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.

 

books: create home thru konmari

For our first-ever Enjoy Life Project, we are working on Creating Home. The first step is to purge my home of the unnecessary, anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or loved. I am using the KonMari method, developed by Marie Kondo, a Japanese decluttering guru and author of two book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up {LM} and Spark Joy {SJ}.  So far, I’ve introduced the project, discussed my criteria and completed my clothes (part I and part II).

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When tidying Marie’s second category, books, Marie invites us to ask this question: What kind of books will reflect the kind of person I want to be?

If you read this blog with any regularity you will know that I love books and I love reading.  Books have always sparked joy for me.  They have such a special place in my heart that I devoted the entire month of October last year to discussing their importance to me. I went into the books category fairly confident that the books that I had sparked joy. Even more confident than I was with my clothes.  I had purged a few books from my shelves last year because I had a suspicion then that seeing some of those books was making me feel guilty about past decisions. So, a lot of them went. I didn’t think that I would need to get rid of very many.

And I was right.  I own 193 books. I gave away six of them.  Marie includes magazines in the books category and I had 29 magazines.  I kept 13; three of which were of historical nature and featured Michelle Obama on the cover, eight were for reference as I work on various writing projects, and two were current issues that I am in the process of looking through.

It took me one and a half hours to go through all my books. Seeing them all on the floor was a little unnerving but it didn’t make me shudder. The sheer volume of them sparked joy. I was happy to have so many of them in my life.

Surprising Discoveries

Books that reflected my current life were on the bottom shelves. My books about writing, research, etc. were on my bottom shelves and all the books about my past and former careers: event planning, grant writing, administrative support, were front and center. That struck me as to the value that I was placing on my current situation and how I was hanging onto the dreams of yesteryear. I changed that immediately. And now my goals are at eye-level.  It’s been a very interesting shift.

Unread books can be taboo in both the reading community and Marie Kondo and I was afraid that I would have a lot of unread books.  Shockingly, I only had 15, three of which I let go. And here, as a bookman (a person who loves books and reading), I must disagree with the venerable Marie. “The moment you first encounter a particular book is the right time to read it.”  I have a number of books on my shelves that I initially didn’t read or started reading and didn’t finish. But I came back to them later to discover that the time was right for me to read them. Women Food and God by Geneen Roth and The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge fall into this category for me.

Still To Do

85b7544a-7f1e-42bd-be72-14e94a7cd15dI am getting new bookshelves so that I can see all my books. Right now, most them are stored behind each other because while my bookshelf is very wide, it is not very tall. After I get the bookshelves and as I place the books on the shelf, that I will probably purge some more. My bookshelves will be constantly evolving: highlighting the girl I was and showcasing the woman I am now while pointing the way to who I hope to become.

By tidying, Marie says that I am honing my intuition and ability to take action. I love that. I’m going to need it because paper (and all that THAT entails) is next. OH BOY!

enjoy life…

Please ask any questions you may have in the comments. There are no stupid questions and I do enjoy sharing what I am learning. Please ask away.