The Book Nook: What I Read In April

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I got lucky this month. I had more hours at the desk at my day job so I had more time to read during the day which was a blessing because it set me off on a really good start for the month. No rushing at the end- I’m gonna knock these books out early…or that’s what I told myself. Anyways without anymore waiting here’s what I read this month:

The Power of Less by Leo Babauta: I liked this book a lot. It's a short book, first off- a win. But it's a practical guide to living a more simple life. Some of the tasks seem impossible- like limiting yourself to 3 projects, but it also gave tips for if you aren't in control of your workload (Ie you have a boss). I really appreciated the parts about one tasking. I've been conditioned to multi-task and that is seen as a positive. I'm trying to unlearn that practice so I can have better quality to the things I do. Quality over quantity is definitely more important and I'm very excited to move in that direction more as I go along.

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Everything Is Trash…But It’s Okay By Phoebe Robinson: So this isn't my first round with Phoebe Robinson, I read her other book and loved it. This one however...not my favorite but here's why. It's because I read the book. That sounds nuts but this was a book that needs to be heard not read. The slang terms, the casual writing style, it's more of a conversation you're having with her, rather than a book you read. I wish I had done this via audio book because I know I would've loved it. In print a lot of the jokes don't hit, the spelling of some of the slang is hard to manage and it's a little annoying overall to get through. She made some beautiful points in the book about body positivity, money, singleness that I will take away happily but the book on paper wasn't that great. If you wanna give this a go do the audio book I think it'll be a lot better that was in print.

The Urban Homestead By Kelly Conye and Eric Knutzen: I'm starting to get into more sustainable living, and I really want to have my only little squad of chickens so I picked this book up because I'm not a country girl like at all. I liked a lot of the tips in this book. It gives you all sorts of options for planting gardens (goals) in the city-like real legit gardens. Also for having animals (i will have my chickens and my farm fresh eggs) in the city. And even foraging in the city- not my ministry but it was cool to learn about. On the whole I'm glad I read it. It's like sort of a how to guide so it's not the most interesting read, but it's an excellent resource. I might pick this one up to have and refer back to-but for now I'm going to return it to the library to let it help someone else :)

#GirlBoss by Sophie Amoruso: I remember starting this book years ago and I didn’t realize I never finished it. I’m glad I read it. It had some cool tips for persons looking to bring success to their businesses. I have my blog and I work as an Independent Scentsy Consultant (multiple income streams aye aye) and a lot of the information in this book is going to be helpful to grown my businesses. It’s a fun book to read. I know Ms. Amoruso has a complicated business life now…and I haven’t watched the show based on this book- but the tips and tricks in the books are nice. it was a nice short read.

Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson: So I didn’t even know Kate Hudson had written a book, but I liked the topic so I decided to give it a go. This book is sort of like an assortment of suggestions of how to be good to your body. Some of her tips are very clearly rooted in her extreme wealth but there are some tricks you can take on regardless of your lifestyle and budget. I really liked that she talked about meditation at length. This is something that I feel is important and helpful. I also liked that she emphasized using a drawing board(journal) to help you be your best self. She does offer nutrition tips but also states that it’s what works for her and you need to find what works best for you. Overall I really liked the book and I’m glad I read it in my journey to accept my body as it is right now a little more.

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Roomies By Christina Lauren: I LOVE a good fluff novel and this book DELIVERED. This story is about Holland Bakker and her imaginary relationship with a musician in the subway station. But that talented guitarist comes to mean a little more to her later in the book and chaos ensures. It was an easy read, and if I hadn’t been so busy I probably would’ve finished it sooner. I really liked this one. It’s just precious honestly. I enjoyed it a lot and I’m looking forward to reading more books by Ms. Lauren!

My Favorite Half-Night Stand By Christina Lauren: Another lovely fluff novel. I didn’t like it as much as Roomies but it’s still cute following two best friends that have a one night stand and hilarity and drama commences. So far I like Christina Lauren as a writer and this book was fun to read. I’m excited to read some more by her- I have 2 more books on my TBR that she’s written and I’m excited to jump in!

Autoboyography By Christina Lauren: I really liked this book. I didn't know what it was about when I started reading it and I'm glad I didn't. It was a really awesome surprise because I know Christina Lauren through fluffy romance novels. This was not that. This was a beautiful story of self discovery, the challenges of religion and family, and how writing can be a saving grace. I really loved the book. There were moments that were a little bit hard to follow and the perspective shift was a little unexpected but overall it's a beautiful book with a beautiful story.

Daisy Jones and The Six By Taylor Jenkins Reid: I LOVED this book! I loved the format of the book; it read like a book version of an epic episode of behind the music. I really enjoyed reading about the inner workings of the six and how the dynamics changed when Daisy Jones came on board. The writing, the drama, the growth, the changes- OMG IT WAS JUST SO GOOD! It was definitely worth the hype and I finished it in about 12 hours (with some sleep in between). This was such an awesome read 10/10 recommend.

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Lagom By Niki Brantmark: Every time I read a little book like this I feel like I need to pack up and move away. I loved this book as much as I loved the Little Book of Hygge. Lagom offers some things that Hygge doesn't. It has an emphasis on minimalism which is my ministry right now. It also actually made a point to talk about mindful spending which I loved. I really liked the focus on gardens and plants because I really want to have a garden on day. Overall I love Lagom. Similar to Hygge but just a little bit different.

Wildflower By Drew Barrymore: I'm not a huge Drew Barrymore fan, but this was a fun read. I liked learning more about her and her life as it was when the book was written. I liked her stories and they were fun to read. I think she learned some good lessons from her struggles and she shared them. It's not the best book I've ever read...but it was a fun read.

Glass Sword By Victoria Aveyard: Last month I read the Red Queen and I liked it. I liked the second in the series too. It picks up literally right where the first left off and let me tell you it gets MESSY! It's giving me Hunger Games vibes with more violence to be honest. Like I wouldn't want to watch these movies, but the story is so captivating. I'm so hoping my ship will get together-not saying who they are- but judging by the drama in this book it's probably not gonna happen. The story is awesome and I'm cautiously optimistic about the 3rd book. I'm told is horrible, but I'm not a quitter and I gotta read all the books.

Deep Work By Cal Newport: My honest rating is 3.5 stars out of 5 for this one. The book is boring as all get out to be honest. The first 100 pages give you the reasons why deep work is important, but honestly if I'm reading this book...I feel like I already know Deep work is important so no need to beat me over the head with it. I did appreciate the definition of deep work though that was good. So if I was reading it again, I'd skip straight to part 2 where it teaches you how to implement deep work. That part was AWESOME! It gives some really cool examples from well know persons, and I was so happy to see "take a social media break" getting an entire chapter. I'm still learning how to do that while running online businesses. Overall the book is not bad, it's just kind of dull, but I'm really glad I read it. This book has sparked a desire to take myself on a writing retreat a la J.K. Rowling, in a nice hotel in Nashville. Can't wait to put in some Deep Work!

BONUS BOOKS!

I finished my 13 books with 6 days to spare, so I’ve kept on reading. I’m actually ahead already, but now I can be super ahead! I’m pumped! Plus when am I ever going to turn down reading for fun! So here are my bonus books for the month!

Clean and Lean 30 By Dr. Ian K. Smith: I really liked this book! I'm doing this challenge right now and I'm really enjoying it. It had a ton of awesome tips for healthier eating and it did a great job explaining time restricted eating (limiting your eating to certain times of day) which was new to me, but something I'm really loving! I think this is a worth it book because even if you don't follow the whole challenge it offers some fun and easy recipes for eating healthier meals, and it was short, easy and a nice read overall. I hope I see some good results with this, I definitely am noticing I feel better lately :)

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan: This book was such a struggle to get through. I have not enjoyed the Heroes of Olympus series AT ALL and this book is no different. I am simply determined to read every book by Mr. Riordan and because of that I will suffer through but I hated this book. It was discombobulated the whole time as all the other books have been. And because its so complicated, it’s hard to follow. I just do not enjoy this series which is a bummer because I really loved the Percy Jackson series. I’m hoping Magnus Chase is awesome!

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: I have such mixed feelings about this book because I think it was trying to do two things at once. On the one hand it is a really fun fluffy romance novel. I'm here for it. At the same time I think it was trying to make a statement about autistic people and how they live their lives. My understanding is that the author is autistic, and her goal was to present a romantic lead heroine with autism. She definitely did that. But the story still didn't feel quite right to me. However I do have autism and I have no right to insert my feelings on it. Regardless, it was some high quality fluff romance with like a lot of sexy smexy. I'm still processing the book but I'm glad I read it.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: I read my first Brene Brown book early this month and I loved it. This one I didn’t love as much, but I still found a lot of gems in this book. Her work on shame is really interesting to me, because I think it’s so key to everything really. She focuses on vulnerability in this book which was also cool. Her research to me is fascinating, but more than that-she is able to share it in a way that is accessible and easy to digest and that is my goal with my academic work. I enjoyed this book a lot and i’m excited to read more from her.