march read(s)

y’all.

i’m gonna have to start scheduling time to update this here blog.

i have a finished object to share! two, actually. we’ll get to it.

i have about a million links for weekend reading.

see. content.

let’s talk about what i read in march before it is somehow may.

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becoming by michelle obama.

i joined a second book club. i don’t know what made me think i could handle a second book club when i was barely finishing books for the first, but alas, i did. our first book was a flop for me, so i was excited when the next book was chosen and it was becoming by michelle obama. i had been wanting to read it for a while. i got it and started reading and, as has been my style these days, read it in fits and starts. eventually i buckled down and i read it. i really loved it! i loved reading about michelle’s childhood and her jobs and career and how she just wanted to be a normal person even when her husband was president. i found that it wasn’t particularly political so even those who don’t like politics might enjoy it.

the next book for that second book club was the goldfinch. i’ve had it sitting on my bookshelf for like a year and a half so i thought it’d be a good opportunity to finally read it. i’ve had other reading goals i’ve wanted to accomplish, though, so i didn’t get around to it. i ended up telling the second book club that 2 book clubs were too many for me. i DID finish my other book club’s march book (yes, in late april) and have started may’s book and should (hopefully) be done by the time we meet.

i’m getting back on track with the reading goals!


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!

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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!

fall reading

a little theme to keep going, if you will.

since i have cut back on screen time lately, i have found myself with…free time.

the internet and all of our little devices are truly magical little things and have opened up worlds of possibilities for us all. but they have also sucked up all of our free time. bored? scroll through insta. waiting for jury duty? check email and facebook. waiting in a line or just generally waiting for something? buzzfeed, reddit, twitter.

what did we used to do in those moments? i’m not saying that we didn’t have other ways to just fill the time. we did. and i’m not saying that our phones are evil and that we shouldn’t use them or that checking email and twitter and fb and insta etc are bad. i’m saying that for me personally, those are not my values and i don’t want to be spending my spare time with those things often.

i want to read.

and again, i know i can do this on my phone. but for me, the temptation to switch apps and mindlessly scroll is too great.

somehow this has turned into a rant. it’s supposed to be about the good stuff i’ve read/am currently this fall!

so here we go. the point of the post.

opened ground by seamus heaney. if you follow me on instagram, you will know the depths of my love for poetry, especially seamus heaney’s poetry. the man can do no wrong. i spent about 2 years with this lovely collection of his work and it was beautiful and meaningful. it is full of poems i will return to again and again. i love the way poetry seeps into your brain and takes up residence there and then flows out in mundane moments. i was walking up the street one day after it had been raining for days. there were little rivers running down the curbs and immediately the line “where springs washed into/ the shiny grass / and darkened cobbles /in the bed of the lane” immediately sprang to mind.

the witch elm by tana french. this was my first foray into tana french’s beautifully written irish world and it will not be my last. this book was a book club read. i was intimated by the size of the novel (500 pages) and worried that my commitment of finishing book club picks on time would be hindered by the length of the book. i didn’t need to worry because i devoured this one. i couldn’t stop reading. i am not one for scary things. i can’t handle violence or gruesome death scenes/descriptions. but a little suspense? i’m in. this book made me want a candlestick holder. yes, i know that’s random and weird. read it and you’ll understand. except it’s used in a pretty terrible way. but really. tana french’s description of it was so gorgeous that i had to buy one, “barley-sugar-twist stem and graceful fleur-de-lys swoops at the top, the center prong sharpened to hold the candle (stub of melted wax, a night with wine in bed and Nina Simone).” i mean, come on.

the woman in the window by aj finn. i needed another page turner after the witch elm and another suspense was the way to go. the story of how i came into possession of this book entertains me: my brother in law asked for it for christmas last year. upon opening it, he realized that my grandparents had accidentally bought him the large-print version. not one to be ungracious, he thanked them for it, then later asked me if i wanted it. undeterred by large print, i happily accepted. i started this book at my first-ever jury duty. i was blessedly not chosen that day and had spent all of my time at the courthouse reading this book. from then on, it was another one i couldn’t put down. there are twists and turns and parts that make your heart beat fast.

my brilliant friend by elena ferrante. my book club has a bit of a history. for a while, we read only very serious books. it wasn’t on purpose. we don’t have a theme or anything, but i think we were all feeling the heaviness of the world and wanted to stay woke. we mostly got it out of our systems and have read some really great books that were a little more entertainment than education since then. this month, after discussing the witch elm, the chooser of december’s book gave us a choice. one, my brilliant friend, was one i had already read and loved. the other, a title i cannot remember, was a serious and heavy book. our group decided that since my brilliant friend was just about to air on hbo that night, and because i had a positive experience with it before, and because nobody wanted to read something so heavy and serious, that we would go with my brilliant friend. i’m only a few pages into my re-reading of it, but i am loving it again. i cannot wait to watch the hbo show.

hunger, hope, and healing by sarahjoy marsh. as i mentioned in one of my last posts, i am in yoga teacher training. i am specifically learning psychotherapeutic yoga, so much of my research into yoga has been how i can apply it to my job as a therapist. there is so much out there about how yoga is good for such emotional healing and i have been trying absorb it all. i was at half-price books recently and was perusing the yoga section and i came across this book. after reading the subtitle, i was worried that it was going to be yet another book that claimed freedom from food and body obsession but still had the diet mentality at its core. so i flipped through and read bits and pieces and looked over the appendix and decided it was worth a try. then i started reading. i am not far into it yet, but my friends, whoa. this is going to be such an asset to my job, to my yoga training, and hopefully, to my patients. it is a beautiful and useful combination of eating disorder and body image training, therapy, and yoga. i cannot wait to keep reading and start applying it. i am envisioning this book being one of those that becomes completely beat up and worn down with love and near-daily use.

what have been your favorite reads this fall?