Book Reviews: September/October 2015

It’s November! Can you believe it?  I can and I can’t. I love this time of year, but I also know it’s a crazy quick slide right into the holidays and 2016, and there is inevitable chaos that goes with that.  Hoping that I can find a way to stay focused on goals while still enjoying all the lovely things about the season.

I’ve read 28 books so far this year! I am such a happier person when I’m making the time to read.  I think I already linked, but I loved this post from Fast Company about how busy people find time to read.  It really is all about your priorities. And I love that they commend those who are reading multiple books at once.  I’ve always gotten flack for that, but it turns out that’s one thing that helps me read more!

So here are the 5 books I read in September and October.  If you want to read reviews of other books I read this year, here are Jan/Feb, March/Apr, May/June & July/Aug.

Her: A Novel By Harriet Lane - I can see why the reviews on this one are so divisive. People hate the ending...but I have to agree with the reviewers who also liked the nuance of this psychological thriller. Honestly I don't think I'd even call it a thriller because it's so subtle. And it is all the better for that. I too had a bit of a "wait, wtf??" moment at the end of the book also, but I think the open ended-ness adds to it's realness and charm.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear By Elizabeth Gilbert - I don't give 5 stars on Goodreads lightly on books. But this one deserved it. I have read many a creative books over the years and especially in college getting my degree in creative writing, but I really loved this one. It's a cheerleading book for creativity and very readable because of how she breaks up the sections. I love her anecdotes and her basic premise that everyone can be creative, how it ebbs and flows and to stop worrying about creativity paying your bills. I like her more esoteric ideas about ideas finding people to carry them out, and her forgotten story that was written by another author gave me chills.

Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters By Carla Naumburg - I enjoyed this book. I thought it had a lot of similarities to Buddhism for Mothers, Momma Zen and Mindful Parenting, but it did so in a less esoteric manner. As meditation and mindfulness has been a big goal for me this year, I appreciate all the reminders I can get. Here's two of my favorite quotes:

"Soothing is about getting in the rain with our kids and letting them know that we’ll hang out with them until the storm passes."

"When we become aware, over and over again, of the voices in our head telling us that we need to use what little free time we have in the most productive way possible, we can let them go. We can tune into what we want and what we need, and make the choice to take care of ourselves just a little bit"  I am so guilty of this and often need a reminder to sometimes just ‘be.’

What Alice Forgot By Liane Moriarty - Liane Moriarty is quickly becoming one of my favorite fiction authors. She's consistent. I know that may sound boring, but it's something I really appreciate in novels. I know that I consistently will get a good story and good writing. It seems I can pick up any one of her books and whip through it. This book was lovely, and being a big fan of "what if" type stories the whole plot line of "what if you lost your 10 years of your memory - what would your 10 year younger self think of your life now" was an enjoyable one.

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood By Jennifer Senior - I liked this book a lot. It's not a typical parenting book, but an interesting look at how parenting affects the parents, not how parenting affects the kids. 

So many great things in here, but I liked these in particular:

"Joy is connection" It's not about our solitary pleasures that bring us joy in the long haul, it's our sense of connection and bondedness

"Joy is attachment"

"Joy is about being warm, not hot"

"We don't care for kids because we love them, we love them because we care for them" 

I loved what she talked about with the experiencing self versus the remembering self and how we enshrine our memories differently than they were actually experienced. This is true of birth, and parenting. 

Great stuff, definitely recommend to parents to read!

On the docket to finish out the year:  Redefining Girly, our book club pick for November, Bird By Bird which I started a while back and need to get back to. The Good Gut, currently checked out from the library and fascinating. Finishing up Woman Code still & just started Between The World and Me on audiobook. Will compete with my podcast consumption, but it’s a short one. :)  That’s 5…not sure if I’ll have time for anything else, besides reading Clare ALL the Christmas books.

Please send me your recommendations for 2016 though! And follow me on Goodreads.

Happy reading, friends!