Posts Tagged ‘Goodreads’




The Gift of Big Magic

Filed under: Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Check-it-out, Dancing, Pondering, Reading, Stuff I Love, Touching the Surface, Writing

I’m going to start this blog post by giving you a GUSH ALERT.

Gush Alert!!!!

If you choose to continue reading, you will hear me gushing about a book I read last week–a book I’ve been dying to share with you. In fact, as I finished reading it, what came to mind was…this is a book that all the humans should read! So, if you can’t handle my enthusiasm, this might be the time to slowly step away from your lap top.

You’re still here? Excellent! Then I’m so excited to tell you about BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert.


Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

This book called to me. Certain books do. The ones I’m supposed to ready will pop up in my direct and peripheral vision over and over again. People will casually and even directly mention them to me until I pick those books up. Big Magic was one of those books that demanded I read it. And as always–I’m so glad I did.

I grabbed Big Magic in audiobook form after being pummeled with hints from the universe. Right off the bat, I was thrilled to hear that the delightful voice I was listening to, belonged to the author herself, Elizabeth Gilbert. If you decide you want to try the audio version–I promise you will not be disappointed. In fact, I feel as if Gilbert brings something extra to the reading through her connectedness to the content.

BUT…my one disappointment as I devoured Big Magic, was that I wasn’t able to underline quotes that I wanted to return to. I wasn’t able to write little notes in the margins–I always do that with books that will clearly be my companions over and over again though the years.

Here are some of the ones that I would have wanted to highlight as I was listening…

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

“You can clear out whatever obstacles are preventing you from living your most creative life, with the simple understanding that whatever is bad for you is probably also bad for your work.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

“Basically, your fear is like a mall cop who thinks he’s a Navy SEAL: He hasn’t slept in days, he’s all hopped up on Red Bull, and he’s liable to shoot at his own shadow in an absurd effort to keep everyone “safe.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

“If I am not actively creating something, then I am probably actively destroying something”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

“Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

While adding to that list of quotes, I quickly realized I could keep going for pages. Make no mistake–I want to, but I won’t–for your sake. But if you do want more, you can click the link and see all the quotes that effected people on Goodreads.

But even though I was able to find the inspirational words that (I missed being able to grasp more tangibly by reading the audio version) I still wasn’t satisfied. Then I remembered this…


I had received a Barnes & Noble gift card as a thank you from three of my little ballerina’s this year. I hadn’t used it yet, because when you receive a special gift from special people–the purchase should be just as memorable as the people who gave it to you. I finally knew what to do with it. My ballerinas bought me a copy of Big Magic, which is it’s own kind of magic. Next time I see those girls, I’m going to have them write something in the cover because very quickly, little magic grows into big magic, and I always want to be reminded of that.

I know this post and my gushing is now all over the place. And I’m aware that I may not be doing the best job in explaining why YOU should read this book, but perhaps the best way I can explain why I think you should explore Big Magic, is to share why I believe it spoke to me so strongly…

I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by IDEAS. Ideas are disembodied, energetic life-forms. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us–albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have a consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.

Therefore, ideas spend eternity swirling around us, searching for available and willing human partners. (I’m talking about all ideas here–artistic, scientific, industrial, commercial, ethical, religious, political.) When an idea thinks it has found somebody–say, you–who might be able to bring it into the world, the idea will pay you a visit. It will try to get your attention.

This is how my writing process works. When I wrote my debut YA novel, Touching the Surface, I had this niggling fear that once I was done with it, I would have no idea what to write next.

Touching the Surface cover =-blurb

Life altering mistakes are meant to alter lives…

But I didn’t have to worry. Once the story became fully formed in my mind, the next idea landed. I was still revising and working with my editor, but I knew I had captured the truth of my story and it would one day soon have wings. And as that happened, there was room for the next idea to perch along side me and begin to take shape.

This happens every single time. In fact, I was never as joyful as I was recently, when the next new idea flew at me. I have been “struggling” for quite a long time on my latest book. Dare I say it has been much like a dyslexic reader trying to attack War and Peace. It is a great idea–a worthy idea. It is an exciting and fulfilling idea. But it’s also been less then flexible at times–like a cold lump of clay that has had to be worked over and over again to find it’s shape. So, when the next new idea for a project began to relentless peck at me, I did a happy dance. I was a roller coaster that had reached it’s highest point after slowly chugging along for what felt like an eternity.


There is still track to ride, but I now have momentum to move me along. I have finally captured the essence of my current project. And I know I’ve done it according to the idea’s expectations, because it’s now inviting another idea to work with me. I feels as if my former employer had given me an outstanding letter of recommendation.

What I’m trying to tell you is that I didn’t fall in love with Big Magic because it told me things I didn’t know. The opposite was true. Elizabeth Gilbert spoke to me because she put into words all the things that I already knew to be true about ideas, fear, creativity, hard work and magic. I resonated deeply with what she said. Magic has always been discretely woven throughout my books, like delicate, shimmering threads that wait for someone sees the glint. But outside of that, my thoughts on magic have mostly been deep held beliefs I’ve been afraid to say out loud. What if no one else has these kinds of thoughts or experiences and I’m just a big weirdo?

But I’m not.

And you’re not either.

And that’s the gift of Big Magic.

So, go read it because there are ideas out there waiting for you. They are trying to get your attention.

Have you read Big Magic? Is it on your TBR list? What is your proof that big magic exists? How do ideas find you?

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Friday Five: Where to Win a Copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE, Crabby Hunger, Friday Reads and Where You Can Find Me

Filed under: Booksellers, Check-it-out, Contests, Touching the Surface

1.  Don’t forget–less than a week left to enter the February Goodreads Book Giveaway for one of five copies of TOUCHING THE SURFACE!!!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini

Touching the Surface

by Kimberly Sabatini

Giveaway ends February 28, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

2.  As I’m writing this I’m a day and a 1/2 into the first phase of the 9 Day Isagenix Cleanse. As predicted I’m mean, crabby and hungry. Grrrrr I also have a headache. It sort of reminds me of drafting–I forget how hard it is until I’m actually doing it LOL! But I also remember how great it is to come out the other side.

My brilliant cleanse observations…

*Toxic crap is much more enjoyable going in than it is going out.

*Life is about perspective. If you told me to exchange three regular meals for  two healthy shakes and a small healthy meal I would have felt deprived. On the other hand after two days of cleansing and not eating much at all–those shakes and a small meal are looking pretty darn good LOL!

*There are people in the world who are hungry like this all the time and they never know when it’s going to end.

3.  My Friday Reads…


Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Elixir Bound
The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)
Into the Gauntlet (39 Clues, #10)
Masters of Disaster
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Storm Rescue (Vet Volunteers, #6)
The Monster's Ring (Magic Shop, #1)
Yes, I’m reading them all at once. LOL! Some are on audio, some are with my kids, some are stuffed in my pocketbook and some are on my nightstand. And no, I never used to read multiple books at a time, but having kids allows you to multitask.
4.  On March 2nd at 4:00pm I’ll be doing a book signing with Laurie Boyle Crompton, author of BLAZE at Inquiring Minds Books Store in New Paltz–We’re calling it a Hair Flippin’ Event LOL! You should come and hang out!!!!


5.  I’m also thrilled to be participating in the 2013 NYC Teen Author Festival!!!! The festival (a mix of public and private events) starts on Monday March 18th and ends Sunday March 24th with roughly 90 authors participating over the week and almost 50 authors doing a Mega-signing at Books of Wonder. To get the full schedule and the most up-to-the-minute news, be sure to stop by Facebook and hit the LIKE button…


Here are the public events I’ll be participating in…

Saturday March 23, Symposium (42nd Street NYPL,  Bergen Forum, 2nd Floor, 1-5)

2:10-2:40 — New Voices Spotlight

 Description:  Each debut author will share a five-minute reading from her or his work

J. J. Howard

Kimberly Sabatini

Tiffany Schmidt

Greg Takoudes


Sunday March 24:  Our No-Foolin’ Mega-Signing at Books of Wonder (Books of Wonder, 1-4): 


A.S. King  (Ask the Passengers, LB)

Emmy Laybourne  (Monument 14, Macmillan)

David Levithan  (Every Day, RH)

Barry Lyga  (Yesterday Again, Scholastic)

Brian Meehl  (Suck it Up and Die, RH)

Alexandra Monir (Timekeeper, RH)

Michael Northrop  (Rotten, Scholastic)

Diana Peterfreund  (For Darkness Shows the Stars, HC)

Lindsay Ribar (The Art of Wishing, Penguin)

Rainbow Rowell  (Eleanor & Park, St. Martin’s)

Kimberly Sabatini  (Touching the Surface, S&S)

Tiffany Schmidt  (Send Me a Sign, Bloomsbury)





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Slow Reading–What’s the Cure?

Filed under: Touching the Surface, YA Books

Between reading every night and whenever I can sneak it in durning the day, then reading to my kids every night and listening to audio books, I managed to rack up a respectable 107 books read in 2011.  I thought I would be happy about this until I realized a couple of things…

I think I’m a slow reader.  I’m watching bloggers, friends and my uber awesome agent Michelle Wolfson tear through books at a mind boggling speed.  What’s weird is that until now, I had no idea that I was such a slow reader.  Because I’ve always read a high volume of books, I’ve been under the impression that I was fast.

Yeah…I was living a pipe dream.

I’ve never been more aware of this than this week.  Gina Rosati of the Class of 2k12 is the first person (that I know of) to get an ARC of TOUCHING THE SURFACE.  She’s the first in line for the Class of 2k12 ARC TOUR.  This means that she is READING IT RIGHT NOW–ironically at the same time that I’m reading it for my last round of edits.  I started days before her and I’m crossing my fingers that she doesn’t finish before me.  Why do I care?  Well, because I’m weirdly self conscious of my overly long second toes and now my pokey reading skills.  Duh.

My second reading worry is that after making friends with all these wonderful debut authors, I’ve come to realize that if I only read their books–I still wouldn’t have enough time to read them all.  I’d come up short by about 40-50 books at least.  *sheesh*  This doesn’t leave me any reading time for the books I read with my kids, adult books, or books by already established authors that I love or I’m interested in!!!!  *head thunk*

And of course, if you’re wondering, this in no way prevents me from buying more books.  Because hell, I’m an optimist!!  I work hard to be a better dance.  I train to run faster and longer.  By golly, I’m going to read more books.  Is it realistic?  Can I become a faster reader?  Who knows, but I think I’ll have a fun time trying!!!!  And if I can’t learn to read a little faster than I’m just going to have to do less laundry.  :o)

So, my Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge goal is 110 books.  Secretly I’m hoping to make at least 120–maybe even 125.

What’s you’re reading goal for 2012?

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