Hi friends!

We’re having some great spring-themed posts and books on the Facebook page, The Romance of Reading. Only trouble is, there’s not much spring to be had outside my door!

Today it zoomed up to nearly sixty degrees, which would make me happier if, having checked the weekly forecast, I didn’t notice that it would be a high of thirty on Sunday. {very sad sigh}

I’m lucky to be reading and listening to some really good books, but I really want some sunshine.

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Strangely, as if Amazon and Facebook could read my mind—isn’t it scary how they do that sometimes?—a book kept showing up that made me start thinking about fun paths like spring cleaning (okay, maybe not the actual cleaning, but that lovely feeling we get when we’ve actually done it, you know?), creativity, gratitude, gardening and joyful pursuits that seem to go hand in hand with spring.

And then I went down a rabbit hole, as sometimes you do….

So I hope you don’t mind us taking a small (spring) break from fiction this week.

The book that showed up serendipitously three times (I know, it’s really those marketing gremlins, but I’m going to pretend that it’s serendipity!) is:

Craft a Life You Love: Infusing Creativity, Fun & Intention into Your Everyday by Amy Tangerine 

In Craft a Life You Love, readers will learn how to focus their creative energy and make things (and make things happen) by implementing small—yet powerful— changes in their everyday lives. In this memoir and hardworking handbook, creativity and craft maven Amy Tangerine, shows readers how to find their flow, maintain a positive mindset, and cultivate a rich and fulfilling life by focusing on what truly matters. Chapters explore how to craft the soul, craft the right mindset, craft the right environment, craft good habits, rediscover your creative mojo, and maintain momentum, with each section offering exercises for taking your creative practice to the next level. For anyone who has felt disconnected from their creativity or has had trouble saving a space for their passions, Craft a Life You Love will teach you how to make time for creativity each and every day.

Well that sounds like a book I need! 

Then, seduced by the idea of creativity, I found this amazing gem!

Creativity Project The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection by Colby Sharp et al.

Colby Sharp invited more than forty authors and illustrators to provide story starters for each other; photos, drawings, poems, prose, or anything they could dream up. When they received their prompts, they responded by transforming these seeds into any form of creative work they wanted to share.

The result is a stunning collection of words, art, poetry, and stories by some of our most celebrated children book creators. A section of extra story starters by every contributor provides fresh inspiration for readers to create works of their own. Here is an innovative book that offers something for every kind of reader and creator!

And finally, I discovered this:

Draw Your Day Draw Your Day: An Inspiring Guide to Keeping a Sketch Journal by Samantha Dion Baker

An instructive guide to creating an illustrated journal based on artist and Instagram sensation Samantha Dion Baker's unique creative process, featuring information on materials, creative inspiration and instruction, prompts, and helpful tips and tricks.

Samantha Dion Baker is a widely admired and followed artist on Instagram, where she shares her "sketch journal," an illustrated daily record of her life, drawn in a fresh, modern style. In Draw Your Day, Baker guides you through her inspirational practice and provides guidance for starting your own. Part instructional guide and part encouraging manifesto about how making art—even art that's not museum-worthy—can make your life more mindful and meaningful, Draw Your Day is ideal for both seasoned artists looking for fresh inspiration, as well as aspiring artists who need a friendly nudge to get started. 

This one doesn’t release until August. But just think, if you pre-order right now, you’ll likely forget all about it and have a wonderful little surprise when August gets here, and you’re wishing for snow! There’s a lovely companion sketchbook, too, that looks like it releases at the same time: Draw Your Day Sketchbook: Making Ordinary Days Come to Life on Paper.

Discussing creativity must lead to a very quick, passionate mention of Julia Cameron’s amazing The Artists Way, the original and not-to-be missed guide to rediscovering a creative practice that includes a spiritual bend if one chooses to go that way. And as I was gazing fondly at the cover, I discovered this one, which I’d never seen before!

Artist's Way The Artist's Way Every Day: A Year of Creative Living by Julia Cameron

The author of the international bestseller The Artist’s Way guides readers through a year of cultivating a deeper connection to their creative selves.

The Artist’s Way has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. Now, for the first time, fans will have a beautifully designed daily companion to the author’s life-changing creative process.

With 365 quotations culled from Julia Cameron’s most vital works on the creative process, this elegant little book can easily be carried along as the reader travels her groundbreaking spiritual path to higher creativity. In her introduction to the book, Cameron reveals the importance of cultivating one’s creativity every day and offers stunning new insights on the relationship between creativity and spirituality.

As the world becomes increasingly challenging to navigate, The Artist’s Way Every Day will serve as a daily reminder of the healing power of creativity to nourish the soul.

So. As I gaze longingly out the window and watch cold winter sneak back into Madison {exasperated sigh} this week, I will consider a few options to focus on internal sunshine, rather than external.

Have a lovely week, friends!

#HappyReading #BeCreative