Doyle is a woman who defies expectation to pursue her authentic life. Her choices have not been easy but they have been brave, and scary, and ultimately, her truth.
“The experts don’t know, the ministers, the therapists, the magazines, the authors, my parents, my friends, they don’t know. Not even the folks who love me the most. Because no one has ever lived or will ever live this life I am attempting to live, with my gifts and challenges and past and people. Every life is an unprecedented experiment. This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been. There is no map. We are all pioneers.”
If nothing else, read for the stunning quotability.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
This is a poem that has been expanded into a book. Read the poem here.
Tales of a Female Nomad
Rita Golden Gelman
I found this book, or rather, it found me. Calling me back again and again on the discount shelf of a used book store. The cover was not enticing but every page I carelessly flipped through was. She changed my perspective on what it means to be a woman and what it means to be free.
Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains
I found this at the same time as “Tales of a Female Nomad”. Bowen’s compassion absolutely blows me away. She persevered over two decades to start an orphanage program in China and is now one of the two foreign entities registered in China (the other is the Red Cross).
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China
Leslie T. Chang
This and the previous book absolutely changed my perspective about China and how the West perceives the East. At times the history and details of certain characters can be overwhelming but the true stories of these women are eye-opening.
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
Hessler did an excellent job writing not only about China but also his personal growth. He deftly and openly details unflattering and dangerous moments while holding no punches. This is a fantastic book for those looking to learn more about China and especially for those that move to another country and face similar struggles. (And P.S. Hessler is married to Chang, a fact I did not find out until very recently.)
This is a collection of moral tales by Greek Storyteller Aesop. I have a much loved copy that was my father’s and was published in the 1950s with beautiful illustrations. Be sure to find a copy that lists the moral for every tale. One of my favorites is the Eagle and the Arrow which ends with “We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction”.
New and Selected Poems, Volume One
If you have time to read nothing else, please read The Journey.
The Long Way
Read her poem about women who defy expectation here.