I don’t know about you, but I am a reader. Since the age of 4, when my babysitter had me read and re-read a Winnie the Pooh book over and over until I could read it smoothly and with feeling, I haven’t been able to put them down. In fact, I usually have 3 or 4 books going at one time, although they are rarely within the same genre, as I feel that gets confusing. I also happen to be of the camp that feels tablets cannot and will never replace the feeling of an actual book in your hand. Something about the heft of the book and the smell of the pages that you just can’t replicate with a 3 oz. tablet. Growing up, I often dreamed about finding my mate in a library or used book store, but alas, while my husband does read A LOT, his reading is kept to the pages of medical journals, and over the 22+ years that I have now known him, I think he has finished possibly 1 book. And I am not joking! The kids and I are trying desperately to get him to read the Harry Potter series, and I think he’s currently on chapter 4 of book 1. Let’s just say that I’m not holding my breath, LOL!
Anyway, if you are a reader, as I am, you are probably often looking for good recommendations from others who are also readers because you always need more books, right! Me too! So, please, if you have any suggestions for me, please leave a comment because I need more to add to my stash. I will insert my caveat here that I no longer read very intense books. I have a very sensitive heart, and it seems to have gotten more so with each child, so you will not find any gory, murder, kidnapping, or other such crimes against people on my night stand – I like to sleep too much!
For starters, if you haven’t already heard, my all time favorite series is the Harry Potter series. I read them as an adult because my students were crazy over them and I figured I should know what all the fuss was about. That was 12+ years ago now, and I have read/listened to them at least 20 times since then. I just can’t get enough of them. So, if you haven’t given them a chance, I strongly encourage it – and if you are an audiobook person – they are great to listen to, the narrator, Jim Dale, does an outstanding job with the voices (it especially helps if you have seen at least one of the movies and can picture each of the characters in your head while he is reading).
Another of my favorite series is the number series by Janet Evanovich. Well, truth be told, I think anything she writes is gold. She has a knack for writing murder mysteries that make me laugh out loud. Of course, she has created some exaggerated characters, and gets them caught up in some pretty crazy conundrums, but anything that gets me laughing out loud is a win for me! Her newest book, “Game On” Tempting Twenty-Eight, is currently on my night stand and waiting. It is the latest in the number series all about Stephanie Plum, an average, thirty-something New Jersey girl turned bounty hunter.
In the past six months, I have read quite the variety of books – a few just for fun, but many more about business and personal growth than is typical for me. So this list is quite a mash of genres, but good to start the year off with lots to pick from, right! So, in no particular order, here are my favorites…
- Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work, & Keep Going by Austin Kleon – This is a series of 3 books all about being an artist/creative in today’s world of technology – great, easy reads, and very visual. My favorite is the first one, Steal Like an Artist.
- The Road Back to You, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (about the Enneagram) – Holy Cow, this is an amazing, albeit long book (like 675 pages or something). It relates the Enneagram to the heart and purpose of God. It helps break down the 9 numbers of the Enneagram and each of the wings, explaining how each of us might have learned to develop into the number we are and how we can learn to let go of some of the less healthy aspects of those learned behaviors.
- The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine Aron – this is for those of you, who like me, have found yourself extra sensitive to much in your life – lights, smells, sounds, emotions, events. It helps explain why those things might be overwhelming you and how to handle that in your life better moving forward – how to embrace it rather than see it as a problem or constantly apologize for it and yourself.
- Fortune and Glory: Tantalizing Twenty-Seven, by Janet Evanovich – just a fun and funny read 😉
- Atomic Habits, by James Clear – this was not my favorite read of the year, mostly because it could have been much more concise, but a number of the ideas in it were very helpful in getting rid of unwanted habits (or ways that I waste time) and setting up new habits.
- Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi – this I am still reading, and it has been such an eye-opener. I am so saddened by how much of this country’s actual story has been kept secret and not taught to the general public as we attended school. I wish it were as easy as just declaring that every person is deserving of equality, but as this book discusses, there is so much more to it than that. There are years and years of people making legal decisions based on power and money that ended up causing so much hate and discrimination. Uggh, such difficult problems, with no clear answers.
A couple others that are on my list include People We Meet on Vacation, by Emily Henry, and pretty much anything by Brené Brown. With all my car time during sports practices, I’m sure I’ll get a few good books in this spring ;-).