What I Read: January 2016

So I’m a little behind on my January 31st deadline for the books that I set out to read for last month, but I was self-compassionate this week and gave myself the extension I needed. (Now, I’ll just do it double-time for the month of February :)) I accidentally read 5 books this month (2 were Kindle reads that I read both on the treadmill and on my lunch break at work). But from now on, I’m sticking to the physical books that I own and will reserve treadmill walks and lunch breaks for Audiobooks or Podcasts. So, without further ado, here we go…

January 2016 Reads

  1. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock.
    • I loved this book!  I first heard about Janet Mock when I watched her Super Soul Sessions talk on OWN.  You can find it here. Her book goes into much more detail about her childhood and her adolescent transition from male to female. I tore through this pretty quickly and definitely recommend it – Mock’s journey is inspiring and enlightening and if you find beauty in her talk that I linked above, you will most definitely find her memoir worthwhile.
  2. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
    • I did an insanely long blog post about this book here a few weeks back.  I simply cannot say enough about this book, and I could probably write another post about it because it was just that good and that relateable and that life-changing. Maybe I’m being a tad overdramatic but it truly meant that much to me and will forever be on my list of favorite books.
  3. Trust by Iyanla Vanzant
    • I really enjoyed this book! I wouldn’t give it the same ranking as Year of Yes, but I definitely found it to be filled with a lot of important spiritual truths and concepts about what it means to learn how to trust yourself, trust God, trust others, and trust life in general. I feel glad to have read this book and my only qualm with it was that there were a touch too many lengthy stories noted throughout that, to me, took away from the larger messages being conveyed.
  4. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
    • so wanted to love this book, but something about it just fell flat for me. There were several instances in which I loved what I was reading, and I used the underline feature on my Kindle quite a bit with this one, but a lot of it was too far-fetched for me. (i.e. Singer often talks about how you can just ‘release’ negative energy and will never have to suffer or feel bad ever again in your life!) That type of self-help just doesn’t work for me personally. I’m more into feeling my emotions and analyzing them so that I can try to understand what’s going on internally and then move forward with what I’ve learned in a productive way – I’m more of a Brené Brown person in that sense, but that’s why different books are suited for different people. I definitely picked up some good nuggets from this read, but it is not something that I could see myself turning back to in the future like I would with Brown’s works.
  5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
    • I started reading probably a year ago and didn’t make it far before I was distracted by something else, but I really wanted to make the effort to tackle this book, as it is my biggest novel attempted to date. This book is the main reason why I fell behind on my deadline, and I have mixed feelings about it. The storyline is good, the wording doesn’t slow you down, and its characters are very specific – but I just felt that it was unnecessarily long and I wasn’t a fan of the progression of its protagonist, Theo. I loved that parts of it took place in New York City, particularly in the Village, but it just fell flat for me. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 and was met with some controversy as a result, which I do agree with to some extent. (warning: spoilers lurk in those articles)

Thanks for reading, I hope to have inspired you to pick up some of these books. My next post should be photography-related for a change, but then I’ll be back at it with my February reads in a few weeks! – L

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