Monday, July 31, 2017

July 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 the recent posts, I blogged about the books I read in January HERE, February HERE, March HERE, April HERE, May HERE and June HERE. There were FORTY-NINE in the first six months, so when I add July's SEVEN that brings the total for the year thus far to FIFTY-SIX! In case you're interested in what I read (and how I'd rate them), feel free to check out my previous write-ups when you have time!

  • The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion by Simon Marshall PhD, Lesley Paterson - I was sent this book by the publisher, VeloPress, so I could read it and give them my feedback. I hadn't heard of the title before, but the husband and wife team live and work out of San Diego (not to mention it was a subject I am very interested in) so I decided to give it a go. I love the no BS way that the pair of them write. They don't sugar coat any of the subjects. This isn't your average self-help type book, but one that addresses the 13 most common mental conundrums athletes face in their everyday training and in races. Although I may not "suffer" from all of the issues mentioned in the book, I appreciated the insights that were brought forth. The book is full of real athlete's experiences, clinical research and exercises you can do to address where you may stand with some of the problems and how to adjust your thinking to overcome the "demons" inside your head. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Make 'Em Laugh by Debbie Reynolds - I received this book from a friend who had recently read it and passed it along to me. Although I would say the majority of Debbie's roles were "before my time", it was still fun reading through some of her life adventures (especially when she dished the dirt on many of her famous friends). I wouldn't say I was a huge fan (mostly because I'm not hip on that era), but I still enjoyed this quick read - and I'm sure others who love her would really dig the stories she shares. I would give it a 7 out of 10.

  • The Translator by Daoud Hari - A friend had loaned me a few of her books, and this was the last one I had to read. I didn't know anything about it, but had I, I probably would have read it first. I couldn't put it down and ended up finishing it within a day. This is a firsthand account of the tragedies that have occurred in Darfur. Daoud experienced great suffering and saw much destruction so he decided to do what he could... He used his language skills and offered them to be a translator when journalists came to the area to report on the genocide. If you think what one person can't make a difference, take the time to read this book and see how much your life can impact the world! I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Freakonimics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner - This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I actually graduated with a degree in Economics. I enjoyed this book so much the first time I read it that I actually got a signed copy. (I took a class in school on the economics of crime and it was very similar to the thinking in this book and it was one of my favorite econ classes ever.) Although I may be a nerd, this is a book that I think many folks would enjoy. It isn't about the stock market or supply and demand, but is about real life situations (drug dealers, cheating in school, parents influence, etc) that are looked at from a different perspective. I hear there is a great podcast by Dubner (with Levitt as a regular guest), but have yet to check it out. As far as this book, I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Let me preface this one by saying I did not physically read this book, but we listened to the unabridged audiobook on the drive to San Francisco (which, if you remember my February post, I decided counts in my book tally). Can you believe I had never read this book before?! I thought I'd grab it because it was one the hubby read and really enjoyed, but because I knew he would be dosing in and out (he normally falls asleep easily in the car) it would be okay for him to miss some of it. I don't know what I was expecting (for some reason I thought that the trial portion had to do with Boo Radley), but it blew my mind. I can totally see why it is a classic. It touches on so many different issues and really makes you think. This book is not only relevant when it was published almost SIXTY years ago, but touches on hot button topics and social justice issues we continue to face today. I would give it a 10 out of 10.

  • The Girl With A Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer - Although Amy's humor can be vulgar at times, I love how strong and courageous she is. She's willing to put it all on the line and believe in herself along the way. This was another audiobook I grabbed for our San Francisco trip (listening to it on the way home and finishing it later in the week) and it was great that she also was the one who narrates it. I didn't know anything about the book (other than I enjoy Amy as a comedian and actress), and thought it would be funny. She definitely delivered, but the book also hit on some pretty serious topics as well (including gun violence, rape, domestic violence, etc). I appreciate that she doesn't shy away from the "ugly" parts of her story and owns it all. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Rising Strong by Brene Brown - I saw this book recommendation on Kelly Roberts' instagram story and decided I'd grab it from the library. I didn't know much about the book (although I've heard a TON of great things about the author), but really enjoyed it. One thing that stood out to me (and I hope to integrate into my daily life) was the practice of stating "the story I made up is...". This is HUGE! So many hurt feelings are due to either unsaid expectations or stories we tell ourselves (i.e. 'The hubby said that or did that because... {you fill in the blank about something you are telling yourself}.). I think this literally can be a game changer in relationships - but obviously it requires communication and vulnerability. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

And with that, my July reading has come to a close. The hubby and I have another long road trip coming up this week (we will be driving to and from Lake Tahoe for a wedding), so we hope to get in a couple more audiobooks this month. As always, I have a ton of books on my "For Later" list at the library that I hope work my way through.

PS If you have any suggestions on books to grab, let me know! I'm always down to throw them in the queue!

What are you currently reading?


Chelsea @ Chelsea Be Healthy said...

You seriously inspire me to read so much more!! I wish I could sit down and read and knock out as many books as you do, but I'm way better at listening to audiobooks for some reason! I figure it still does the same job though, right! ;) All of those reads look amazingly good!! I'm currently "reading" or listening I should say, "Big Magic" and "The Best Yes" and so far both are so good!! I have a few others on my to-do list but I'm adding a few of your recommendations to my list for sure!

Happy Tuesday Carlee!!!

San said...

You're doing so great with your reading this year.
I turned myself around this year as well (set a moderate goal for 25 books and am well beyond 40+ already!) - the digital library is truly my best friend now, too :)