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.
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.
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?
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?