january reads

i’m not really a new year’s resolution person. except that i am. i just don’t call them resolutions. each year i find myself having a couple of areas of life that i’d like to change/improve in some way. it’s never obsessive or intense and i’m totally ok with not following through. this year, as usual, i have a couple of things i’d like to do: 1. read a therapy book every month, and 2. actually start paying on my student loans. 1 is something i have been meaning to do for a while and 2 is something i wish i didn’t need to do but i really must do. so here we are!

back in december my family had our annual white elephant gift exchange. before all 30 people were there, my younger sister and her husband arrived. she had recently gotten a new kindle paperwhite and showed it to me. it sparked jealousy in me. i have an old-school kindle keyboard that i rarely use. it’s in perfect condition and is totally useable, but i just rarely think about it. plus, the kindle paperwhite has the built-in light. perfect for getting all cozy in bed or for when i randomly wake up at 3am. she then told me our oldest sister recently got a new kindle as well and that she likely would be willing to hand her old kindle to me. as soon as my older sister arrived to the party i said, ‘i heard you got a new kindle.’ she answered affirmatively. ‘can i have your old one?’ i asked with absolutely zero tact. being a good sister, she said yes, she would bring it on christmas.

so that is how i ended up with a kindle paperwhite. it was a christmas gift that wasn’t actually a christmas gift. i immediately put it to good use and downloaded a ton of books. i don’t know if it was the newness (to me) of the kindle or my goal, but i have been reading a ton more ever since. i thought it would be good accountability to share my reads here. i am in 2 book clubs at this point and with the goal of reading a therapy book every month, it looks like i’ll be reading (or trying to read) 3 books a month. so far, i’m right on track!

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in a dark, dark wood by ruth ware.
this was a book club pick. i flew through it. in a dark, dark wood is about a young woman who is invited to a past friend’s bachelorette party. she hasn’t spoken to said friend in many years, leading her to wonder why she was invited to the party in the first place. this book is full of suspense. if you like the thriller/suspense genre, this will be up your alley. as we discussed in book club, there is an element of predictability to the book, which adds to the entertainment value. i’m a huge scaredy cat, but this was perfect for me.

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come as you are by emily nagoski.
let’s be real, i was too embarrassed/worried about other peoples’ judgements (namely, my dad) to put this on my goodreads. this book is SO good and incredibly well-researched. i was so impressed by how clinical and academic it was. i was fully expecting it to be written in a very self-help tone but it wasn’t. i have referenced some of the metaphors in this book multiple times since reading it, in reference to sex and in reference to eating disorders (since that is what i primarily work with). this book definitely met my ‘therapy book’ goal and it was just a good read in general. this book seems to me coming up (pun intended) everywhere around me- the more people i told about it, the more i heard ‘i’m reading that too!’ or ‘i know someone else who just read that!’. it came out in 2015 but it’s making waves in 2019.

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the body keeps the score by bessel van der kolk.
omgggg this book. i started it about a year ago with my coworkers. we all became obsessed with it. it is pretty dense and very information-heavy so i had to read it in spurts. i also found it a little too descriptive of people’s trauma so i had to be careful when i read it. i read this mostly in january of this year and i was amazed at how much it and come as you are were connected. this is a book i will be thinking about for a very long time and will be referring back to again and again. if you are a person who is affected by trauma in any way, whether having personal experiences of trauma or working with traumatized people, this is the book for you. the bottom line of this book and come as you are? you gotta get into your body to do some work.

i’ve already got my 3 books for february picked out. let’s hope i’ll be writing another one of these posts before you know it!