I absolutely love to read, and I love to share the books I like best with other people. Every few months here on the blog I choose my favourites and write about them. As always, you can see everything I’m reading on my Goodreads profile!
The last month of 2015 was a huge push for my reading goal. I made use of audio books, read a couple short but powerful books, and took a big stack of interesting books out of the library when I was home for Christmas, because I always read physical books more quickly. But I made it! I actually read 76 books in 2015, which is awesome. My goal for 2016 is 75 again, and I plan to continue these posts every few months to share the ones I liked the most.
1. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
As you probably know, I absolutely adore Cheryl Strayed. I think she’s a beautiful soul with such deep wisdom and compassion, but is also strongly rooted in the real world. I’ve read most of her books a couple times each and listen to her podcast every week. When I heard that she was going to be coming out with a new book of quotations, part of me was disappointed that it wouldn’t be another memoir, or better yet another Tiny Beautiful Things, the other part of me was determined to have it. My boyfriend bought it for me for Christmas and I read it in a day – Christmas day, to be exact. It’s short, but each quotation is so powerful. Most of them I was familiar with, but some really jumped out at me, including this one. It’s a lovely little book that I can see myself reading from at random before meditation or to choose a theme of the day.
2. The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau
I’d been meaning to read this one for a very long time, so I was thrilled to see they had a copy at the library around the corner from my dad’s house. I found the stories inside of other people’s quests (everything from cooking a meal from every country in the world to actually visiting every country in the world) so very inspiring and was left wanting to choose a quest of my own to pursue. The idea hasn’t struck me yet, but after reading this book I definitely have the desire to find one for myself – something to keep me engaged, on a mission, with a sense of purpose and fun and lightness throughout my everyday life. Awesome concept.
3. Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
This was an interesting, at times poignant collection of stories – all told from a different perspective, but all involving the protagonist Eva to some degree. Through these other stories, we get to watch as Eva grows up, has relationships, and becomes an amazing chef but rarely from her perspective. I always need a few pages to adjust to the new narrator and time period – I find the switches to sometimes be jarring, in any book – but I thought all the stories were well-written and often very funny. Each story also centered around one dish or recipe, and I’m a sucker for food description in novels, so I loved that too.
4. All the Money in the World by Laura Vanderkam
This book was so interesting and started not a few conversations about money and how best to spend it. I’m an underbuyer and dislike spending money, but this book was all about how to use your money (however much of it you have) in ways to maximize your happiness. She challenges a lot of budgeting advice, for instance suggesting that penny-pinching on little pleasures like lattes will save you almost nothing when you compare it to moving somewhere cheaper or downsizing to one car. Or, she says that buying anything you want at the grocery store can feel frivolous, but the cost is small if you’re not going out for dinner or ordering in every time you realize you have nothing to eat at home. Lots of interesting ideas and advice, I really enjoyed it.
You can see all my book recommendation blog posts here.