Six Books On My Nightstand

April 3, 2013

books on my nightstand1

Text and images by Gabrielle.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself spending less time with my laptop and more time with books. And I’ve been reading some good stuff! It’s making me think. Making me re-consider some of my habits. Influencing my plans for the future. And several titles from people I know and have worked with — which is such a treat!

books on my nightstand2

Take a peek at what’s on my nightstand this month.

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Minimalist Parenting.
Written by Christine Koh of Boston Mamas and Asha Dornfest of Parenthacks, two of the smartest, kindest women I have the pleasure of knowing. I actually received an advance copy of this book so I could write a blurb about it. Here’s what I said:

Full of clear examples, helpful frameworks, and flat out wisdom from two sincere authors, Minimalist Parenting will help you identify exactly what your family needs are (spoiler: those needs are far more achievable and far less complex than you think), and how to fill those needs. Read this book and you’ll give yourself permission to say no to the activities and habits that are putting a drag on your family, and yes to the options that build a satisfying life. 

If you feel like your life is too busy in an unsatisfying way, I bet this book will help you.

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Kinfolk Magazine, Volume 7.
Okay, you’re right, this isn’t a book. But it doesn’t feel like a magazine either. And you’ll want to give it a place of honor on your coffee table.

If you’re unfamiliar with Kinfolk, I encourage you to treat yourself to a copy right away. It’s hard to describe how beautiful these publications are. If you like to imagine yourself winding down with a cup of chamomile, this is the what you are reading in the daydream.

Nathan, the creator of Kinfolk, has been a speaker at Alt Summit and it’s hard to imagine a more talented person.

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Digital Disruption.
This book is by James McQuivey, a Boston-based researcher I’ve known for ages because we share a sister-in-law. It will make you rethink your future plans.

Digital advances mean there is 100 times more innovation happening in the world right now than there was 10 years ago — and James backs that up with statistics and graphs. What does that mean for your business, for your career? A lot. And it’s got me thinking creatively about what’s next.

Fun fact: James actually profiles me on page 33.

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Dare Dream Do.
Written by Whitney Johnson, this book is a kick in the pants for anyone feeling fearful about diving in and starting something. What I like best about it, is that it’s full of real-life stories. True stories. From real women that are making it work, bootstrapping their way to success.

Frankly, reading the stories of brave women is just the best thing ever. If you have a friend who is sitting on her talents, pick this book for your next book club and have her lead the discussion.

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The Honest Life.
Making an effort to live more naturally? Not sure where to start? This book is incredibly helpful. It covers food, household cleaning, even beauty routines! It’s filled with facts that are just scary enough they’ll encourage us to take action and change some of our habits. But it’s approachable at the same time.

We’ve discussed that this topic — going green — can be frustrating. It can feel overwhelming, or like an extreme way to live. But this book helps us see how doable it is. And reminds us why going green important.

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Brooklyn Makers.
What is it about Brooklyn? Something must be in the East River that’s causing the make-it genes of Brooklynites to go into overdrive. So many beautiful things are being created in that borough, that Jennifer Causey decided to document all the making in this book. And it’s a beautiful book — gorgeous photography!

I feel like this would make a good gift for someone who’s considering selling a handmade product, but needs some inspiration to put it out in the world.

books on my nightstand

Now it’s your turn, friends. What’s on your reading list these days?


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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer April 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

“Connected Parenting ” , and “The Age of Miracles” are the two that are on my nightstand and that I haven’t picked up in weeks. thanks to your blog post I may just dig back into them tonight :)


2 Design Mom April 3, 2013 at 11:56 am

What’s your take on them so far? Worth picking up? I’ll add them to my list.


3 Lena April 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Just reading “The Age of Miracles”:)


4 Ginger J. April 3, 2013 at 11:02 am

I’ve been making my way through the books of School Library Journal’s Battle of the Books, which occurs every year in March. Of particular note is BOMB by Steve Sheinkin, a fascinating look at the evolution of the atomic bomb. Next up is NO CRYSTAL STAIRS, a book about Lewis Micheaux, who was a Harlem bookseller. Since I read middle-grade and young adult fiction almost exclusively, it’s been really interesting to turn to middle-grade and young adult non-fiction.


5 Design Mom April 3, 2013 at 11:57 am

BOMB sounds really good. I’m glad you mentioned it!


6 Chelle April 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I’ve been going through the same list! LOVED No Crystal Stair. And Bomb. And almost all of the other books, too…


7 Carol Morehead April 3, 2013 at 11:08 am

I am switching houses and staying in the new one without cable. As I read I always look up words I don’t know. Suddenly I found myself using…. a dictionary that is a book! So fun to turn the alphabetic pages instead of putting a word in a window! CM


8 Design Mom April 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

How fun! We have lots of tiny French-English dictionaries around to help with homework, but it’s been ages since I’ve cracked open a big Webster-ish dictionary.


9 Asha Dornfest April 3, 2013 at 11:10 am

WAHHHH! You have no idea how exciting it is to see Christine’s and my book appear in one of your lovely photos. Thank you so much for sharing our book with your readers (and for so much more).


10 Design Mom April 3, 2013 at 11:59 am

I can’t say enough good about your book. Fantastic work, both of you!


11 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay April 3, 2013 at 11:10 am

I seem to always have several books going- and have not finished one in awhile. Do you read more than one book at a time? I want to read every book you featured here. Am I fickle, distracted or too interested in too many things? Ah, books. I love them.


12 Design Mom April 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I’m definitely in a many books at once phase. But when I tackle a novel, I usually press pause on all my other reading and just plough trough.

I know what you mean about being too interested in too many things. : )


13 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay April 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Part of my problem may be reading too much non-fiction at once. I love it. But I wind up reading a chapter and putting it down. Perhaps a novel should make its way to the top of my stack. It would be good to love a story enough to finish it!


14 Tere April 3, 2013 at 11:38 am

Thanks for the recommendations! There are two calling my name. BTW, how is yours going? When are we getting a glimpse?


15 Design Mom April 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I love that you asked about my book, Tere! I was thinking that perhaps everyone had forgotten it.

It was originally slated to come out right about now, but I ended up pushing back my publication date by a year because life got too crazy. And right now, I’m actually in the thick of it — in fact, I had a call with my editor earlier today.

I should totally write an update post. Thanks for the reminder!


16 liz April 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm

yay! how did i miss that you are working on a book!? I can’t wait to see what it’s about – you could write so many books about so many topics! it’s going to be great.


17 Heidi April 3, 2013 at 11:57 am

The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Ben Zander. I picked it up after seeing Benjamin Zander’s TED talk.


18 Design Mom April 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Thanks for the link, Heidi! I’m looking forward to watching it.


19 Brittany T April 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Kinfolk… what a great one to have!
Speaking of hard copies of words… have you seen Lindsay Letters’ art before? She’s a hand calligrapher, and just released a new baby/kids line… anyway, she has an “Olive you” print which initially reminded me of your family! Thought you’d like to see it!


20 Julie April 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

I’m reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. It’s all about starting your morning off the right way, in the right frame of mind. (And nice and early!) I’m on Day 3 of a 30 day challenge. I’ve woken up at 5 am., gone jogging, read, did some visualization and affirmations, as well as planned my day ahead. So far so good.

I also had plenty of time to make my kids a nice warm breakfast before they went to school. It’s absolutely changing how I do things and I’m loving it. :)


21 Bill Williams April 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I am currently working my way through “Dare, Dream, Do” and am really enjoying the practicality of her approach.

Sometimes I think its quite easy to allow life to drift on by and not really give enough thought to the ways that we are actually living it.

Books like this can definitely help to shift the paradigm in peoples lives away from “Survival” and more towards actively sucking the marrow from life.

Happy reading :-)


22 Kimberly April 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I’m reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It’s wonderful! I actually put it down before Christmas and now that my life is hectic and scrambled again, I think I should pick it back up. I’m trying to embrace imperfection. Trying is the key word!


23 Amy April 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Thanks for some great recommends, I think Dare Dream Do is just what I need to read. Wouldn’t mind a Kinfolk issue laying around either :)

I’m always in the middle of several books, too. Currently it’s Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley. A very hopeful look at our future.


24 Shelly Hardage-Wilkerson April 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I always find myself with a stack of books after awhile too, but recently I only have three on my nightstand at the moment.

Between Shades of Gray by: Ruta Sepetys

House Rules by: Jodi Picoult

And 9 Secrets of Women that Get Everything They Want by: Kate White It’s actually my blogs reading selection for this month as well. Lot of great tips to act on.

I am going to look into The Honest Life. I have seen that book before and have always admired Jessica Alba, so it looks like a good read. Thanks for sharing these, I might have to add to my stack of books now. :-)


25 Caitlin Jacobs April 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

What great timing! I just wrote a post this morning about what I’ve been reading:
It’s just starting to storm outside my window, and this post is making me want to curl up with a good book. :) Nothing like reading during a rain!


26 Sara April 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I know this will sound weird (or corny, or “churchy”), but I’m working my way thru the Bible this year. There are bits and pieces I know really well, and some bits I’ve never even opened. So this is the year I get thru it all!

It has really been eye-opening. There’s so much I just thought I “knew.” But I was so wrong. There was a class in college I wanted to take – “The Bible as Literature.” Never taking that class is one of my regrets.


27 Cathy Hunter April 3, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I took that class at BYU and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d guess you could probably buy the supplementary text(s) from your college bookstore.


28 Kristin April 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I joined a 40 book challenge this year in effort to read more. I mostly read on the Kindle though, so I don’t know if I can count it as time away from technology. /


29 Lena April 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I love those posts. It always inspires me. I can’t wait to read Dare Dream Do and The Honest life. She did such a smart turn in her career. I admire her.


30 Katrina April 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I just finished A Train in Winter by Caroline Morehead. It’s about the occupation of France during WWII and the fate of those who resisted and were caught. It focuses specifically on a group of women resisters. Fascinating and horrifying!

Next up, Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce #5) by Alan Bradley, because now I need something light!


31 Susan Dunnegan April 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Katrina – I didn’t know there was a new Flavia de Luce book out – thank you!


32 Sarah at See. Eat. Repeat. April 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I absolutely loved “Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer. You have probably read it, but if you haven’t, it’s just fantastic. I found myself underlining almost constantly.


33 Genevieve April 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm

The Greater Journey by David McCollough…about Americans in Paris in the early 1800s and their contributions to America and the world. Wonderful read!


34 Corinne April 4, 2013 at 2:53 am

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Her writing is sublime. And I’ve just bought The Rhyming Rabbit by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks for my kids – what a treat! Makes kids walk around trying to rhyme simple things like, ‘it’s time for dinner, what a winner!’


35 Jenny April 4, 2013 at 10:48 am

Check out all your nonfiction titles! If I read that much nonfiction at once my drama-loving brain begins to weave them all into a confusing soap opera and I can’t keep my facts straight.

I’m also reading Bring up the Bodies by Mantel and then Before the Fallout: from Marie Curie to Hiroshima. I have no idea if the Marie Curie book is going to be good, but I will read pretty much anything with her name on it.


36 vix April 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

Oh! I just downloaded the first chapter of Jessica Albas book on my ipad!

I have way too many books, in real life and on my ipad! Ipads are nice for reading in the middle of the night (3am) when DH is sleeping cause I don’t need to turn the light on … but books are LOVELY.

I just packed a whole stack away, from my bedroom, this afternoon … gardening, cooking, saving money, going green … all the ones I dip into every now and again.

I just finished a Debbie Macomber book today, and Im still busy with Nora Ephron’s I remember nothing. language is a bit colourful but very funny.


37 Kristin brown April 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I’m reading Bernd Heinrich’s A Year in the Maine Woods, which is really interesting. He’s a zoologist and decides to take a year off from teaching to just live simply in a cabin in the woods. His observations of birds and their habits has got me noticing the sounds and behaviors of the birds where I live (Illinois). The magazine Taproot is another something I’ve read off and on, no ads, all just articles by people getting back to the land, natural living and simplicity.


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