Show us Your Books Link up

Life According to Steph

 

Happy Tuesday!!

I’m so stinkin excited to be linking up today with Steph and this book link up.  I haven’t shared my books that I’ve read so far all in one blog, so I thought it’d be good to start! Hopefully it will continue to inspire me to hit my goal of reading 52 books this year.

I have finished 18 books so far; some have been audiobooks and some I have actually read.  I hope to actually sit and read more in the Summer months, but I am happy so far with the progress I have made.

If you’re interested in following my reading journey, checkout my Instagram and look under my book highlight to see what I’ve read!

img_3100-1

This book came highly recommended and it was a quick listen.  I think it was a bit over-played, as it didn’t exactly live up the the hype, but I can see how it rocked the YA world.

img_3101

This was a great and fast listen!! A retired US Navy Seal shares his insights on how to have continued success by doing the simplest of things.  Great motivation!

img_3102

I do love Kristin Hannah’s style writing, and this did not disappoint.  If you enjoy reading about survival in Alaska, plus mix in a father who battles a severe mental disorder and a wife/mom who pretty much refuses to leave his side, you will enjoy this book.  The character reminds me a bit of the memoir Educated but it has its own twists and turns.

img_3103

I thought this would be a really great suspenseful page turner—it wasn’t.  Between the British verbiage and it being a slow go, I wasn’t super impressed.  My bestie and I were determined to finish it though, and we did!

img_3104

This has been on my TBR list forever and it was good!! I feel like Brene drops truth bombs like the best of them, and this book was a good listen to boost your sense of authenticity and desire to open up more.  Can’t go wrong with Brown’s work!

img_3105

Good old Rachel Hollis recommended this one to me, and it was an okay read.  Not much ground breaking and she lost me in some of her religion chapters—just not my thing.  It definitely is good to hear other mamas say it’s ok to slow down and to stop trying to be so perfect–so if you’re feeling a little lost and lonely as a mom, this may be worth picking up.

img_3106

Switching gears a bit, I listened to this in hopes to really broaden my financial horizons.  Unfortunately I didn’t pick up anything terribly new and I told my husband he could have written a better book.   It was cool to hear about our business (rent to own/lease option) and how we’re definitely being smart with our money and investments rather than having all liabilities.

img_3107

This was an Advanced Reader copy and gosh, how incredible!!  The love story, the mother/daughter relationship, family genes…and even a bit of a twist with some history (9/11) playing a role.  This was beautifully told and not something I would normally pick up, so I am so happy I was given a copy!  Great writing style too…loved it!

img_3108

Our book club picked this kidnapping mystery and it was a bit gory for me but I plowed through!  It took a bit for me to get into, but once I was in, I literally stayed up until 1am to finish it.

img_3109

LOVED this one!! It’s cheesy, and not incredibly written but boy did it bring me right back to college and all the feels of thinking about boys and dating, parties, fitting in, etc.   Most of us have had at least one (or a few) boyfriends that just didn’t deserve the time of day after the first (or 5th) breakup.  Super quick read, probably great for the beach!  I enjoyed getting lost in this story.

Aw, yeah!! GWYF (Girl Wash Your Face) was a great little appetizer, but Rachel brings out the big guns in this one.  Most of you won’t be ready to hear what she has to say, or disagree with most of it.  But some of us?  We get it, and thank you Rachel for always pushing us to be better than we were before.

img_1818

Oh this little tiny gem of a book! If you sell anything, GRAB YOURSELF A COPY!!

img_3112

This was an ok listen.  Nothing really standing out to me weeks later, but it had some good info.  I feel like most PD books are repeating themselves so I have taken a little break from them…

img_3113-2

Loved this one!! I have described it as a ‘slow burn’ but I really enjoyed the way it was written!  All of the band members tell the story and it’s all sex drugs and rock and roll.

img_3099

Before my “PD break” I did listen to this one…he does a great job at explaining why some companies (Google, WalMart, Apple) succeed and why others don’t.  I appreciated it as a business owner and would recommend it if you enjoy learning about the science behind how the brain works etc.

img_3098-1

Love and Other Words—ahhh.  A super great listen, but it has some plot twists that make your head spin!  True love, the loss of a parent, and other tangled pieces create this story.  If you’re traveling, scoop this up on audio!

img_2693

Lastly, I just discovered the app HOOPLA which provides more free titles through the library.  My bestie finished this over her Spring break and legit had a book hangover for weeks, so I knew I had to read this.  15 hours and I was done within days you guys! Historical fiction, WWI & II–these characters’ lives intertwine and you learn some real crazy from the point of view of a woman spy.  Must read!!

img_3044

 

What have you been reading?!

52 Books in 2018

I set a lofty goal for myself this year.  I have always loved to read, but I will admit, in the age of social media, I found myself scrolling more and reading actual books less.  I will say it was a lot harder to even try to read when I first had my babies too; when you’re sleep deprived and overwhelmed, it’s not easy to pick a book up from beginning to end.  Somehow though, I’ve found ways to sneak in books over the last few years; mostly through Audible (I LOVE it!)  My mom gifted me a Kindle for my birthday and well, I am an old fashioned reader by heart; I love a good hardcover and the smell of a new book in my hands.

Here it is January 31, and I have finished 5 books.  Three I listened to on Audible and two I actually read.  I have started listening to a new book and I am halfway through a new thriller novel–so to say the least, I am super proud of myself!! It helps that I have found some really great books and some friends have started a Book Club on Facebook.

My biggest question is, “How do you have the time to read?!” As with all things, I don’t.  I make the time.  You won’t find me bingeing on Netflix or sucked into too many TV shows. I am usually quite busy, so I listen to books quite often.  I used to say I couldn’t, but then I tried it and it’s actually really cool!!

I find myself plugging in my earbuds as I vacuum, fold laundry, wash the dishes, clean up the house etc.   Sometimes I’ll listen and walk on the treadmill at the gym.  I’ll even listen in the car sometimes!  My mom inspired me because she always listens to books at night, and I finally tried the whole audiobook thing.  Really, if you look for ways to sneak in reading/listening time, you’ll be surprised.

img_2597

Braving the Wilderness

I do appreciate Brené Brown’s books.  She puts forth a lot of research and shares her thoughts unapologetically.  This book was really worth the read, especially if you’re someone who struggles with the past election.  She talks about how we can all be different, have different viewpoints, but we must stop attacking each other.  While I am not here to debate whether our president is a good fit, she makes some valid points about how we should act.  If you get offended over mockery of Hillary Clinton, then as a HUMAN you should get offended over mockery of Donald Trump.  I had a photo I thought about sharing, of a bunch of Women marching, with signs of genitals and horrible things said about Republican women and such.  It proves Brown’s point of, how is that acceptable? What are we teaching our daughters by tearing down other people simply on their political views?  My favorite quote from this book, “Stop looking for ways you’re not belonging.”  Wow.  So true!! If you look for it, you will find it.

 

UnFu*k Yourself

This was my first read of the new year.  I didn’t find too much new information in this book, but it was a good kick in the pants to start off my 2018.  He states in there, if you’re getting offended then maybe gift this book to someone else, as you’re not ready for the next level.  I didn’t get offended…Actually, maybe I should give this book a little more credit, as I bought my domain name after listening to the first few chapters New Year’s Day.  I did tear up a bit as he makes the reader picture herself on her deathbed…it sounds morbid but man it made me think! Am I doing all that I should be with this one life?  A few of my favorites, “Take out a piece of paper and write down what your life was supposed to look like in one area of your life that sucks.” — Yeah. Do yourself a favor and do that real quick.  Quotes from the books, “Accept things as they may happen.”  “Accept everything, expect nothing.”  Total game changers.

A Simplified Life

I LOVED Emily Ley’s Grace Not Perfection and was pretty excited over this book.  In my opinion, it was good, but it didn’t have that “wow” factor that her first book gave me.  She went through simplifying routines that I honestly rolled my eyes at. I am not downsizing my makeup or getting rid of my clothes. I try to not have an overwhelming amount of “stuff” but I really love that my kid are super creative and play with their toys, over them being glued to the TV or electronics. While I don’t love “messes” I know that they create a happy and stimulating home.  What I do love is her approach of just being ok, with not doing it all.  I used to be so hard on myself for not cooking a 12 course meal, coordinating napkins, decor, fine china, bla bla bla…if you wait for things to be perfect, (especially with kids and busy schedules!) you’ll never do anything! She suggests pizza night on Friday on the floor.  I took that idea for Mondays, when Joe works late and we get back from dance class late, I spread a blanket on the floor in front of the TV and the kids munch on fruit, veggies and fish sticks while watching a movie. Win win all around. It’s about giving ourselves the pat on the back and saying, “It’s OK mama!!” Kids won’t remember all of the small irrelevant details.  They’ll remember moments, and how you made them feel.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed with motherhood, I’d suggest Grace Not Perfection and then this book. Simple and easy to listen to while doing pretty much anything.

The Wife Between Us

It’s been awhile since a book has really held my attention and made me devour it in a sitting or two.  This book did exactly that!! I couldn’t tell who was who, what was really happening, who was the crazy one?! It had so many twists and turns, that it kind of did feel a little loose at the ending. I won’t give anything away, but I am still left with questions…that are unanswered and that always annoys me!  However, this book was JUST what I needed to get back into the reading saddle.  I despised some characters, felt sorry for some, and really was thrown off by a few things that came up.  There was some bothersome subject matter, but overall this book kicked off our book club and if you like Gone Girl type books, I’d say totally pick this one up or at least at it to your TBR pile.

The Last Mrs Parrish

Coming off of The Wife Between Us I had a total book hangover. I wanted to call the characters and see what was going on.  I didn’t think this next book could hold a candle to it as far as keeping my attention or desire to read another book right away. Boy was I wrong!! I read this one probably even faster?! It had such great detail, and right away your instincts and detective skills are trying to figure out what this main character is up to and what is really going on.  You love to hate some of these people and you really develop a desire to know how it will all unfold.  It will keep you up reading til midnight.   I loved how the book ended, and while I won’t give it away, I will say it was a little over the top…but in a good way.  Sometimes what seems perfectly perfect, may not be so perfect after all.  Definitely a must read in 2018!

So what’s next?

 

img_2798

This strange book!! I am about halfway through and all like what the what?! It’s got me thinking differently about everyone I meet and all of my neighbors.  It’s a little freaky and best read at night, if you like to creep yourself out a bit.

 

I’m thinking after this one I’ll lighten it up a bit because man, January was a wild ride!  What a way to keep your brain sharp though; read mystery novels/thrillers.  You’re always trying to guess the next move.

I can’t wait to see what I read in February. What is on your To Be Read (TBR) list?