Books I Read: November

Books I Read: November

A weird variety of books this month, but I heartily enjoyed them all for their different reasons.

Finding Audrey

Audrey is pretty normal if you don’t count her crazy mum, eye-rolling teen brother, giant sunglasses (even indoors), and oh yeah… her lizard brain. See, Audrey’s lizard brain, we all have one, can’t tell the difference between real threats and… regular people. But she’s working on it. 

This book was delightful. It was a delicious cupcake. Cute, short, sweet, fun, and satisfying. It was a pick for Bon’s Book Club and I’m so glad it was, because it’s not one I would have stumbled on or read randomly but now I want to read all of her stuff.

Good

  • Charisma! Sophie Kinsella definitely has a way of breathing life and charisma into her characters.
  • I don’t often like how teens are portrayed in books. Or parents. But I think Kinsella did a great job of showing the depth of teens and parents alike.
  • So funny! So many literal LOLs. Great dialogue, great narration. Just hilarious.
  • I feel like I’ve recently discovered and understood the depth and range of anxiety, but this book illustrates social anxiety so well. This is a heavy topic that could really be a drag, but it isn’t. You get the severity without the dark cloud. Masterful.
  • The romance is so sweet and PG. Adorable.
  • Very quick and fun read – or I should say listen. The girl reading it did a great job and I loved listening to it.

Less Good

  • The mom can get a bit annoying. I get that Kinsella was portraying it from the teen perspective and to make the humanizing of parents more impactful later. But it almost had me quit in the first few chapters with her “Do you know _____?!” over and over.
  • I feel like she had an opportunity to address bullying and friendship and it was missed. When it comes down to female friendships vs. romance I hate that romance seems to win out. It shouldn’t.

Love x Style x Life

Garance Dore is a tastemaker in all things beautiful. In Love x Style x Life she shares all she’s learned in her career of fashion, blogging, and creating her own life that she loves. With sections on Style, Life, and Love, she shares lessons and advice to help you achieve a more authentic, elevated, and beautiful life.

My beautiful best friend gave me this a while back and I was so excited to read it. But when you own a book it seems to always get shuffled to the bottom of the pile when all your library holds come in. But I am SO GLAD I finally dove in. It was at a time where I was sick of packing boxes, throwing away mountains of trash and ugly crap, and just feeling decidedly un-chic. This book is a bolt of inspiration.

Good

  • It’s really pretty. It would make a great coffee table book.
  • I felt really uplifted by most of it. There’s a strong message of “find what works for you and then do it.” At the end of the day it’s authenticity that’s the most stylish, attractive, and happy.
  • I thought the comparisons of Paris and New York were very cute and funny, especially as I know neither of these cities.
  • It renewed my confidence in myself and what I like. It made me want to live more chic and authentically.

Less Good

  • She’s kind of preachy and pretentious. Maybe I’m just basic but meh.
  • There’s not a ton of realistic advice or direction. I would have liked more about her journey with fashion, or how she discovered her signature looks in depth. How you might find your own. She just says “find your own and stick with it” but not really how.
  • I have a hard time with really self-indulgent attitudes. The concept of “you are the only person that matters” and “just do what feels good no matter what” can sound good but are problematic. She has a lot of that in the book.

Designing Your Life

Bill Burnett & Dave Evans taught this class at Stanford and presented the information at conferences, companies, and workshops before deciding to write their content into a book to be shared with anyone and everyone. Their goal is to get you to design your life – the way you want it. Using principles of good design, you can uncover your passions, live with unlimited opportunities, and never find yourself “stuck.”

I came across this book in the middle of the night when I was scrolling through available audiobooks to check out from my library; I had a day of packing ahead of me and needed something interesting. While I’m super glad I listened to it, and recommend it to everyone, I really wish I had read it with a physical copy, or at least the worksheets so I could stop and do the work.

Good

  • “Reframe.” They break down misconceptions or flawed truths. Like the idea that there’s a “right” decision. Instead we should be looking for the best decision for the circumstance we’re in. Stuff like that is helpful.
  • Redefining failure and problems is so insightful. Basically there are gravity problems, which aren’t really problems. Gravity isn’t a problem, it’s a condition/reality. We spend so much time trying to fix gravity problems when really we need to accept and work WITH them. Failures are “growth opportunities” and when your goal is to learn and grow then you rarely ever fail.
  • This book offers the best possible job searching advice I’ve ever heard. They break down all the problems in the modern work world, and help you understand why resumes and online job postings are actually just garbage.
  • You know how everyone tells you to pursue your passions? Find a job doing something you love? Ok…. well what if you don’t know what you love? What if you don’t know what you’re passionate about? That makes most of us during key college years, and also adults that have spent so long doing the same thing that they just. don’t. know. Designing your life shows you HOW to notice the things you love, unearth passions. It’s actually helpful.

Less Good

  • Most of this is focused on work, which makes sense I guess. Their rationale is that we spend more time working than doing anything else but I’d argue with that. I wish there was more applicable family/religion/relationship stuff.
  • Again, this is totally designed for you to complete worksheets and activities as you read, which may not work for everyone i.e. me packing boxes and standing on tables.
  • There’s something just so superior in the tone of Silicon Valley people. Idk how my husband stands it in the tech field. Oh wait, because he’s also like that. lol

In December I am excited to read both Make it Happen and Cultivate by Lara Casey as I begin prepping for 2018 with her Power Sheets. I am also finishing Lighten Up by Chieko Okazaki this week (it’s been my “scripture study” on ebook on my phone for like MONTHS), and hopefully Women in Sports which I’ve been slowly flipping through (so good). I also just got the notification that my audiobook hold for The Smartest Kids In the World and How They Got That Way just became available.

How do you become a reader? You drown surround yourself in cool books and it happens naturally!!!

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