For the Love of Reading
It all started when...
I was a kid. I loved to read. I spent hours reading every story I could get my hands on. Summers were spent devouring page after page to earn prizes from our small town, public library. The top prize? A personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Big money. Somewhere along the way, I stopped reading for fun. School took over and consumed my reading list. The joy I found in reading slowly disappeared and it instead became a box to check.
The last several years, my husband and I have made an effort to read more. Turn the TV off, shut down devices, and read. I have found that my love of reading never really went away, it was simply stuffed down and buried. I believe what you consume and read tells a lot about a person. The book I am reading is often a direct reflection of how I am feeling or what my mind is currently considering. If you see a lot of personal and career growth oriented books on my list, which you will, it is because I am thinking about those things and wrestling with those ideas.
So in the spirit of revealing a bit of myself... my reading lists.
2015-2017 Recommended READS
I have read some pretty great books over the years. To save both of us time, I am only going to include books I have read in the last two years. Here are some of my "must reads" and a brief snippet of why.
- 48 Days to the Work You Love - Okay so the truth is this, I don't remember a ton of specifics from this book. Bad start eh? But the truth is, this book sent my reading and thinking on a whole new trajectory. Most of these books are books I would have never read if I hadn't started thinking about all the "what if's". It will make you think, ask questions, evaluate your current situation and sometimes that is exactly what is needed.
- Daring Greatly - First Brene Brown book I have read and clearly I liked it. And by clearly, I mean I have read 3 more of her books since then. All are great, but this one in particular stood out to me. A lot of talk about shame and being vulnerable and entering into hard conversations. It will rock you in the best of ways.
- A More Beautiful Question - I read this twice in the span of about 4 months. Seriously. My cover is highlighted from cover to cover with endless notes and questions. I think our world and specifically our country (especially with this election) would be in a much better place if we were willing to ask questions and then LISTEN to the responses. Consider the other side. Ask questions to dive deeper into topics, issues, relationships, etc. Just read it.
- Linchpin - Seth Godin also appears multiple times in the list. I really like Seth Godin and the way he thinks. However, some of his writing can feel a bit repetitive. This was my favorite of his and I also really like his daily emails. Start with this Godin book to gain an appreciation for his mind and thinking. Then, branch out into his other stuff.
- Harry Potter - ALL. OF. THEM. Yes I am an adult, but this series is just everything. J.K. Rowling is creative beyond anything I could ever imagine. I have read this series twice. Once when it first came out as a teen/college person and then this past year. The series was everything I remember it to be and much more the second time I read it. My husband and I watch the movies pretty regularly. In all the movie watching, the books were a bit diluted to be honest. The books are always better. Always.
- Simple Matters - Seems random, but hear me out. I found this book randomly while searching for another book (possibly Kondo's book) and I am so glad I did. I really preferred this book over Marie Kondo's. This book was the same general idea, without the whole "talk to your stuff" weirdness. Erin Boyle focuses on ways to simplify your life, home, closet, etc. She honestly inspired me to shift my focus and start looking at things like clothes shopping differently. She also focuses on cleansing the home of chemicals and living with less. Check the book out and her blog too.
- The Alchemist - It makes you think... a lot. It is a quick read, but a deep one. Just read it.
- In the Garden of the Beasts - NERD ALERT. I am a huge history nerd and have always loved all things historical. I devoured every historical fiction book I could get my hands on as a kid (shoutout to Ann Rinaldi for her historical fiction books with female leads). This is still the case and I love Erik Larson. His non-fiction books read like novels and they are fascinating. Devil int he White City is a bit creepy, but this particular one is a bit more user friendly. It follows the US ambassador to Germany in the 1930's as Hitler is rising to power. It will make you pause and ask a lot of questions about then and now. For example, what really goes on behind closed, government doors? What is the real story? (again, election)
- Evicted - This book came from my cousin who casually mentioned it as an upcoming book for book club. I read it and again, eye opening. It follows a group of people living in poverty and their struggle to get out of it. There will always be bias in writing books like this, but bias or not, it made me ask a lot of questions about our current system. There has to be more we can be doing to truly help those in need.
- Present Over Perfect - I honestly have read every book Shauna Niequist has written and loved them all. Despite loving them all, Bittersweet and Present Over Perfect are now a toss up for my favorite. I'm not a mother. I'm not a writer/speaker/always on the road person. BUT, this book was so spot on for me. Adam and I are working on finding our priorities and a rhythm of life that works for us and this book spoke to exactly that. She walks with you through a journey of slowing down and finding space in a world overrun with more, more, more.
- Little Women - No new news with this one, but I just recently read Little Women and loved it. I am a sucker for classic fiction stories and I would put ittle Women up there with Pride and Prejudice and Gone with the Wind. I have seen the movie, but never read the book and it didn't disappoint. Clearly, Jo is my favorite character because she is awesome. If you're looking for an easy read, this one fits the bill and is free on Kindle.
- Essentialism - I have been on a minimalism kick for the last couple years and this book was a solid addition to previous reads. This book focuses on finding your priorities and leaning into those, while ridding your life of the excess. A great reminder of a life I desire for us.
- Bringing Up Bebe - This was probably my favorite book of 2017. As Adam and I talked about kids, we struggled with the example of so many around us. Did kids really have to control everything? We knew our lives would change with kids (and it has), but we didn't love the idea of stopping life to cater to ever whim of a child. This book was fascinating to read, and although the French aren't the masters of all, we loved the overall message.
- The Nightingale - A great historical fiction read. I've always been a fan of this genre but haven't read many in the last couple years. The Nightingale was the perfect choice to bring me back into it. I actually preferred this over All the Light We Cannot See, but both were easy reads.
- A Voice in the Wind - I loved Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and had never read the Mark of the Lion Series. This is the first one and definitely my favorite one. Was a bit cheesy at times for my taste, but overall, worth reading.