quick lit – next page, please {march 2019}

 

During these monthly posts, I like to look at what I am currently reading, have read, and have abandoned because it just wasn’t for me.

Currently Reading

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have stayed up half the night three nights in a row to read “just one more page”.
  • The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions by Emily P. Freeman and This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth. I loved The Next Right Thing and wrote a full review here. Like I said in that review, this book and Messy Magnificent Life are meant to be read again and again.  And I’m doing just that.
  • The Life-Changing Habit of Tidying Up and Spark Joy by Marie Kondo. Due to two trips out of town, my tidying has been delayed. I still hope to finish by the end of May. I’m rereading these two according to the categories I’m dealing with at the time. Komono is next.

Read

  • Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. Finished reading this one for our Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club. My full review will be up on their site shortly. I will say this, if you’re curious about what could possibly happen when an adoptive teen finds her birth mom, you might like this one.
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia McLachlan. I read this one because I am helping my sister with my nephew’s English (go figure, LOL). He had to write a report on the book and I had never read it before. Very nice. Very sweet.
  • The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. This one was full of research and facts about some of the difference between men and women and how women sometimes sabotage their own confidence. It wasn’t necessarily as story-driven as Quiet (thanks for the language, Modern Mrs. Darcy) but a good informative read. I learned a lot about improving my own confidence.
  • The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. I had to pick this up to see how different it was for the one for women. It wasn’t full of as much research and was full of scenarios for your preteen or teen to work through. I think it would be a good read for any girl with an older family member or a mentor.
  • Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee. I was happy to finally finish this one and fulfil my commitment to read at least one book on writing craft per quarter. I had been struggling.
  • The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions by Emily P. Freeman. Read it. That’s all I’m going to say.

On Hold/Abandoned Reading

  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Felt like a slog. I had to let it go.

What have you been reading?

enjoy life…

Per usual, I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy. I am amazed by that community. You should check it out.

book review: “the next right thing” by emily p. freeman

The Next Right Thing

I have a confession to make.  I’ve never reviewed a book before I’ve finished it. And even though I’ve only completed 64%, without a shadow of a doubt, I can 100% recommend The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman.

I have read three of Emily’s four books and I have been listening to her podcast, “The Next Right Thing” for over a year now. I enjoy Emily’s soothing voice but I tend to learn best via the written word, so when I heard that she was writing the book, I preordered it immediately.  Amazon didn’t even have the cover art to display!

I have early access to the book in digital format via Netgalley; the book releases on April 2. But unlike most books that I read, I am not flying through it. This book is meant to be savored. This book is meant to be read again and again.  This book is meant to be the hand of God guiding you slowly and peacefully through making decisions in this messy, yet magnificent life.  Yes, that is a direct reference to another favorite of mine, This Messy Magnificent Life by Geneen Roth.  Geneen details how important it is to choose to live life from a full heart and to make decisions from that space.  Emily tells you how to do that.

I have always struggled with making decisions. For over 35 years, I have driven my family crazy with my anxiety and worry – so much so that they have kept things from me until I absolutely had to know them, concerned about my reaction. Because I want to do everything right, my fear of doing something wrong has caused me to do the wrong thing or be terrified to act at all.  Over the past 13 years, I’ve learned how to combat my need for perfection and to make decisions from my heart. The Next Right Thing is the book I needed 13 years ago. Emily has put everything I’ve been learning about whole-hearted decision-making into one place.

The book is as light in tone as it is heavy with content, and the irony is not lost on me that as Emily is discussing putting down our phone to hear the silence, I’m reading on the Kindle App on my phone. I cannot wait for this book to be available in hard copy. I like to highlight and write in margins when I come to good points and The Next Right Thing has so many good points! I can’t finish reading because I keep having to hold her nuggets of wisdom in my mind, turning them over and over.

She ends every chapter with a prayer and a practice.  A favorite is part of one below.

May we not demand a spectacle, a miracle, or a sign.

May we simply, quietly, be still and know.

The Next Right Thing will help you know.

enjoy life…

P. S. Saturday, March 30, 2019 – I have finished. It was way better than I anticipated. Pick up your copy and read it.

 

quick lit – next page, please {my best books of 2018}

I have decided to do something that I have never done before here on the blog.  I am selecting the best books that I read in 2018. I am not going to cover every category (there are so many); I’m just going to highlight categories that had multiple selections that I really liked.

Fantasy

Circe by Madeline Miller

Runner-Up: Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

I do not read fantasy. I read The Illiad  and The Odyssey for school, along with other fantasy classics that were required reading.  But I have never read them for pleasure.  But towards the end of 2018, I was longing for something fun and pointless – an escape from the seriousness of my usual picks which tend to fall heavily in the Nonfiction/Memoir/Autobiography category-very worthwhile but often weighty material. I mentioned this to a friend who suggested that I try to read something that I don’t generally read.  I’m so glad that I did.  With these picks, I was able to suspend belief and just read for the sheer love of words-no deep thought, no lessons to learn, no new knowledge to implement into my life.

But a good story, no matter the genre, is always going to teach us something or make us see something in a different way. Miller’s Circe was amazing.  Miller took the character of Circe in The Odyssey and expanded her back story and made me see her in a whole new light.  I love books that do that.  And Time’s Convert, the fourth book in the All Souls Trilogy also accomplished that.  It was interesting. It was engaging and both books were an absolute delight to read.

Fiction

Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

Runner-Up: The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

I am still pondering Almost Sisters which I read with the Rocket City Mom book club.  The setting, the characters, the storyline. This was a book with very weighted themes told in such a light and palatable way. For a full review of this one, check out my review on Rocket City Mom.

I also loved The Ensemble, a debut by Aja Gabel.  That novel, about the lives of musicians in a string ensemble, also has stuck with me and I will probably read it again.

Memoir & Autobiography

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Runner-Up: We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Memoir/Autobiography and Nonfiction are what I generally read.  I read quite a few books in this category but it wasn’t really hard to narrow down my two best ones.

I didn’t read Love Warrior when it first came out. The reason: I was being a prejudicial snob. I don’t know if you remember but there was a lot of discussion around it.  Glennon released a book about saving her marriage while that very marriage was ending. I was convinced that she had absolutely nothing to teach me. I was wrong.

We’re Going to Need More Wine was so funny and if I indulged, I would have needed more wine.  I laughed so hard, I couldn’t stand it.  My girlfriends laughed so hard they couldn’t stand it. This book was awesome!

Nonfiction

I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights & Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel

This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth

My reading guru, Anne Bogel released her second book, I’d Rather Be Reading. I adored this little volume for making me realize that I wasn’t the only crazy person in the world when it comes to my love for books and for reading. I laughed. I cried.  What more can you want from a book?

I have had an interesting relationship with Geneen Roth’s work.  Her idea that it’s not about the food when it comes to weight and healthy eating was an idea that I had quickly dismissed as bologna.  Her first book, Women Food and God sat on my shelf for a year before I opened it. Then I read the first few chapters and put it away and it sat on my shelf another year before I was ready to receive the wisdom inside.  This Messy Magnificent Life is a follow-up. I love it so much, I am rereading it now.

The Winners

This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth

Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

I can’t decide between these two so there you have it: my two best books of 2018. What were yours?

enjoy life…

Per usual, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her Quick Lit posts.  Head over there if you are looking for more reading ideas.