

Amazon | Goodreads

Yes, I spent a good chunk of last week re-reading my own book, to prepare for teaching a workshop on Artist's Portfolios + Social Media. The timing was perfect since Saturday was my Book-iversary! The book launched one year ago! (You can get a signed one here.)

Sunday Morning Quilts

Amazon | IndieBound | GoodReads

I read a lot of quilt books last month, but this was by far the best – both in the I-would-make-that quality of the patterns and in the friendly, chatty beginning.


May's To Read List 

This month's reading list. Details are on the site.

I had intended to read Contagious last month…but I had to return it to the library (someone else had a hold on it) before I got to it. But it's all mine now, and I'm one chapter in. What makes this book different from all the other ones about business and social media is that it is well-researched by the author.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up is all about creative nonfiction. What it is, how to write it, and exercises to get you started. Since creative nonfiction is the best definition I can find for what I write, and I'm working on a new project, I'm super excited to read this.

After hearing Father Boyle on On Being with Krista Tippet, I wanted to read his book.  I strongly recommend the recording of their conversation. It's funny, heart-breaking, and is the very best I can hope for my faith.

Lean In. Eh, I'm requested this book from the library because I'm curious about what it says to women in the workforce. I've seen a lot of entrepreneurial types saying “You don't need to “lean in” because you should start your own business!“…but while I'd love for everyone to do exactly what they love, I know that's not a choice everyone has, in every situation. Until I read this, I'm not recommending it, because it has the potential to be completely annoying.

Last week my 14 year old brother called me up to say, “I just finished Divergent. It is BETTER than the Hunger Games. You have  to read it.”  We're going on a family vacation at the end of June, and since 14 year old boys are notoriously hard to have conversations with (without stabbing out my own eyes), I hope to be caught up with where he is in the series so we can talk about it. (Yes, I take recommendations from everyone. And I know we have similar taste (in movies and books, if not in video games.))


I’m an affiliate for Amazon + IndieBound, which means I get soy latte money if you buy through the links I’ve used here. GoodReads is a free tool for tracking what you read.  I  read all these books via my library, which I strongly recommend!


What are you reading? 






8 Comments on Explorer’s Club of Book Lovers – May

  1. Jessica Cook
    May 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm (11 years ago)

    I LOOOOVED Divergent, and I actually have a Tris colorway and a Four colorway from it, ha! I also super duper loved Sunday Morning Quilts. I just won a copy of “Grow Your Handmade Business” in a blog giveaway so I’d like to read that this month, and maybe also “The Unmaking of Mara Dyer” (? it’s something like that) which is YA Fiction.

  2. Tara Swiger
    May 9, 2013 at 9:11 am (11 years ago)

    Oh, good! I love to have my choices reaffirmed! 🙂
    I liked Grow Your Handmade Business, and I think it’ll confirm all the good work you’re already doing in your biz!

  3. Cari Kaufman
    May 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm (11 years ago)

    I just started reading a book that might be of interest to a lot of people here — it’s called “Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity.” I haven’t gotten very far yet, but so far one interesting idea is that part of what’s driving the DIY ethos is increasing distrust in government, corporations, and our food system, and that this cuts across the political spectrum. We are turning more toward individual solutions. In some ways this is good, e.g. cooking at home more, or pursuing your own definition of career success, but it also raises some troubling questions about whether we are giving up on community-oriented solutions. For instance, she cites a statistic that 75% of Americans now say they have a negative view of day care. I thought that was astounding.

  4. Tara Swiger
    May 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh, this sounds fascinating!
    I’m VERY interested in how the opting-out of so many of us creative entrepreneurs will affect the women who are working “traditional” jobs. If the answer is just “You should work for yourself”, then we’re not going to be as driven to create solutions for those who don’t want to (or can’t) do that. And of course, women who work for themselves (or not at all) STILL need the services that we used to rely on our jobs to provide: health insurance, time off to take care of children, etc.

  5. Vanessa
    May 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm (11 years ago)

    I am in the middle of several books (when am I not?): 1. I’m still plugging away at “The Brontes: Wild Genius on the Moors”. I’m hoping to finish it next month. It’s an exhaustive look at all of the Brontes (from Papa Patrick down to Anne) but it’s made me appreciate their works so much more.

    2. “The Artist’s Way”. This seems to be a “standard” book for most people. I like the idea of writing three pages every morning about anything and everything, even stuff like “I have no clue what to write about today”.

    3. “Gone to Earth”. It’s about a girl who lives with her crazy bee keeping dad. She’s torn between the Good Guy and the Bad Boy but really doesn’t want to be married to anyone. It seems silly, the way I’m describing it, but it’s more symbolic than that. Also, so far she’s not very whiny or stroppy.

    4. “Babbit”. Another public domain classic, this one poking fun at the mindless consumption/keeping up with the Joneses of the American middle class. Except it was written in the 1920s. Very few things have changed and I love a good satire.

  6. Tara Swiger
    May 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm (11 years ago)

    Thanks for the recommendations! The only one I’ve read so far is The Artist’s Way. I loooove writing with no judgement of what I should be writing and I still use my journal for that, a few times of a week. I found Artist’s Dates to be helpful too! Even years after reading it the first time, I still remember: oh yeah! I haven’t bean out on an Inspiration Hunt lately!

  7. scienceknitster
    May 16, 2013 at 11:32 pm (11 years ago)

    Thanks for mentioning Divergent — loved so much I had to continue with Insurgent and the was bummed out that the third book in the trilogy isn’t out until September. The book abou the Bronte’s the someone mentioned has been sitting on my bed stand for several months — I need to get serious about it! Let’s see, I also read a biography of Richard III recently as well as several “cozy mysteries” — my favorities are set in places like yarn shops. I also read Victoria Thompson’s latest historical mystery”Murder in Chesea” that came out May 1st. Oh, and I also have been listening to “Agincourt” by Bernard Cornwell on Audible.

  8. Tara Swiger
    May 17, 2013 at 8:41 am (11 years ago)

    That Bronte book is on my digital bed stand too (waiting on my Kindle)! How do you like Agincourt? I might add it to my list!