Tag Archives: lisakohnwrites

What are the 20 best books ever?

That’s a hard question and one I thought I was supposed to answer. So I pondered it deeply.

Part of being a writer is being a reader, and a rewarding part of being a reader is connecting with other readers. I’ve been meaning to get involved with Goodreads, to connect with other readers, but have been “too busy.” My book club friends get recommendations off of Goodreads. I go along with whatever they find. My clients mention Goodreads, and I nod and act like I know what they’re talking about (that’s a habit I’m still trying to put down and a whole different blog post).

My marketing team suggested I take the plunge and asked me to rate my top twenty books ever. Well, that’s what I thought they asked me to do. They actually asked me to rate twenty books. I’m the one who made it more daunting.

Because how do you choose your top twenty books EVER? The books I loved as a child? They’re there. The books that changed my life? They’re there. I felt such pressure to “recommend” the “right” books, so that everyone who engaged with me on Goodreads would know the real me and would walk away with something powerful that could help them be their real them.

That’s kinda BS, but it’s the pressure I put on myself. And why I managed to make a simple task so challenging is perhaps fodder for another blog post.

But although it was daunting, it was also fun. I enjoyed scouring the bookshelves, pulling out the “right” ones to include. What did I read (and reread, and reread) when I was younger? What was important to me as I matured? As I left the cult and tried to redefine myself? What saved my soul and life as I climbed out of the depths of despair? Little Women is in there. Sex Tips for Girls is in there. Alcoholics Anonymous is in there. Radical Acceptance is in there. All great books. All books that capture the essence of me at different points in my life.

It was fun to explain myself through my reading. It was fun to offer suggestions to others. It was fun to review the books (and hope that, in time, others review To the Moon and Back – and give it lots of stars!).

It is funny that I took a simple task and made it essential and therefore harder. I need to keep thinking and looking to see where else I do that. It is funny that I tried to get involved with Goodreads “perfectly,” but those of you who know, and are coming to know, me know that I do that pretty much all the time.

Did I mention that The Gifts of Imperfection was also on my list?

What are your favorite books ever? It is fun to think about, and I’d love to know. (And come join me on Goodreads, if you’re not there. I’m having fun getting more involved.)

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Did you hear me scream? My book will be a book!

Did you hear me scream? I’m guessing you did.

I signed with an indie press last week. I couldn’t be more excited. The years – dare I say almost decades – of perseverance, persistence, and (sometimes) pain are over, and my book will be a book!

Thank you to everyone who supported me and believed in me. Thank you to everyone who encouraged me and cheered me on. Thank you to everyone who picked me up when I fell down and gave me a push (or a hug) to keep me going.

I kept going, and it paid off.

What publisher? Heliotrope Books. Where are they located? Get this – the East Village of New York City. They know my ‘hood; they get my past. When will it be out? I believe by next fall, 2018.

Now the fun stuff starts. The final copyediting. A final title. Designing a cover. Finding endorsements and reviews and local indie bookstores to host a book talk.

So those of you who have supported and believed in and encouraged and cheered me, the best work is next, and I’m sure I’ll be leaning on you again. Hope you don’t mind.

Let’s have fun with this. My book will be a book!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Look up when you’re walking

As it gets colder out I notice my tendency to look down as I walk. I bundle up against the cold, and keep my face shielded from the wind.

But it’s not just cold weather that keeps me from looking up and noticing what’s around me as I walk. And it’s not just me. I’m not the only one staring at my iPhone, frantically texting (or emailing, or snapchatting, or something-ing) as I walk through my town. I’m not the only one missing the simple sights that surround me – and that could delight me if I only noticed them.

The trees are changing colors. I actually get a bit sad in autumn because I don’t like the cold weather. And while it might not be cold now, as the leaves start to change colors I know that cold is coming. But even I have to admit the fall colors are an amazing show…if you look up and notice them.

I was rushing to my early morning yoga class the other day (yes, I get the irony of rushing to yoga) and nearly missed the gorgeous red berries on the bush I was walking past. Because I had one more text I wanted to get out before I took an hour-long break from texting.

It’s the people sitting at a table, staring at their phones instead of each other. It’s the person missing the curb because they’re frantically thumbing someone something. It’s me finding a reason to pay attention to something other than who I’m with and what’s around me. Which is a bit crazy, especially right now when what’s around me are flaming, beautiful autumn colors. When the trees are putting on a show that I’m missing. When the sky is crystal blue and crisp, the sun is shining, and every where I look there’s a bit of nature to appreciate. Or I could stare at my phone.

I think I’ll look up when I’m walking.

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