Book Connections

Non Fiction and the Reader Me.

I am a fiction reader a major percentage of my reading time. However I usually have some kind of non fiction book on the go, or left down to be picked up again at some point. I often read a memoir or biography when it comes to non fiction but my other interest is growth and spirituality. So I have favourite authors that I read or others I try out to see if I find them helpful. For example Pema Chodren a Buddhist nun is someone I enjoy reading. Oh I am a bit of a sucker for books about books too!

Today some I am reading at present and some that are in the pipeline.

Better than beforeI enjoy Gretchen Rubin’s podcast and I’ve read one other of her books I think. This one is interesting, some thought provoking things about forming good habits and some of her habits that I would not ever think of taking up. For example I do not want to even consider cutting out carbohydrates from my diet! Today I was reading about being beware of the excuse. For example one it made me think of was “It’s very cloudy and rainy this morning so no daylight to hit my eyes to help me sleep tonight so I’ll give it a miss!” No, no – I loved my walk this morning.

Sleep Easy For many years my sleep has not ever been totally satisfying. Resulting from years of the stress of life and teaching. Since I retired it improved some, but I want it to be far better. I heard about this book by a New Zealand author on the radio. It makes compelling reasons for following the way because she herself had struggled with insomnia. So far I am only reading and making some soft goals. However even thinking about it has upset my sleep somewhat but I am determined to give it a try. Getting daylight on your eyes (no sunglasses) early in the morning for about 15min is meant to help. So it has inspired me to get out walking for 20-25 min walk so even that is good! At the moment I am just logging how much time I am in bed, how much time I am asleep and how many times I wake in the night. My sleep efficiency is low = equals time asleep divided by time in bed, multiplied by 100 gives you that. The aim is to get it to about 85%.

The Universal Christ

I grew up and am a Catholic christian. I really like the theology and thinking of Richard Rohr a Franciscan. He is very down to earth and practical. And forward thinking. This book has a podcast that goes with it and I need to listen to it again. I get a bit lost in the thinking. However I’ve just bought a companion workbook to help as well.  I will again persevere. His ideas and practice is so different to the way I was shown as a child and young adult. Thank goodness for people like himself.

book coverI’ve only just ordered this book so haven’t started reading it yet! I heard about it on a podcast by Suzanne Stabile who has a podcast on the Enneagram and I really like her thoughts. She interviewed Brian Mc Karen and the interview appealed to me.  Using his own story and the stories of a diverse group of struggling believers, Brian D. McLaren, a former pastor and now an author, speaker, and activist shows how old assumptions are being challenged in nearly every area of human life, not just theology and spirituality.

book coverThis one has sat on my TBR shelf for quite awhile. I do believe that it was Emilie Richards who mentioned this book in passing but not 100% sure.  I bought it but haven’t read it! Ooops.  Hopefully 2021 is the year.

What is your favourite kind of non-fiction reading?


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14 thoughts on “Non Fiction and the Reader Me.”

  1. I’m with you, Kathryn – I like memoirs, growth topics, and books about books! Though I also enjoy some well-written historical narrative nonfiction, like Erik Larson’s books – the kind of stuff that reads like a novel!

    I also enjoy Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast, though I haven;t read any of her books yet … but I have one here (The Happier Project) for the past two years, so I should get to that!

    Sorry to hear you’ve struggled with sleep – that is so very disruptive to your life. I’ve learned a lot about it because sleep dysfunction is a part of my chronic illness, though we’ve been able to correct that with treatments. What the book says is true – getting morning daylight (even if it’s not sunny or through a window) signals your body to stop making melatonin (the “sleep hormone”) and to make more cortisol (the “wake hormone”). Similarly, it’s just as important to stay away from blue light (any screens) in the evening because it mimics sunshine and tells your body it’s still “wake time”. Best to put the phone, tablet, and laptop away several hours before bed or at least wear blue-light-blocking glasses. It is also a fact that as we age, our bodies make less melatonin, so taking a supplement before bed can help to mimic what your body should do naturally. Sorry – just some tips based on lots of research and experience! Hope the book helps you get better sleep!

    Great list 🙂


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    1. Thanks Sue, really supportive to hear from someone who has worked through sleep difficulties. It certainly has given me reason to get outside and walk in the morning and I really enjoy it which is great. I didn’t realise it was important to get light in early. I try to stop screens a couple of hours before bedtime now, although I do take my iPad into my bedroom to listen to a relaxing podcast if needed! I’ve put it on dim in the evening. We can’t get melatonin over the counter here in NZ. But if I haven’t cracked the sleep by next time I see Dr. I will see about script for it. I did listen to Happier by Gretchen Rubin but actually books like that are better in print I think. I really like the one I am reading at present.


  2. My non-fiction choices tend to deal with Catholicism or are books that read like novels or are about something I’m interested in at the moment–right now travel to Italy is on the list.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m curious about Sleep Easy though I normally avoid self-help type books. I enjoy memoirs and biography’s but generally not those written by celebrities. I like social history and true crime but also just general nonfiction on random topics. Right now I’m reading Who Gets To Be Smart by Bri Lee about privilege and education.


  4. I have Lessons from the Prairie too and have been meaning to read it! I need to read the first 2. I read Gretchen Rubin’s first two books and liked them (especially the first) though not all of her choices work for me – and like you I’m not cutting out carbs anytime soon! I’m really curious about the 2nd book. I haven’t been sleeping well and I could definitely use some ideas.


  5. I’m not very good with non-fiction books. Memoirs I can still do yes, but for the rest – you will only find it here and there on my shelf.

    My husband likes non-fiction though, I will take a look at the sleep book and tell him about it. I don’t sleep as bad as he does, but yes, I wonder how many non-teachers realize how many sleepless nights we have worrying about other people’s children…!

    Have a good weekend!

    Elza Reads

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your books look interesting, although my nonfiction books are usually memoirs. My favorites are books by authors and celebrities.

    I should try some of these uplifting books, however. Thanks for sharing.


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