What I Read in August

Lexicon by Max Barry

Alexandra Franzen recommended in this book in one of her newsletters so I knew it was going to be good. It's fast paced and thrilling. I'm not quite sure how to classify it - fantasy? Sci-fi? In this version of reality, magic exists but there are no wands or cauldrons to speak of. "The Poets" know that words are powerful and have the ability to destroy lives. As we weave between past and future a terrible tragedy is brought into light and we realize that not everything is as it seems.

Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon

Emma was one of the first bloggers I started following when I decided to move to London. I love her charming but no-nonsense take on life and her adventures in this city are always exciting to read about. I'm thrilled to say that you can look forward to hearing from her in an upcoming episode of the podcast!  When Emma announced that she was publishing a book, I knew it would be just as fun and thought-provoking as everything else she does. In Ctrl Alt Delete Emma chronicles how she grew up, and ultimately built a career, online - complete with cybersex, catfishing, and many an MSN convo. The book is fun and lighthearted in places, but also deep and philosophical in others as she grapples with such topics as bullying and feminism. There's a whole lot of nostalgia too, for all of us who fumbled our way through growing up in those early days of the Internet.

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

I knew it wouldn't be long before I was transported back to Fillory. The second book in this trilogy is even better than the first! While The Magicians was all about world building and character development, this book is much faster paced with more plot development and suspenseful twists. Of course I'm now itching to get my hands on book three!

Come As You Are by Emily Nagosaki

I'm convinced that this book needs to be required reading for, well, all humans. It is absolutely changing my life. In it, Emily Nagosaki lays out the newest scientific research around sex and female sexuality in a way that is playful, practical, relatable, and fun to read. The book is reassuring in showing that whatever you're experiencing in your sex life, it's completely normal and that everyone can have access to a beautiful, orgasmic, sexuality. She dispels many of the age-old myths of female sexuality that have been holding us back without us evening knowing it. Did you know that for most women our genital response (ie. getting wet) does not match our state of arousal? It's called arousal nonconcordance. Or what about that only 25% of women experience spontaneous arousal (ie. getting horny)? For most, it's a matter of responding to sexual stimuli that gets us aroused. Just reading this book has changed so much of how I view and approach my sexuality but she also lays out simple exercises for reclaiming your sexuality, rather than trying to have the sex life you think you're "supposed" to. Also: she'll be on the podcast in October. Yay!!!

The Life and Death of Stophie Stark by Anna North

I checked this one out of the library after seeing a few people recommend it on social media. It's a beautiful novel that tells the life and death of an eccentric filmmaker by four of the people who loved her most. It's gripping as we try to figure out who Sophie really is and what makes her tick, and it seems to tells us both how difficult it is to ever really know someone and also how much we are shaped by the people who love us.

Energy Medicine by Donna Eden

Two lifechanging books in one month?! Phew! This one had been on a radar for a little bit and I'm so glad I finally read it. Energy medicine is based on the assumption that just like we have a physical body, we have an energy body. And just like our physical body has systems, like our nervous systems, our energy body has systems like our chakras and meridians. And while this might seem a bit "out there," the book contains a lot of science and research to back this up. And while our physical and energetic systems were designed to keep us healthy and happy, evolution hasn't quite kept up with our rapidly changing environments. As a result, our energy is often scrambled, stuck, or flowing in the wrong direction, which can lead to all kinds of nasties, including physical and mental disease. This concept feels like the missing puzzle piece to my healing journey. The book is dense and I've only been able to apply a small part of what I've learned so far but even the 5-10 minute daily energy medicine practice I've implemented has made such a difference. I have more energy, am better equipped to handle life's difficulties as they come up, and physically feel like things are flowing more smoothly. I'm really excited to explore energy medicine more deeply and see what impact it has on my life.