There isn't a single novel in the stacks of books on and beside my bed at the moment. The thing about reading non-fiction is that I can read several books at the same time - unlike novels where I get so engrossed in a story I can focus on nothing else until I get to the end of it. I'm enjoying this desultory approach to reading for a change; it leaves me space to ponder and assimilate, especially at a time when RL is demanding much of me attention-wise.
Aveda Rituals: A Daily Guide to Natural Health and Beauty by Horst Rechelbacher
Mr. Rechelbacher is the founder of Aveda, a line of cosmetics that maximizes the use of natural ingredients as well as the Ayurvedic principles of health and well being. Over the years I've increasingly incorporated a holistic, natural approach to all areas of my life. My way, however, has been undisciplined, unstructured, uncommitted and downright capricious.
Aveda Rituals presents a harmonious approach to personal care, with practical applications, explanations of the Ayurvedic philosophy behind the recommended practices, and lots of information on the various systems on which it draws: aromatherapy, the chakras, natural balance, cleansing and restorative rituals, herbal healing, yoga practice, organic diet, and much, much more.
What this book does not do is push the writer's products at you, although he does explore the philosophy behind his work and shares his personal voyage. It does not tell you what you must do, or eat, or buy, but encourages you to find what works for you so you make nurturing, healthy choices not only with regard to enhancing your natural beauty, but in every facet of your life, choices that are good for you, for those around you, and for the planet.
Victoria Magazine's Bedrooms: Private Worlds and Places to Dream
My bedroom isn't just the place where I go to sleep: this tiny space functions as my writing room, reading room, music room, private movie theatre, gym, zendo, meeting/chatting place for my RL and cyber- friends, dream space, boudoir and sanctuary. I'm constantly seeking ways to make it as easy on the eyes and as comforting to the body and spirit as it can possibly be.
There's nothing earth-shattering by way of bedroom design elements in Bedrooms: Private Worlds and Places to Dream, and that's not what I'm looking for. What I seek, and what I find in this lovely coffee table quality volume are lots of photos of beautiful dream-spaces with short, poetically written descriptive notes that put me in a calm zone and feed my thirst for aesthetic harmony. It stimulates me to be mindful of the value of enhancing the beauty of my own space via sensual elements that appeal to me: scents, textures, forms, colours, sounds, and yes, taste as well. This is not indulgence: it's spiritual necessity.
A Writer's Space by Eric Maisel
This book was recommended by fellow Novel Spaces author Shauna Roberts. My own space is always evolving as I journey from not having a dedicated writing station and using my bed, the floor and the dining room table, utilizing tools that encompassed a biro and stacks of legal notebooks, a Brother electronic word processor, and various second-hand, quirky PCs, to my current writing nook next to my bed complete with desk, new laptop, cork board and some sweet little speakers to replace the squeaky laptop-issue variety.
I'm not very far into A Writer's Space but what I'm liking already is that Maisel does not address just the physical space but also the psychic as he guides you into enhancing your own creative process by devising writing rituals to get you started and keep you going, optimizing the time you spend writing, and designing a schedule that you can follow no matter what.
The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
This is not a book you can sit and read from cover to cover despite its lack of girth; you take it in delightfully piquant little bites, maybe the 'E' entries today, the 'W' lot two weeks down the line. The Devil's Dictionary began in 1881 as a weekly article in a San Francisco paper. Bierce's searing wit and bruisingly satirical commentary on people, life and society ('life, the universe and everything' for you Douglas Adams fans out there), is uncannily relevant to today and not at all dated as one might expect.
I'd never heard of Ambrose Bierce (1842 - circa 1913?) before my friend D gave me this book for my birthday, but researching his biography turned up some fascinating information. According to Wiki, he was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist, best known for his short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and his satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary. His motto 'nothing matters' earned him the nickname 'Bitter Bierce'. Despite his satirical, critical approach to everything, he had a reputation for encouraging young writers and became something of a cult figure.
His story ends on a dramatic note befitting of such an interesting writer. In 1913 Bierce traveled to Mexico to investigate firsthand the revolution in which that country was embroiled. While traveling with rebel troops he disappeared without a trace. He was 71 at the time.