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January Book Recs

I’ve been making reading a priority for the past few months, which basically means I’ve switched out TV time for reading time. I’ve always been a reader, and it’s nice to get back to it in earnest. One of the benefits to being a reader with young kids is that it’s a hobby that I can do with them around. And, I like to tell myself that I’m setting a good example for the kids too. I talk with the kids about the books I’m reading, what I’m learning, and why I like to read so much. Of course, we also spend a good amount of time reading as a family each day as well.

I read seven books in January, and here’s a spoiler-free rundown of my favorites.

  • Station Eleven: In short, this story explores what happens on Earth when a pandemic kills most of the population. In hindsight, my timing for reading this book isn’t great. I read it just before the Coronavirus was all over the news. The story has stuck with me, but I’m more attracted to the situations and experiences shared in the story rather than the plot itself. The storyline was just okay. I thought there was more potential in the storyline than what was explored by the author toward the end of the book.
  • Atomic Habits: I had this on my holds list at the library for ages, and it finally became available in January. The author James Clear explores ways to make tiny, atomic changes to your life that can have a significant impact over time. By following the author’s advice, you can shape the life you want. I liked the concepts covered, like habit stacking where you pair a new habit you want to start with a habit you already do. For instance, if you want to mediate each day, do it every day after you’ve brewed your morning coffee. The author explains various psychological concepts, like positive and negative reinforcement, and details how you can use these concepts to shape your habits. It was an interesting book, but the concepts were not new to me. Many of the techniques shared are ones I already practice, but it is a good book that I would recommend to others. I’ll note though that I was a bit annoyed that you have to subscribe to the author’s newsletter to get bonus chapters, which felt like a ripoff and gimmick for the author to get more newsletter subscriptions. I’m glad I didn’t purchase this book.
  • So You Want to Talk About Race: Ijeoma Oluo’s book was enlightening, especially for me as a white woman. Oluo details in plain language various racial-based issues in today’s society. She reveals the complexity of many situations, like Black Lives Matter and police brutality. I didn’t always agree 100% with her perspective in all situations. However, I understood her point of view, learned a lot, and gained a greater appreciation on the difficulties of making improvements, particularly without systemic change.

In February, it looks like my holds on The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Sold on a Monday will be available to me through my local library. I always have a long holds list. I’m looking forward to reading more this month!

Photo Credit: Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash