Ever have the feeling that there are so many books to read in the world, but so little time to read them all? I'll see a book rec on Instagram, a list of "Top 30 Books Every Girl Should Read by the Time She's 30" on Pinterest, the "Best-Sellers" table at Barnes & Noble, and before I know it, my reading list is twelve miles long.
Well, I know reading every book on my "Read Me" list isn't going to happen because there's other wonderful things to be done in life that don't involve me, a book, a blanket and a comfortable chair, BUT, I do want to read 2 books a month in 2016 to keep me learning and moving down my list. (**Note to self: who knows what will happen to this goal when Baby B comes, but it's something I'm shooting for at least during pregnancy! Giving grace to allll my goals once we're in newborn mode!**)
So, here's a little wrap up of what I read in January, in case you wanted to add some books to your own list or had these on your radar but wasn't sure if they were for you. It's also going to serve as a record for me, since I checked most of these out from the library and won't have them on my shelf permanently to remind me of what I have already read.
And so, the books:
1.) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - You've heard about this one. My sister was the one who finally pushed me to read it over Christmas. That timing ended up being perfect because I finished it right as the new year began. The motivation factor of the book + the rolling into the new year = LET'S SIMPLIFY EVERYTHING. After reading it, I actually did follow Kondo's steps for purging and organizing, and you guys, it felt so good. We've donated or pitched countless bags of things---and with JOY, not stress. True, there are some suggestions that weren't for me (I still don't thank my possessions for their daily service, but it's cool if you want to), but for the most part, such good info! ALSO, in case you had any doubt in your mind as to whether or not I have nerd-like tendencies, I have notes, which I typed, and you can check them out here. It can be a little condensed version for you if you know you won't be able to read the whole thing any time soon!
2.) Essentialism - I realized I had a theme running through my January picks about halfway through this one --- getting back to the basics. Getting rid of the extra stuff in life that isn't helping me become the best version of my self. Unlike The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up which helped me see how much extra physical stuff I had surrounding me, Essentialism revealed the extra stuff I let slip in to my schedule and brain space. It is helping me on a daily basis say YES to the things that are most important and realize that sometimes I have to say no (with grace! and gratitude!) to others to make sure the life I'm living is on track with where I want it to head. While it doesn't take a spiritual perspective, I definitely saw it through one, and have been applying principles from it every day, especially when it comes to scheduling. (Ex: Mckeown recommends doubling the amount of time it takes you to do something when you pencil it in to your schedule, because it usually takes us longer than we think to get stuff done.)
3.) How to Win Friends and Influence People - This book was added to my list after I learned that Nancy Ray was doing a Book Club! While I admittedly didn't stick to the group reading schedule because I read my other January books before this one, it was a great pick and I can't wait for the final Periscope wrap-up later today. (NOTE! If you want to see what the book club is like, you can! I watched the Periscopes on Katch after the actual live streams were over and you can do that too, here. While the book title sounds a little sales-y and cheese-y, the content is not! I felt like i was getting a little masters class in how to better connect with others, and I love that kind of a thing. Fave takeaways: the power of smiles and encouragement. Again, I'm a nerd and I have notes from this read here because I felt like it would be something I would want to turn back to long after I turned the book back into the library.
4. & 5.) How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls - These I read in December, but wanted to give them a little love because they were fun fiction reads and I'm always on the hunt for that type of thing. Sometimes it can be a struggle for me to find fiction that doesn't feel bad for my brain, and these did not disappoint. How to Eat a Cupcake would be my winner between the two because, you know, cupcakes and women in small business.
Have you read any of these? (I know there's got to be some Kondo people out there!) Would love to hear any of your book thoughts or goals!