the fire to stay human and the hope to stay alive


Even more than writing, I’ve always been reading. Since before I can remember, I have always read. Before I started school, before anyone told me to, I was reading. As a child it was imaginary stories and a few biographies that spoke to me and kept me company as an only child. When I was scared and alone and overwhelmed in high school, it was books I turned to for solace, it was the library I took refuge in.

When I was a young single mother about to give birth to my first baby, it was books I turned to, to make sense of pregnancy and motherhood. Throughout the entirety of my twenties I sought help in the form of books, self-help, parenting and child development books, anything to help me figure out how I could turn my ship around. I was always looking for something even though I wasn’t exactly sure what it was.

Then, there was a shift. I started piecing together a sort of worldview, a way of handling things, a framework for approaching life. Everything I read was informing me and shaping me somehow, whether it was because it showed me exactly what I didn’t want to become or because it was what I was aspiring to. The words and stories and findings of others always did the work to show me where I was going. To light the way and help me find and stay my course.

I’ve apparently been researching being human since 2000 and everything that I have read has informed me, helped piece together my view on the world, bit by bit. Excruciatingly slow, ever a work in progress, but steady.

This is the soundtrack to my life, this is the highlights reel of the bibliography of this blog about being human. Not every book is guaranteed to stay on my shelf but all the books that appear on this page now and in the future are ones that have fortified me on my pursuit of understanding how to be a human in this world.

I am not saying they will be useful to you, this is more of a way of understanding where I am coming from, which is important if you intend to read what I have to write.

It’s on these shoulders I stand and these voices that have been and continue to be my beacons.

On Writing by Stephen King

The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes

Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher

Work the System by Sam Carpenter

The Whole-Brained Child by Daniel Seigel

Mindsight by Daniel Seigel

No Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel

The Element by Ken Robinson

An Organised Mind by Daniel Levitan

Bouncing Back by Linda Graham

Bouncing Forward by Michaela Hass

The Science of Trust by John Gottman

Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology by Daniel Siegel

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young

The Upside of Your Dark Side by Todd Kashdan, Ph.D and Robert Biswas-Diener

Emotional Alchemy by Tara Bennett-Goleman

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey E. Young, Ph.D and Janet S. Klosko, Ph.D

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Peak: How all of us can achieve extraordinary things by Anders Ericsson