This year, I’ve read fewer books than ever. For the past six years, I’ve published a post at the end of the year sharing the books I’ve loved (you can find past posts here), and I expect this year’s list will be quite short. I’ve come to enjoy this approach to reading, because it lets me focus on the precious few books that touch my soul, rather than trying to read for the sake of reading. In that spirit, I’d love to hear from you:
What’s the one book that changed you this year? (And why?)
I’ll start with mine: The most impactful book I read was Starting Point by Hayao Miyazaki. I wrote a bit about it here:
“I’m obsessed. I love that he is honest about the pain and struggle of creating something that truly moves people. It’s not easy to do great work. There are no tricks, no shortcuts. There are many days where you are exhausted, deflated from pushing yourself so hard. But for those of us that are driven in this way, those that want to make something that evokes, moves, and touches people, it’s not really a choice.”
P.S. Be sure to share why the book you share impacted you, so fellow readers can know whether it’s for them, and/or whether it’s the right time for that book.
I really loved Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin - it was a great exploration of chosen family & non-romantic relationships, identity, disability, and gender. And video games!
It’s really hard for me to choose just one because I read some really impactful books this year in all different genres. But I’m going to go with one I read way back in January, Nick Cave and Sean O’Hagan’s Faith, Hope, and Carnage. It’s a series of conversations between one of my favorite musical artists and a journalist. It emphasized the sad beauty and fragility of this extraordinary life we’re given in a way that really moved me.
The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield:
For a while I've struggled with sharing music I learn on the piano. I always feel a kind of resistance that "insists I'm not that good, so maybe I should wait for when I'm perfect like a concert pianist. Then I can share my work"
In the book Pressfield unmasks the different shades of what he calls 'Resistance' and how it prevents us from doing our best work.