October 18, 2017

Back In The Reading Groove

Since being in the hospital, I've had a chance to really dive back in to reading. As much as I tried to pick up books and keep up with it over the Summer, I just didn't feel well enough to ever get in to any book.
So it was perfect when a good friend gifted my a book that I immediately enjoyed and really got me back in the groove when she visited me at the hospital. Let's start with that...after, I'll share the other random reads I've knocked off my list in the past several weeks.

"Put your hand in front of the flame and don't let anybody blow your candle out. Give yourself the permission to say no to the requests of others. To disappoint them. To even make them angry. If they get mad at you because you did something else that you wanted to do more, you don't need them in your life.
And the interesting thing is that the more things you say no to, you feel that you are paring your life down, but you'll be expanding it, because the time you give yourself allows you to grow in new directions, which arise organically from something you truly love to do. And in time you may come to the same realization that you did recently.
Which is that the candle isn't a project at all.
The candle is you."
Lisa and Francesca, the mother-daughter duo bring stories to life with laughs and love that really entertained me throughout the entire book. Francesca opens up about something deeply personal that really gets to you, but the whole book is just GOOD. While it is part of a series, you can read it as a stand alone book. So many good thoughts and lessons while are passed along while telling of their daily lives.

Ugh. I heard so many great things about this book, but don't hate me...I didn't like it. It's described as an infant management book. The purpose is to teach you how to get your baby on a directed feeding, eating and sleeping schedule so the parents can stay sane. Kind of funny reading that- I'm a parent already and am definitely not sane ;)
For one, it was extremely hard for me to get in to. I had to pry my eyes open to keep awake reading it and kind of felt like a bad parent for not enjoying it. They talk about 2 extremes- the first one being the Attachment Theory and that your baby runs your house. You have no control as a new parent and the baby takes over. Insert eye-roll. The other extreme is the one the book supports which is clock ruled on a really tight schedule. The clock determines all, and if your baby cries in between- well, let the baby cry...they shouldn't need fed. While I'm not dealing with that newborn schedule at home quite yet, I think that a schedule is a great idea, but I'm all about feeling my instincts and if my baby needs something, I'm going to look in to that, no matter what the time on the clock says.

"I didn't dare go in to the station until I was sure Dolores had departed. I strolled to the end of the tracks and sat on a bench for a half hour, breathing slow and steady, trying to calm my nerves. Then I walked in to Erie's Union Station, bought a baseball cap and a pair of oversized black sunglasses, and left, strolling down Peach Street until I saw a sign for a motel that looked like it would take cash and forgo that pesky ID check."
Just two days after finding her husband's dead body at the bottom of the steps, Tanya changes her hair color, withdraws money and flees town. Along the way of her travels she meets a bartender named Blue, and the women bond in a strange and crazy way changing Tanya once again to a new person, now Amelia. It's a crazy, wild story and throughout her journey you realize Tanya wasn't even really Tanya to begin with. I love thrillers, and this is a good one that keeps you wondering throughout.
One of my favorite parts of the story was when she traveled through my city- ERIE! I couldn't believe it when I was reading this random book from the library that Erie, Union Station (our train station) and Peach Street (one of the major streets in Erie) were mentioned...pretty cool.

"As for you, pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life. I am convinced that putting your house in order will help you find the mission that speaks to your heart."
Guys, I was SO excited to read this and then SO let down. I feel like a ton of people have already read this one, so if you have feel free to not listen to my opinion. But, I was just left feeling annoyed by the author. One friend described her as preachy- and yes, that's a good word for her.
If you haven't read it here's the scoop...Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo shares her knowledge and experience with tidying your house and decluttering to bring simplicity and joy to your life. While I will use some of her methods, I don't agree with most. She says that anything that doesn't bring you joy should be discarded. Well, my washer doesn't bring me joy- butttt it's kind of a necessity. She encourages you to thank your belongings as you empty them from your purse each day- that you should remove your wallet and thank it for doing it's job before putting it away, and then doing that the next day. I just can't do that, and I have too many other things to do other than thank all of my belongings before carrying on with making dinner. 
I do think that the KonMari method of cleaning and decluttering by category makes sense, and I would like to do it with my home to get a fresh start. She uses this method instead of moving room to room, so you can see all of your possessions in one category simultaneously. Some of her ideas are good, most I could NOT get behind. 

I have love love LOVED Sarah Morgan's books in the From Manhattan With Love series and was stoked to get my hands on this one that came out in May. 
The story is about Molly, an online columnist who is also a trained psychologist giving relationship advice in a question and answer forum. Her longest and most honest relationship has been with her dalmatian, Valentine. Daniel is a divorce attorney who gives advice on something he's never been through- marriage, or divorce. They happen to meet in Central Park as they pass each other running on several occasions and the story blossoms from there. They both think they know everything there is to know about relationships based on their professional lives, until they meet each other.
I really enjoyed the story, but only gave it a 4 because I thought there could have been a little more. It's definitely sweet, and sexy as described which makes it a good read.

I'm up to 17 of 42 books that I've challenged myself to in 2017 in my Goodreads Challenge. I originally had it set at 30 at the beginning of the year, and then changed it to 42 since I was at a good pace...that was a mistake, ha-ha. I'm currently reading The Roanoke Girls and have on wait from the library, one from my Fall Reading List- The Simplicity of Cider. After those, I want to read The Self Love Experiment because I think it will come at a good time in my life. 

As always- I'm taking recommendations, what have you read lately and loved?! Have you read any on my list? Hope everyone is having a great week!

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