This blog brought to you by my current reading list and a shift in my content priorities.
You’ve probably noticed a bit of a shift on this blog. Instead of just talking about food, I’m starting to cover more topics – chronic health, what’s going on with COVID-19, some more insights into my life. That shift is fully intentional.
In the past, I felt like I was only sharing parts of myself, maybe the parts that felt “on-brand” based on whatever brand I thought people wanted in my head, and left out the other parts that were important to me, but not deemed worthy to post. After several conversations with friends and other people who can see my situation better than I can, we all reached the same conclusion: Everything that I write is a part of me, and I am the “brand.” Whatever I want to share about my life can be useful. Whatever insight I want to share with others might find an audience.
So like, what is a “brand,” anyway?
So, this is my “full disclosure” way of saying that I’m going to be writing about things that aren’t always about food, trying to find what interests me AND my readers, and refine from there. If you like what you see, please, send me feedback! That’ll help me figure out whether I’m going in the right direction for both of us. You can always reach out to me at email@example.com. I love hearing from readers. I don’t think it will ever get boring.
You may be wondering, what does this have to do with your book review? Really, it has to do with everything when you’re talking about Untamed by Glennon Doyle.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that I devoured this book. I inhaled it. It seeped into my pores. Sometimes I’ll zip right through books, and sometimes I’ll linger. It really depends on the subject matter. When I found myself zipping through Untamed, I actually forced myself to slow down because I wanted to savor it and make it last a little longer.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle is like a bunch of grapes. Every bite is a new opportunity.
I love books like Untamed that have quick, bite-sized chapters, and read more like a series of short stories than one continuous narrative. It’s like Demetri Martin’s joke about grapes – If you find a chapter that doesn’t quite serve you or speak to you, it’s OK, you just move on to the next one. Much like a bunch of grapes offers a bunch of opportunities, Glennon Doyle’s chapters in Untamed offer short bursts of life, starting over with each new section, some as short as a couple pages. It is a great book for taking what you need and leaving the rest, perhaps for later. I believe after reading the book that the way it’s constructed will serve me in different ways at different times of my life. I believe I will return to the book and find different passages important to me depending on when I crack the spine.
Bear with me. I don’t review books much.
All of this is to say that a straightforward review wouldn’t really do a book like this justice. Instead, I’ll say that it was a helpful tool for me in this time of quarantine. It gave me a way to process some of my emotions, bring words to some of what I believe my boyfriend has been experiencing lately, and it helped me put some context around thoughts I’ve had over the years. It exists as a useful tool, with honest, raw excerpts of a life where many things were learned in hard ways.
I thought I’d take some time to say a few things about passages in general that jumped out at me. Think of it as brief reviews of the brief chapters. If you’ve read Untamed, I’d love to hear your own takeaways in the comments, so please post them if you have them!
My biggest takeaways from Untamed by Glennon Doyle
(at this very moment in time, may be subject to change upon future readings):
If you were not Golden and say you didn’t really want to be Golden when you were growing up, I probably have a harder time relating to you. Even if you were self-assured and your own person, there’s still that twinge, right?
I still catch myself checking to see what other women around me do in some environments to know whether it’s acceptable or not, but luckily, I’ve started to move in the direction of “just eat the damn bread,” and I call that progress.
I’m sure every person who reviews his book has this chapter selected, highlighted, read, re-read, read out loud to significant others and dogs, etc. I have started to get deeper into yoga practice, trying to honor all eight limbs, and focus on my breathing and meditation and in a way that’s all wrapped up in the “Knowing” Glennon talks about.
Any description I do of it won’t do it justice; just read it for yourself and you can thank me later.
I want to live in a world where it is OK for all boys to cry.
Re: what she covers here – I’m sure it wasn’t an easy chapter for her to write, or an easy part of her life to live through, but I appreciate that she took responsibility for what she said and how she decided to show up, and is using that to shape how she shows up and participates in the future.
As white women, we will make mistakes, and learn, and keep making mistakes, but we have to keep learning. And it’s our responsibility to learn, no one else’s. I’m glad she didn’t take the easy way out in this chapter, and I’m glad she didn’t shrink away at a mistake.
I will never forget the piece of advice to write notes from your low self to your high self, and vice versa. I’m sure I’m not alone on this: Sometimes in therapy, I’m not sure what to say, because I feel good when I’m there. But now, I’m trying to write notes in my low moments to share when I’m feeling OK.
I write down notes of gratitude every day, so those are good notes for my low self to read if I need them, but maybe I need to do more. This was a good reminder of that.
The easy button and the reset button in here were also great tools. What do I do to quiet the noise and abandon my problems versus what do I do to say present and take care of myself. Important distinction I tend to forget.
As you can see, there are so many little nuggets of good stuff in Untamed by Glennon Doyle, so I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy and find that out for yourself. It’s a great time for a nourishing read while we’re all feeling disconnected.
And if you want to connect with someone afterwards and talk about this book, reach out to me! Comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can gab over virtual coffee!