What I Read this January
One of my goals for this year is to read 50+ books. I posted a massive book list of everything I read in 2014 at the end of last year, but I thought it would be fun to share what I'm reading month by month as this year goes on. Something about the cold and dreary winter days makes me love just spending my evenings curled up with a good book, and this month, I read 9. Looks like 50 books this year might just be an attainable goal if I can keep this up!
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. // "What must underlie successful epidemics, in the end, is a bedrock belief that change is possible, that people can radically transform their behavior or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus."
This is my first Gladwell read, and it was a solid one. There are some fascinating ideas and concepts in this book based on in depth and thorough research. At times, I found that certain chapters kept dragging on which caused me to lose interest and skip ahead a bit. If you've ever wondered about what makes things all of a sudden go viral or become popular, what makes things work, what makes ideas or products spread, or anything along those lines, give this book a read! I can't wait to read other things by Gladwell. (Also-- watch this TEDtalk by him if you want a taste of who he is!)
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. // "The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use--do the work you want to see done."
This book is whimsical, wise, fun and brilliant. It's such a simple and quick read that is jam-packed with great advice, lots of awesome hand-lettering, and so many fantastic nuggets of truth and intelligence. Definitely pick this little guy up next time you're at the bookstore or library. I loved it.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on love and life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed. // "You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love."
This book is a collection of letters and responses from the Dear Sugar column, but it isn't just your average advice column...it's stunningly real, honest, and frank, and it's just exquisite. I laughed out loud and I teared up at points. Cheryl has a way of shooting straight to the heart of the matter while also elegantly and eloquently weaving in personal anecdotes that make even you as the reader feel intimately connected to these people and their stories. "Let yourself be gutted" is right. It's so good.
The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. // "In this great day when most women wave banners of authenticity about our pasts, we crouch back from honesty about our presents. We'll tell you all about our broken places of yesterday but don't dare admit the limitations of our today."
I could not have read this book at a better time, when I'm wrestling with what to say "yes" to and what I need to let go of in order to be the best me and have the best life possible. This book is insightful and refreshing and freeing-- ladies, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. You'll feel empowered and ready to conquer your life boldly and wisely afterward!
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. // "She had needed the time to know that this love would not destroy her, and I had, I now knew, given her that time, could give it, for it was what I had in great supply."
This book is creepy and chilling and haunting and beautiful and hopeful and sweet and touching all at once. I think that's a major accomplishment. I totally understand why it's a bestseller-- I couldn't stop reading and finished in a night because I just couldn't bear to not see how it all played out and ended. I know I'm behind the times on this one, but it's definitely a fantastic read.
Rosie by Anne Lamott. // "'Wull, see,' Rosie said. 'It's like when you're totally happy, and everything seems so beautiful that you just go "God."'"
This was my first fictional read from Anne, and it absolutely captivated me from start to finish. I read it in an afternoon, unable to pull myself away from the characters and this incredibly well-written story. This family is not at all traditional and they don't have things together by any means, but they make you love them and get invested in them as they grow.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. // "I drew the world he had created for me, full of wonder and possibility."
This book was recommended to me (and then graciously sent in the mail to me!) by my sweet friend Amber who told me I was absolutely going to love it. She was so right. I seem to have a habit of forgetting the rest of the world when I start reading a good book, because that's what happened with this one, too. I stayed up late and woke up early and just devoured every page. Like Amber told me I would, I cried big old crocodile tears when it was over...I don't want to spoil anything for you, but this is a breathtaking love story that you must read.
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. // "Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know."
I read some of Hemingway in AP English classes in high school, but I don't think I fully appreciated him. This book was like following Hemingway around his life in Paris, getting to see how he wrote and who he interacted with and just what his everyday life was like. I feel kind of like we're pals now, and I love that. I'll be reading more from him soon!
Leavings: Poems by Wendell Berry. // "I know that I have life / only insofar as I have love // I have no love / except that it comes from Thee // Help me, please, to carry / this candle against the wind"
I've heard about Wendell Berry from a fellow friend and writer, and when I stumbled upon this little collection of poems at the bookstore a few days ago, I couldn't resist. I absolutely loved it-- his simple yet intricate words struck deep chords in me as he tackled topics I feel strongly about with such an elegance. I cannot wait to read more from him.
Any books you want to recommend for me? Comment below with your favorites and I'll be sure to add them to my list! If you've read any of these, I would love to hear what your thoughts were!