Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 Reads - The First Four

Good News Y'all - Here are my first four reads of 2018!

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics was a book I heard about on GMA* from Dan Harris. This is Dan's second book on meditation - something he found his way to after a panic attack on live TV. I have been wanting/needing to get into mindfulness for awhile, and hearing Dan's framing about how and why he meditates made me want to check this one out. The book is focused on reasons why people don't meditate and ways to overcome the usual excuses. A lot of these are the ways meditation hasn't worked for me, so this was a super helpful read. I left this book feeling far more confident to do meditation and also with a better understanding of what I was even trying to do in the first place. I even tried it out on the plane this week, and it was awesome. 

Read this book if - You want to know more about meditation, but aren't quite sure where to start. Meditation seems weird, too hard and/or something you just don't think you could ever do.

*This means it qualifies for an Exploreading Challenge - A Book Recommended From a Podcast or TV Show!

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger was a book recommended to me at one of the Friends of the JoCo Libraries Used Bookstores. I had never met this woman before, but she assured me this was a fantastic read. She offered me a rave review of it, and she promised to give me my money back (all of $2) if I didn't like it. I assured her I didn't think that was necessary. This book is fantastic. It is the story of a 13 year old boy and a heckuva lot of tragedy that hits his hometown in the summer of 1961. For all the sadness in the book, it is so amazingly well-written that I just adored it. The woman told me that there was a sermon in the book that nearly brought her to tears, and she was right. There are some fiction reads that are just all the things when it comes to emotion, plot and characters, and this one was one of those.

Read this book if - You like mysteries with heart. You like fiction books with a side of faith/inspiration. You like books that give you the feels.

I Am Malala was a book from this summer's book sale haul. I had heard of Malala, but honestly didn't know her full story. I don't think I ever put together that she was specifically targeted when she was shot, not because she was a girl seeking education, but because of her advocacy work for women's education. She does a strong job of explaining the realities of her world, how she worked for change, and the challenges she encountered. It made me admire and respect what she does even more.

Read this book if - You want to know more about Malala (obvs). You like autobiographies/memoirs. You want to understand more about another culture.

Grace Not Perfection was actually a re-read. I'll be honest, I read this too fast last year. I didn't really soak it all in. Now that I've gone full simplified life with Emily Ley, I wanted to soak this one up again. It was outstanding. While A Simplified Life is more focused on strategy (or strategery as some would say), this really focuses on the why. It is grounded more in the motivations for change, rather than the how. It was even better the second time around, and because I actually took in the philosophy. Particularly given how i'm trying to slow down this year, it was a good read to have early in the year.

Read this book if - You need a lot more grace and a lot less perfect. You are a fan of Emily Ley. You just need something that fills up your cup.