september reads

oh, books.

i am ahead of my goodreads 2019 goal! and it’s looking like i will stay and finish ahead! i have really been enjoying reading lately. not sure if it’s because i’ve been reading some good books or if it’s because i’ve actually been making time to read? whatever the reason, i’m happy about it and am happy to share my september reads!

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a mercy by toni morrison.
my book club read this in september. i hadn’t read a toni morrison novel since college, so it was nice to pick this one up, in memory of ms. morrison. i found this book to be sad and also found some parts to be heartwarming.

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the testaments by margaret atwood.
back in december, my friend rachel had her birthday. rachel works in the publishing industry and as such, also loves books and reading. we have a few favorites in common and for her birthday, i told her i would get her a ticket to an author talk. she ended up doing the same thing for my birthday and got me a ticket to see margaret atwood in september! i loved hearing her talk and hearing about her process and the writing of ‘the handmaid’s tale’. part of the ticket included an autographed copy of her latest book! i told rachel she could keep the book but that i did want to read it…and boy did i read it! i read it so fast. i really liked it. i will say that some of the complaints out there about it are very valid, but i did fly through this one and that’s always something.

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poetry magazine september 2017.
we are getting close to the end of my copies of poetry magazine and i’m not gonna lie: i’m glad. i will say that i have found some great poems in the magazines, but they are so few and far between for me that it has made reading the issues pretty tedious. this issue actually had a few poems that stood out to me, but the one that really hit me hard was joy harjo’s ‘becoming seventy’. i also really loved mario melendez’s ‘future memories’:

My sister woke me very early
that morning and told me
“Get up, you have to come see this
the ocean’s filled with stars”
Delighted by the revelation
I dressed quickly and thought
If the ocean’s filled with stars
I must take the first flight
and collect all of the fish from the sky

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the polyvagal theory in therapy by deb dana.
yalllllll. this book is amazing. this was my therapy read for the month and did it ever deliver. i have found therapy books to be somewhat helpful- typically lots of research and information but not a ton of application. this book is an exception. tons of info AND tons of application. i started using it in therapy groups and sessions immediately and it has really changed the way i approach things in therapy! a great book for therapists!

happy reading!

june reads

we’re getting all caught up! hopefully i’ll stay caught up. but you know me. we’ll see. here’s what i read (and/or finished up) in june!

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this day by wendell berry.
i have been reading my way through this book for about 18 months. i find that poetry is best read slowly, just a page or two at a time, so that’s what i did with this one. i loved it so much. if you are a fan of mary oliver, you’ll probably find some poems in this book that you’d like. lots of nature and wonder in this one.

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everything is waiting for you by david whyte.
it was my turn to pick for book club, so i decided we needed some poetry up in that clurb. i chose this book because a friend turned me on to david whyte earlier in the year and i became a woman obsessed. i found out that he would be coming down to austin at the end of june, so i wanted to make sure i read this by then. i loved it. it was so good. and my book club loved it too! i was so happy to share my love of poetry with them and to hear them reading the poems and enjoying them and analyzing them and relating to them. i want to read my david whyte. he’s full of goodness.

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the sexual healing journey by wendy maltz.
oh the name of this book. it’s something. this was my therapy read for june. it was really good, but i definitely don’t recommend it to everyone. it’s a pretty graphically detailed book, so i’d recommend it only for people who are very stable and ready to read about sexual trauma in depth. it’s a great resource for therapists.

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poetry magazine june 2017.
a theme. nothing noteworthy.

well friends, we are all caught up on my reading. i’ve got my july books going and am excited to share them in a few weeks (hopefully). stay tuned.

may reads

here i am with the may reads. i feel like this is the month i for real got serious about making reading a priority! i started doing what i used to do in college and grad school- i would figure out how many pages were in a book, how many days i had to read, do some division, put sticky notes all over the book to pace my reading, then would just read a bit every day. it’s a real helpful way to make sure reading gets done! but i also made sure to read for fun too, in a non-regimented way. here are the may books!

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daisy jones and the six by taylor jenkins reid.
you guessed it, this was for book club. i loved this book! i for real thought it was non-fiction for a bit. and i didn’t like it. then i found it out it was fiction and then i LOVED it! weird how that happens. at the beginning i wasn’t a fan of the interview format, but as i kept reading it liked it more. this was a super quick and easy read and very entertaining. i love music and i am super interested in the behind the scenes stuff, so this was perfect for those behind the scenes looks (even if fictionalized).

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befriending your body by ann saffi biasetti.
this was my therapy book for may. it was soooo good. i loved it and i use it ALL the time at work. i didn’t even put it on my bookshelf- it lives on my desk at my office. i have sticky notes all over it and i use it in my weekly body image group. i highly recommend this to eating disorders therapists who want to do more embodiment work with their clients. funnily enough, a coworker happened to read this book in may too! she liked it as well.

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in the woods by tana french.
it’s no secret that i’m a tana french fangirl. i read the witch elm for book club last winter and loved it so much that i downloaded all of her other books to my kindle. i really hate scary/crime movies and tv, but for some reason i devour suspense/mystery novels. they are addicting to me. i really enjoyed this one and there were some good twists and turns. there was also one sentence in the book that ends up being the entire plot of the witch elm which i thought was super cool. it was literally ONE SENTENCE! genius.

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poetry magazine may 2017.
i’m really doing it y’all. i’m reading all of the 2017 issues of poetry magazine! i felt the same way about this one as i did april 2017. it’s fine. i wouldn’t read it again.

stay tuned for my june reads!

april reads

so i’m a few months behind in blogging about the books i’m reading this year but hey, better late than never, right? here’s what i read in april (i had to go to goodreads and look up what i read in april.)

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the great alone by kristin hannah.
this was a book club pick. did i finish it in time for book club? of course not! i was a little behind since i had joined a second book club (which has since naturally dissolved, freeing me up to read what i actually want to read), but hey, i finished it! i had heard tons about this book all over the internet and irl. i liked it. it was a very moving story and engaging. i had trouble getting into it at first, but as i kept reading it was hard to put down. it’s a true love story.

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hunger, hope, and healing by sarahjoy marsh.
remember that i am trying to read a therapy book every month. i had started this one a few months before april but i finished it in april, so it’s going under the april reads list. this book is sooooo good and i highly recommend it to therapists who work with eating disorders and like incorporating yoga into therapy. it’s full of goodness and it’s one that i turn to often and will continue to turn to often. i had stumbled on it at half-price books and thought i’d just give it a shot and it turned out to be great!

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poetry magazine april 2017.
in 2017 i had a subscription to poetry magazine because there was an ad for it on this american life and you could get a whole year for $20. not being one to pass up 1. a deal, and 2. a deal on poetry, i subscribed. and quickly realized i was in over my head and wouldn’t be finishing them up as they came each month, so i cancelled the subscription at the end of the year. so i have this stack of 12 poetry magazines that just collect dust, so in april i decided that this would be the year that i read all of them. honestly, i don’t love them. they definitely expose me to poetry i’d otherwise never get to read, but other than that, i don’t get much out of it. i really like honing in on one poet at a time and reading a collection of one person’s work.

check back in a couple of days for my may reads!

february reads

it’s almost april but i thought i’d share my february reads :) my goal this year is to read 3 books a month- one of them being a therapy/work book. i didn’t hit 3 in february, and honestly really hit 1.5, but alas! I’ll (hopefully) have 2 books read by the end of march and then i’ll try hard in april to get all 3 in!

without any further ado, my february reads!

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blood, bones, and butter by gabrielle hamilton.
this was for my OG book club. i really liked it. i love a good food memoir, and this one had me thinking of italy and dinner parties with friends, which are two very good things to think about if you ask me. it was like reading an episode of chef’s table. it made me hungry, which is high praise for a book about food. i found the book to be funny and relatable and i thought it addressed the gender gap that is so prevalent in all areas of life, but especially when it comes to careers and mothering. i highlighted multiple descriptions of food to come back to and try later!


you are a badass by jen sincero.
this was for my second book club. yes, i joined a second one. we’ll see if i stay in this book club…i’m not sure that i want to be spending all of my precious reading time on books i may or may not be interested in. anyway. this is the book that i read half of. i just couldn’t make myself read the whole thing. it was way too woo woo for me and i thought it was really dismissive of things like mental illness and income inequality. it was basically the secret but in more “motivational” language. i have learned that i don’t do well with motivational books- i find myself actually wanting to rebel and prove to the author that they are wrong. so yeah. it wasn’t my cup of tea, but i know it’s really resonated with some people.

i am reading 2 books currently (for the book clubs) and i am liking both, so hopefully i’ll finish them by the end of the month and have a march reading update very soon! there are a few things i’m trying to accomplish before the end of march, so i’m having to really prioritize! see y’all here again soon!

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!