I flip open the latest O Magazine that P’s mom has just given me because it’s “The Best Books of Summer” issue and see it – Rockaway by Tara Ison. I nearly squeal with delight. Tara was my teacher, and now I’m honored to call her a friend.  And she’s in Oprah.  Holy Writer Awesomeness.  9781593765163

Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing my friends succeed in their art.  Okay, maybe if I was in O Magazine, maybe that would give me more pleasure.  But truly, I love when my friends get the praise and notoriety they so deserve.

So today, I’m going to brag on my friends a little bit because that’s what artist friends do – we hold each other up in a world that undervalues our art.

First, if you haven’t read Jennifer Luitweiler’s Run With Me: An Accidental Runner and the Power of Poo, you need to start now. This book is funny, insightful, and spunky, just like Jen herself.  Plus, you really need to hear how she became a runner – it’s a story we could all replicate if we just had a dog and a sewing room.

Next, I’m in the midst of Chad Thomas Johnston’s Nightmarriage, and yesterday, I snorted I was laughing so loudly. The book tells the story of Chad’s marriage to his immensely patient wife Becki, and it does so with grace and such wild humor that you can’t help but love them both.

If you’re looking for books on writing, I must recommend Laraine Herring’s Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice and Gayle Brandeis’ Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write. These two women give us a way to remember that our bodies are very much a part of our writing. These are my go-to books when I need a little boost in my practice.

Shawn Smucker’s How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp: And Other Tales From Our 10,000-Mile Adventure is powerful in both its storytelling prowess and in the lessons Shawn and his family learn on their four-month road trip.

Finally, The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction, and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith by David L. Ulin weaves together research and story in a way that leaves you both staid and breathless as you explore the mythology that encircles earthquakes in California.

I could go on and on – I am blessed to have so many amazing writers who allow me to call them my friends. Sometimes writing feels quite isolating and lonely, but then, we open a magazine and see our friend’s name – and there’s a whoop of joy for her and hope for us all.

Your turn. Share your book links, your blog, or a bit about your work in progress below so that we can give you a “woo hoo” of support.