Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Books

One of my goals for 2017 was to read 17 books. Well, had I known my reading speed (or the fact that the library would quickly become one of my new best friends) I probably would have adjusted that number slightly ;)

In case you missed it, I posted about the books I read in January HERE. There were ELEVEN of them! So I guess February's nine brings that total for 2017 up to TWENTY (already surpassing my yearly goal). In case you are interested in the books I read or my take on them, feel free to check out my synopsis (and how I'd rate them) below!

  • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett - This was another book that a friend had suggested and I had no idea what it was about. The plot is about two families who were brought together by an affair and the life that was created. The interesting part was that it was not in chronological order. One chapter would be about the father during chemotherapy and then the next might be about everyone's lives pre-affair and then the next might be about one of the kids as an adult. It definitely forced you to pay very close attention (and to put the details together on your own). I really enjoyed it, especially since I don't think it would have been one I would have chosen myself. I would give this one an 8 out of 10.

I don't always read while snuggled on the couch ;) Sometimes I read
while doing a little cross training on my stationary bike!

  • Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick - I have always loved Anna Kendrick and when I read this book she wrote it confirmed everything I thought. She is a super down-to-earth girl, with quite a few funny stories to share. The book is just her talking about some of the events that happened throughout her life (how she got into acting, how she has failed in the love department and how she gets to play dress up for work but worries that "they" might find out she is a fraud and all of it will disappear). I would give this one an 8 out of 10.

  • Devoted: The Story of a Father's Love For His Son by Dick Hoyt - In the running community Team Hoyt is not only an inspiration, they are ROCKSTARS! I have heard their story in the past, but when a sweet friend sent me this book I had to read it immediately! Not only is this story about the love that Dick has for his son, Rick, it is a story of overcoming obstacles, of not taking 'no' for an answer, of persevering no matter the cost, and of realizing that "YES I CAN!". Whether you are a runner or not, you will be inspired (and probably moved to tears many-a-times) by the lives of the Hoyts. I would give this one a 9 out of 10.

While the hubby was climbing at the gym, I couldn't put the book down!

  • Shut Up and Run by Robin Arz√łn - This is a great resource for someone newer to the running scene. I love Robin's swag and she breaks down running into doable steps. (I didn't realize when I picked it up that it was more of a 'how to get started' type book, but it still had some great tid-bits, as well as awesome inspiration.) I'd totally recommend it to someone who is looking to get started. I would give this one a 7 out of 10.

  • Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik - If you don't know who Ruth Bader Ginsburg is, you are missing out. She has been a GIANT in the women's rights movement, but not only has she been making life better for females, she is making this world a better place for EVERYONE! Originally I thought this might be a difficult read, with a lot of legal jargon, but I was struck, page after page, by how much RBG's passion is woven into everything she does. I would give this one a 9 out of 10.

  • The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman - Did you know that a zookeeper and his wife in Poland helped to save over 300 Jews during World War II by hiding them in their zoo?! I had no idea, so when someone suggested this book I had to reserve it from the library immediately. With that said, I guess I was expecting the book to be more about the lives of the "guests". I was a little thrown off when there would be pages upon pages of details about different insects, but I do very much appreciate how much research went into the writing of the book (the author used interviews, news articles, diary excerpts, etc and recapped the events as if she was right there as it occurred). Since I went in expecting the book to be a little different I was a bit disappointed, but it was still an amazing story - even if I was left wanting more personal details. I would give this one a 7 out of 10.

  • Designing your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by William Burnett - I wasn't sure what to expect with this book (like many others, I received the recommendation from a friend, put it on my library list and didn't read anything about it until it became available for me to pick up). Although I am not in a position to drastically change or redesign my life, I did really appreciate a lot of the principles from this book. Each chapter closed with action steps on what the writers suggested and ways to put what you read into practice. I also loved the idea that there is not one specific (or "correct") life for you to live - there are many! This takes the pressure off making decisions, because you are always just testing and trying things out. Mistakes aren't failures, they are proof you are trying AND LEARNING! I would give this one a 8n out of 10 (and would totally recommend it to someone looking to make changes in their life). 

  • Creativity, Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Edwin E. Catmull - Okay, so I wasn't sure if I should include this book, since I didn't actually "read" it, but we listened to it on the drive to and from Phoenix - but I finally decided that audiobooks (unabridged versions) totally count because you are retaining the information. Anywho, I really liked this one. If you don't know, my hubby is a creative (currently working as an art director for a sunscreen company). I felt like this book spoke to both of us for different reasons - I loved learning all about the "behind-the-scenes" of Pixar and he loved learning all about how to make (and keep) an environment creative and constantly growing. I would give this one an 8 out of 10.

Another month down and I'm stoked on the books I finished. This month slowed down (or maybe the books just got longer), but I'm hoping to average at least four to six books a month. And as always, keep the suggestions coming!

What are you reading these days?


Unknown said...

I just finished my second book of the year! It was Two Hours by Ed Ceaser. I thought it was such a great read!

Chelsea B. said...

I am loving your book reviews. I just finished the second book of Ms. P's Peculiar Children. :)