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Book Club | November + December

Book Club November and December >> Life In Limbo

And setting new goals and thinking about the year ahead at this time of year, as well as looking back on the one that’s ended. I’ll be bringing a lot of that to the blog over the next couple weeks. For now though, here are my last 4 favourite books of the 75 (!) I managed to read this year.

Not That Kind of GirlI love Lena Dunham and her work on Girls, but I’ve never read anything she’s written until this book. I wasn’t familiar with the (silly) controversy surrounding the book which I’ll not link to here due to its silliness, and I’m glad that didn’t affect my reading of it whatsoever. I thought the essays were very well-written, relatable, funny sometimes, poignant others. One paragraph she wrote about her relationship with her boyfriend still haunts me in the very best possible way.

The Slight Edge / Yes! The major idea of this book is that by doing small actions every single day, you can build up significant results as long as you stick with it. It’s a simple idea but I’ve noticed the truth of it in my own life every time I think I’ll be able to continue doing a small habit for a long time and it ends up falling away. I love this idea of doing something small every day, or most days, and not breaking the chain.

The Happiness AdvantageHappiness is good for you! I knew that, but this book was a great reminder. The book is written by a happiness scientist and there’s a lot of awesome research packed into a not-very-long book. After reading, I finally started keeping a gratitude journal and it’s been one of my very favourite new habits.

Essays in LoveThis book was recommended to me by a new friend as one of her favourite books. It chronicles the story of one couple from their first meeting to their breakup. It’s so completely spot on in so many parts and so many things he wrote about were completely recognizable. It tackles the concept of love from a philosophical perspective, bringing in ideas you wouldn’t normally associate with falling in love, but it’s done in a really fascinating way. Note: for some reason, this book has two titles.

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So, those are the last four of my favourite books read in 2014. I probably won’t write a roundup of my favourites of the favourites (I imagine that would be a bit redundant) but you can see all the ones I loved this year right here.

As always, you can see all the books I’ve read and plan to read on GoodReads. Also, if you have any great book recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below.

You can also see my favourite books of 2013 here.

Here’s to 2015 being as good of a year for reading (and life!) as 2014 was!

Lately | December

This is a snapshot of my life in December 2014. You can see all my Lately posts here.

Lately December >> Life In Limbo

Trying out a trial of Spotify Premium and loving it.

Listening to Tenerife Sea and this remix of Thinking Out Loud. (Basically, Ed Sheeran.) Oh, and Pop Danthology.

Watching House of Cards and The Mindy Project whenever I feel like watching an episode of something.

Eating a lot of homemade pad thai after my mom and I finally found a bottle of the sauce, cheese and crackers, and clementines.

Looking forward to my vacation in Boracay!

Adding some lovely things to my wishlist to save up for.

Keeping a gratitude journal and it’s like my own little book of lovely.

Learning as much Spanish as I can through Memrise and Duolingo.

Playing Serial and Dear Sugar Radio with hearts in my eyes.

Drinking a ton of tea and hot water with lemon.

Wanting to see this movie and this movie ASAP. I also can’t wait for Girls Season 4.

Loving Buffer and Snapchat.

Proud of my year in reading.

Wearing lots of cozy sweaters and my wooden prayer beads that mom bought for me.

Sad to be away from home this Christmas. It’s really hard. But:

Grateful (very) for FaceTime to keep me in touch with my loved ones.

Wishing you a very happy holiday week. Hope there is lots of mulled wine and cozy fireplaces and good books ahead for you.

Inspiration | December 19

Inspiration December 19 >> Life In Limbo

Currently going through Chris Guillebeau’s annual review + goal-setting process to set goals for 2015.

I love these 33 thoughts on reading and am embracing all of them wholeheartedly.

There were some awesome recommendations on this list of 25 apps to make your life easier via TED staff.

I loved these 100 ideas of things to do every day in 2015. I’ll definitely be buying the PDF download of the tracking calendar when it comes out on the 22nd.

I finally watched Boyhood this week and it was absolutely amazing. Worth every single bit of praise it’s gotten.

It’s that time of year again! Pop Danthology’s mashup of the year in pop music came out this week. I always love these.

Some totally gorgeous photos in this round-up.

I got interested in minimalism again this week and this “Start Here” page is dangerously close to increasing my currently open browser tabs by a factor of 3.

Last night I finished reading book 73 of 75 for 2014! Thanks to two children’s books I had to read for my job I’m actually ahead of schedule. I am actually surprised I managed to pull it off, but so thrilled. I’ve also been adding books to my to-read list like crazy lately. I’m so excited for reading in 2015.

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I’ve had a wicked cold this whole week, so I think the weekend is going to be pretty relaxed for me. Christmas totally crept up on me and it’s starting to feel strange that I’m not home for the holidays. I think the 24th and 25th will be hard, especially being in a different time zone from my loved ones, but on the 27th I fly out for my vacation so that will make things a little easier! I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your family and friends. xo.

Reading Challenge 2014

Books 2014

I feel like a broken record, but can someone please tell me how it’s September 24th? How is that possible? Does time move at warp speed as soon as you’re finished university? Don’t tell me the answer to that, I actually don’t want to know. Somehow it’s been more than 9 months since I set my goals + feelings for the year, including my reading goal for 2014. It doesn’t seem possible how quickly this year has gone by, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down either.

I’m happy to report that I’ve stuck to my reading challenge as much as was humanly possible for me this year. Having a full time job for the majority of the year put a tiny cramp in my reading style, though I do still read quite a bit. In 2013 I read 75 books, but I was travelling or working a not very demanding job for most of the year so I knew that 2014 would pose some more challenges to my reading life. But I was hopeful I could overcome them! (Sadly yes, I am that serious about my reading. You have to be if you love to read as much as I do, and if you want to read an absurd number of books every year!)

On my last post about reading, a friend left a comment asking when I read. The answer is: when I’m eating, when I have nothing to do at work, when I have a break, when I need to commute somewhere, before bed, while stretching, while brushing my teeth, and if it’s a really good book…. then when I’d normally be surfing the internet or writing. I don’t watch much TV – maybe about 3 hours per week – and messing around on the computer and reading are my two favourite pastimes so I spend a lot of time doing one of the two.

I stay accountable to my goals by religiously logging my books on Goodreads, putting books on hold through OverDrive so I always have a new exciting book to read, and of course sharing my favourites here every few months on the blog.

So where do I stand?

Books 2014 2

I’ve got 27 books to go before January 1, 2015. That number seems a tad high, especially since according to GoodReads I’m 6 books behind schedule to complete this goal. But the good news is, the challenge has already been a success for me! It always is, no matter what the outcome. I discovered some authors I love (Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Elin Hilderbrand) and read some really wonderful books. I’ll read at least 50 books this year, which feels like a major accomplishment my first year as a full time employee. It proves that I can do it, despite what all the naysayers always say (abundance 4ever!). I’m not giving up on the goal of 75, but everything from here on out feels like icing on the cake. Wish me luck!

You can read about how I read so many books for free here, and see my favourite book recommendations of 2014 so far here. You can also add me on GoodReads here, I love to see what other people are reading!

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