Saturday, January 2, 2016

What I've been reading.

One of my favorite activities is reading and one of my goals this year is to read 50 books.  I'm well on my way and thought it'd be worth while to share what I've been reading! Although I have to say, people rarely ask me what I've been reading.  Perhaps I should be a little less long winded about it...

1.Yes, Please

I really liked Tina Fey's book Bossypants and this was recommended by Kindle.  It was quick, easy and fun to read.  I recommend it to particularly to working moms looking to laugh.

2. Daemon

I didn't choose this book.  Gavin and I take turns choosing a book to read together.  He chose this one.  It was a fun read overall, but I was annoyed to discover it was part of a series (I tend to stay away from serials).  I recommend this book to technology junkies who like crime novels.


As I mentioned, Daemon turned out to be a series.  This is the rest of the book.

4.Great Expectations

I'm in a classic book club and this was our selection.  Not my favorite, not to mention I spent the first half of the book thinking I was reading Les Miserables.  I recommend this book to high schoolers who are unfortunate enough to find it on their mandatory reading list.

5.In the Unlikely Event

I loved Judy Blume as a child so I had to read the book.  It was okay.  I recommend this book to people who love to read and can get it from the library.

6.Furiously Happy

I enjoyed this book.  It's a hysterical account of a woman's struggle with depression.  I recommend it to anyone who has had or loved someone who has had any type of depression.

7.  Getting Things Done

I've been hearing about this book for ages.  This is a good system for people who feel like their lives are out of control and are looking for a system to gain some control and sense of direction.  Many of my systems are similar and I got some great Ideas. I highly recommend the book, although it's certainly not for everyone.

8. Opposite of Spoiled

Sometimes when  I look around at my house and my neighborhood I'm terrified about how my children will grow up.  How can I give my kids everything and still expect them to be grateful and realistic and understand how lucky we are?  So I read this book and I really liked it.  It made compelling arguments for allowance (an issue I hadn't really considered, yet) and like most great parenting books I read was more about the adult then the child.  I recommend it for anyone who is wondering how to teach their kids about money and find balance in parenting.

9. Between the World and Me

This book was incredible.  I don't know exactly how it got on my reading list, but it came up so I read it.  It's a book written by a father to his son about life as a black man in America.  It provided me a perspective that I did not have before and was beautifully written.  I would recommend it to anyone who is interested at all based on the description.

10. Essentialism

I loved this book.  I love the idea of identifying what is truly important and pursing it totally.  This book is about simplifying and that's been a primary purpose for me lately.  I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to think about what's really important and find ways to make more time and energy for it.

11. Art of Tidying

I've written quite a bit about this book already. If you have any interest in simplifying your possessions and your life, read this book.

12. Trigger Warning

Much like series, I stay away from short stories, although for the opposite reason.  If the author can't be bothered to flesh out a story and really write it, why should I read it?  I did not realize this was a collection of short stories when I got it.  Still, I like Gaiman a lot so I decided to stick with it.  It is enjoyable and his mind fascinates me.  I would recommend it ot Gaiman fans or aspiring Sci Fi writers.

13. Art before Breakfast

I got this book thinking it was "The Artist's Way" (it is not).  But I read it anyway.  It's a book about drawing.  I recommend it to any non-artistic person who wants to be inspired to draw and think creatively.

14: Finders Keepers

Lots of strikes against this book, although most of them are my fault.  1: It's a book in a series, and even worse it's not even the first book in the series. 2.  It's not a "King" book (aka scary as hell and creepy) book.  It's a crime novel.  It's a good crime novel, but not what I was expecting, although it hinted at it almost enough for me to read book 3, but not quite.  I don't really recommend this book, although if you're looking for a crime novel, it's a fun read.  (Mr. King, if you happen to read this, please don't kill me in one of your books.  They scare me enough already).

15.  Dad is Fat

Gaffigan is funny.  Parenting is funny.  Him writing about parenting is very funny.  Despite his firm entrenchment in the attachment parenting camp, I liked the book and laughed a lot.  I'd recommend it to parents looking for a laugh, but far behind Yes, Please or Bossypants (sorry Jim).

16. Better than Before

From the Author the "The Happiness Project" one of my favorite books from a few years ago.  I can't decide if I'd love Gretchen or really dislike her, but I like her books.  This book tackles Habits, how they are formed, how they are eliminated and how they can help our lives.  Her voice is a bit strange in this book, though.  It's written a bit like a memoir, but a bit like a self help book.  It's lke she is unwilling to assume the role of guide, expert, teacher, etc. (Although her stories indicate that's not true in life).  Which is weird because her friends and relatives didn't seek out her book to read... still, I really liked the book.  I'd recommend it to anyone looking to make life a little easier and find out a little bit more about their own personality.

17. Beautiful Struggle

The next Coates book I was able to get my hands on.  I would recommend Between the World and Me first, but this memoir provides great context and background and is also beautifully written.

18. Silence

A book written by a Buddist monk about the value of finding Silence, mostly internal, in a loud and chaotic world.  Despite my goal of simplifying, it had not occurred to me how valuable silence could be towards that goal.  My favorite quote from the book:

"The more space we make for stillness and silence, the more we have to give both to ourselves and to others."

I was inspired to work towards making mental space as I work on making physical space and to evaluate why it's so hard for me to do so without filling every second with some type of input.  I would recommend this book to most people.  In my experience we could all use a reminder to slow down every once and a while.

I have a few books lined up, but I'm always looking for suggestions!

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