Dec 1, 2014

What I Am Reading Monday

 Out of suffering has emerged the strongest souls; 
            the most massive characters are seared with scars
                                                                                                                          -Kahlil Gibran

Sometimes, life hits you hard in the face and makes you forget how to breathe so I retreat to books where things are black and white and less chaotic. 

These books lately have inspired me to be thankful in the midst of my struggle because without them I wouldn't have known the depth of my strength. 



Every tattoo tells a story, whether the ink is meaningful or the result of a misguided decision made at the age of fourteen, representative of the wearer’s true self or the accidental consequence of a bender. These most permanent and intimate of body adornments are hidden by pants legs and shirttails, emblazoned on knuckles, or tucked inside mouths. They are battle scars and beauty marks, totems and mementos.

Pen & Ink grants us access to the tattoos—and the stories behind them—of writers Cheryl Strayed and Roxane Gay; rockers in the bands Korn, Otep, and Five Finger Death Punch; and even a porn star. But it also illuminates the tattoos of the ordinary people living in our midst—from professors to thrift store salespeople, cafe owners to librarians, union organizers to administrators—and their extraordinary lives.

Curated and edited by Isaac Fitzgerald, who sports twelve tattoos himself, each story “is like being let in on . . . secrets by . . . strangers who passed you on the street or sat across from you on the train” (Strayed) and features Wendy MacNaughton’s gorgeously rendered full-color illustrations of the tattoos on black-and-white drawings of the bearer’s body. At its heart, beneath its colorful skin, Pen & Ink is an exploration of the decision to scar one’s self with a symbol and a story.



Mark Owen describes his intentions for his second book best:I want No Hero to offer something most books on war don’t: the intimate side of it, the personal struggles and hardships and what I learned from them. The stories in No Hero will be a testament to my teammates and to all the other active and former SEALs who have dedicated their lives to freedom. In our community, we are constantly taught to mentor the younger generation and to pass the lessons and values we’ve learned on to others so that they can do the same to the guys coming up after them. This is what I plan to do for the reader of No Hero.”

Every bit as action-packed as No Easy Day, and featuring stories from the training ground to the battlefield, No Hero offers readers an unparalleled close-up view of the experiences and values that make Mark Owen and the men he served with capable of executing the missions we read about in the headlines.

Stories bring scars-positive or negative. They are a tangible reminder of others who have gone before and gives us the courage to go on.

Scars don't form on the dying. A scar says I survived! 
                                         -Chris Cleave



  1. Great reviews. I'm adding Pen & Ink to my tbr list.

    1. Great! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it :)

  2. Sorry to hear you're going through a difficult time. I understand. Glad you are finding comfort in books! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier and taking the time to comment (though the link you left was misspelled and took me to a spam site - just in case you are copying and pasting it to other blog comments). Enjoy your books this week!


    Book By Book

  3. These both sound quite interesting. I personally don't have any tattoos but it would be fascinating to hear the stories behind them. What a cool idea for a book! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!

    1. I don't have any tattoos but the book caught my eye and so did your blog :)

  4. Books can help us through anything, can't they? I hope things get better for you, and in the meantime, I hope you find more books to see you through!

    1. If you have any recommendations, feel free to share :)


Friend, I am honored you stopped by my little corner of the internet and shared your thoughts. I do read every comment and I am paying attention to what is being said. I encourage the feedback. If you have a more personal question I ask that you email me. Thank you!