Books Steph Read – Feb & March 2017

After forgetting to do a February book post, March just flew by…and I still didn’t get to it. So I’m late, but I’m doing it anyway! For the few people who might be interested in my book list, I’ll post them here at the end of every month. This list of 16 books has a few awesome ones, some decent ones, and a few I didn’t like.

February Books

Quiet – Susan Cain: This book made me realize that although I’ve identified as an extrovert for all my life, I’m actually at least 50% introvert. Maybe that’s a product of getting old? 🙂 An interesting read.

The Orphan Keeper – Cameron Wright: This was a book club pick and although I really didn’t like the writing style, the story was interesting and it made for good conversation. It is much better on audio than reading in book form.

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert: I LOVED this book. I plan to read it every so often – it was so inspiring and made me feel all “I believe in myself” and awesome. I loved her thoughts on the nature on inspiration and ideas and how to live a creative life, in any way that calls to you. Highly recommend.

This is How It Always Is – Laurie Frankel: This was the Modern Mrs. Darcy online book club pick and it was fascinating. I don’t want to tell you anything about it–best to go into it blind and just take it as it comes. I think I loved it, although I don’t agree with everything in it. My first exposure to this issue, honestly, and made me re-think and analyze my own reactions and judgments. If you read it, I’m dying to talk to someone about it, so let me know! Highly recommend.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling: I read this with my kids–we half read it aloud and half listened to the audio of it. They got the new illustrated edition for Christmas (which is FANTASTIC) and it’s so fun to read with them and see them fall in love with the characters too.

Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell: A classic I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I LOVED Wives and Daughters slightly more, but this was still great. I can’t wait to watch the BBC movie of it!

You’ll Grow Out of It – Jessi Klein: This was a comedy book and there were lots of things I liked about it but it was overall too crude to be good. Just not my style. There was one entire chapter I skipped because of the subject matter. My least favorite choice of the month; not recommended.

Parnassus on Wheels – Christopher Morley: A short, fun book that I loved. I love stories about aging/old people (not sure why?) so this was my kind of novel. A sweet love story. Recommended.

March books

Think Like a Freak – Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner: I never read Freakonomics (not yet, at least) but I really liked this one anyway. The stories, though about crazy things like a Japanese hot dog champion, were still strangely relevant to my life.

The $100 Start-Up – Chris Guillebeau: This is an older business/entrepreneur book that wasn’t life-changing but was still pretty good. Gave me more confidence that I CAN start and run a business and had some good concrete tips.

Tell Me 3 Things – Julie Buxbaum: Though I don’t love YA, this one has been on my list for a while and I enjoyed it. Kind of like a teenage You’ve Got Mail.

It Was Me All Along – Andy Mitchell: This is a memoir about a food blogger who had an alcoholic father and was obese most of her life but lost a bunch of weight and has kept it off. I love reading about those kinds of transformations anyway, but I like the way she writes about food and I really liked the transformation she went through. Good concrete example of out-of-control emotional eating and how she found a great balance and maintains her thin body without any restriction or dieting. And you know that’s right up my alley. 🙂

Hamilton – Ron Chernow: Oh my GOSH this was a long book. I have been on the waitlist for a long time at the library so when it came up I just had to start it. It was a whopping 36 hours of listening time, and even sped up it was kind of hard to plow through at times. I did learn a LOT about Hamilton and other founding fathers, and it gave me some things to think about (like what and how I think about government, etc.) but it wasn’t the greatest reading experience. I kind of just kept thinking, “Will this EVER END?” But of course, it did. 🙂

Core Calling – Shanda Sumter: I did NOT like this one. The writing was atrocious and I didn’t really learn anything. It was recommended to me so I dragged through it but really didn’t like it at all.

Ask Method – Ryan Levesque: This was super interesting and, despite the author’s slightly superior tone, I learned some things I’ll be implementing in my business.

A Piece of the World – Christina Baker Kline: This was the March pick for the MMD Book Club. I remember discussing and writing about the painting Christina’s World in AP English class in high school, so I was interested to read this (which is based on the life of the girl in the painting). It was a SAD story, and I know a lot of people didn’t like it, but I actually did. I didn’t think the main character Christina was amazing and I wouldn’t have wanted to know her in real life, but I felt like I understood why she was the way she was and I just wanted her to catch a break. Which she didn’t, but it was a good story anyway. Also, I’m grateful for my life and my ability to move my body in any way I want.

So there you have it! Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them! Talking books is my favorite. 🙂

As always, happy eating – but happy reading too!

Steph

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