Monday, February 5, 2018

What I'm Reading: February 2018

I've gotten a lot of reading done during January while I was home for Winter break! My goal this year is to read 18 books during 2018 (you can read the full list of books I want to read this year here) with the eventual goal of working my way up to a book a week or every other week. Here's what I read last month as well as the books I'm planning on reading this one!

Last Month's Books:

Results that Last: Hardwiring Behaviors That Will Take Your Company to the Top - Quint Studer

My dad works in business, so we have a plethora of business-related books around the house. I decided to pick this one up and read it while I was at the beach one day, and while not particularly relevant to me or my field of study, it was an interesting read. It was a lot about company culture and facilitating growth and symbiosis between corporate and individual branches. It had a lot of concrete examples and statistics and the author really seemed to know his stuff. Definitely not a must-read for anyone, but if you're into business books or are in a management position, this is a worthwhile read. 

The First 90 Days - Michael Watkins 
This was another business book I read poolside while I was home for winter break. It's about how to transition jobs better and faster by cutting the time needed to start making changes from 180 days to 90 days. It is not at all applicable for me now, but there was a lot of content about communication with coworkers, bosses, and subordinates that is valuable. I think this would be a great read if you're planning or in the midst of a job change or promotion because it gives you actionable steps to improve the way you lead. 

Crucial Conversations 
This book should be required reading for everyone. It's all about ways to communicate more effectively with others when the stakes are high or emotions run deep. I've read this book at least three times in my life and I've learned something new each time I've read it. I could not recommend this book more, and I'm planning on making myself skim this book as a refresher once a year or so because it is that great. 

This Month's Books:

A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway 
Last year I read two Hemingway books (The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and the Sea) and really enjoyed both of them. This book is one that I've heard great things about and I already have a feeling I'll enjoy this book. 

The Art of Happiness - The Dalai Lama
I'm trying to couple a fiction with a non fiction book so if I end up juggling two books at a time it's easier to keep them straight. This book just sounds important and meaningful. I truly believe that happiness is endgame in life and if this book leads me closer to achieving it, I'll be content. 

I feel like I've started this year SO STRONG in terms of reading my 18 books and I am definitely going to try keep this momentum going! Let me know in the comments what books you're reading this month and if you have any book recommendations!

Monday, January 29, 2018

18 Books to Read in 2018

Last year I made a list of 17 books I wanted to read in 2017. At the end of the year my final book count was 16/17 books in 2017, so I thought I'd do the same thing for this year. I didn't end up finishing all the books on last year's list, so I added them to this list too!

1) Results that Last: Hardwiring Behaviors That Will Take Your Company to the Top - Quint Studer
Full disclosure, I'm writing this post on 1/5 and I've already finished this book. There wasn't really a reason that I wanted to read this book, but it was lying around so I did!

2) How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are
I love the idea of Parisian style and culture and this book has been on my list for a long time! This will probably be one of the more fun books on the list!

3) You Are a Badass - Jen Sincero
I've heard the greatest things about this book! It's supposed to be a self-help book geared towards the younger generation and I am so excited to read it.

4) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck - Mark Manson 
This is another book that I've heard great things about! It's a self-help book about gaining happiness through being realistic, not overly positive, and seems interesting.

5) A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway 
Last year I read the Old Man and the Sea and the Sun Also Rises, so I guess you could say I'm on a bit of a Hemingway kick! I know that this book resonates with a lot of people and I know people who call this book their favorite Hemingway novel, so I'm really excited to read it.

6) Letters from a Stoic - Seneca 
Stoicism is something that has intrigued me for a while, but I haven't had time to research it as much as I'd like. I've read online that this book is a good starting place, so that's why it's on my list.

7) Crucial Conversations 
This book was assigned in high school, but I never ended up reading it at that time. I think I skimmed it a couple years ago, but I never read it fully cover to cover. This book is about communicating more effectively, which is such an important skill, and I thought it would give me tips on how to interact with people in a healthier way. 

8) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Steven Covey
I don't know much about this book, but I've been reading a lot of "my favorite book" posts and this book has shown up time and time again. I really like self help books (if you couldn't already tell from the list), and this comes really highly recommended. 

9) On the Origin of Species - Charles Darwin
I'm taking an evolution class this semester and I think that I'd like to give this book another shot. I read it Junior year of high school, but almost four years have passed since that, and I'd like to see how my opinion of the book changes. 

10) This Side of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald 
I adore literature from the Jazz age and consider The Beautiful and Damned to be one of my favorite books of all time. I have never read this book, and I don't know much about it, but it sounds like a book that I'd like. 

11) The Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald
I've read the Great Gatsby countless times before, but I haven't read it recently. It's an easy read and a book that I adore, and I would like to read it again this year. 

12) Lolita - Vladamir Nobokov
Another classic that I've never read, but feel like I should before I die. 

13) The Art of Happiness - The Dalai Lama 
The title just sounds like a meaningful, important, life changing book. I already know that I'll be able to take something away by reading this and hopefully it'll help me improve my life. 

14) Lean In - Sheryl Sandberg
I've read a lot of articles discussing the merits of Lean In, but I've never actually read the book. I have heard great things about it from friends of mine who've read it and I'm excited to read it myself. 

15) Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom
I've heard so many people call this book the best book they've ever read, and I really like short stories. 

16) Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert
This is another carry-over book from last year's list that I didn't get a chance to read in 2017. 

17) The Defining Decade - Meg Jay
I'm still at the beginning of my 20's and if this book can help me navigate this decade a little easier, I'm all for it. 

18) Awaken the Giant Within - Tony Robbins
Whenever I hear the name Tony Robbins I think of that Kardashian episode where Kourtney spends the whole episode walking around quoting him. That being said, this is one of the most influential business books ever and something I've wanted to read for a while. 

So these are the books I want to read this year! When it comes down to it, I just need to get through 1.5 books a month in order to get this list done, which is totally doable! I like to think that I have a good mix of business, wellness, fiction, non-fiction in this list, but if you have any great book recommendations, leave them for me below! Also make sure you're following this blog on bloglovin because the What I'm Reading February post is coming very soon!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

What I'm Reading January 2018

Happy new year!
Last year one of my new year resolutions was to read more. I made a list of seventeen books I wanted to read during 2017 and while I didn't end up reading all of the books listed, I ended up reading most of them. My 2017 book count (excluding books I needed to read for school) was 16/17.  I'm go
ing to be doing another post on 18 books I'd like to read in 2018 that'll be going up soon, so make sure you're following this blog on Bloglovin so you don't miss it! 

Last Month's Books:

The 4-Hour Workweek - Tim Ferriss
This is a book that I've wanted to read for a long time. I've heard that it's life-changing and that it is a "must read." I liked it, but I don't think that it's fully applicable for me in my life right now. If you're considering entrepreneurship or work a 9-5 and are looking for more freedom, this would be an amazing book for you to read. There are a lot of actionable tips in this book (like automation and time management), but I think that if I wasn't a student, I could take more away from it. Highly recommend reading this book, it just might be a better read once you're fully "adulting" and working. 

The 4-Hour Body - Tim Ferriss
I've been on a bit of a Tim Ferriss kick if you couldn't tell. This book is incredible. If you've ever struggled with health, weight, or fitness, this book is a total game changer. It once again has a lot of actionable tips and regimes that you can easily implement into your life. I didn't actually read this book (I had an audio-version), but I'm still including it in my book count for the year like I did for The Sell. 

2017 Recap:
If you're new to the blog and don't want to catch up on the previous What I'm Reading posts, I thought that I'd list a few of my favorite and least favorite reads of 2017. 

Starting with the best...

1) Breakfast at Tiffany's 
It's different than the movie both in plot and the character traits of Holly, but it is brilliant. It's a very, very short read, but a classic for good reason. It was by far my favorite book that I've read this year and is a book I can see myself reading in the future. 

2) The Sun Also Rises
This year was the second time reading this book, and I was reminded of how much I loved it the first time I read it. It's an easy book to read (as far as Hemingway goes), but is deep and feels especially relatable to me at this point in my life. This book also has one of my favorite ending lines (Gatsby is another book with a fantastic last line). 

3) The Beautiful and Damned
This was the first book I finished this year, and another one that I could see myself re-reading over and over again. It's by Fitzgerald, who is another one of my favorite authors. It's beautiful and tragic and although it is fiction, captures real feelings in a way that resonates authentically. 

...And now the worst...

1) How to Win Friends and Influence People
It felt redundant and after I finished the book I had an overwhelming feeling of "isn't this common sense?" I think my expectations for this book were too high, but I started it thinking I would get life-changing advice, but finished realizing that this book was nothing more than a reminder to do what I already know. 

2) Eat, Pray, Love
I HATED this book. It felt overdramatic and egocentric. I never once empathized with the main character because all her misfortunes and lamenting seemed so trivial. The "eat" section of the book is the only part that I actually enjoyed, but there is no way that I would ever read this book again. 

I'm still creating my reading list for the year, but once I get it figured out, I'll make another post sharing it! I really enjoyed pushing myself to read more because reading for fun has been a neglected hobby of mine these past few years. Hopefully I'll be better bout making time for reading and can finish even more books next year. Let me know in the comments what books you've read recently and if you have any recommendations!

Monday, December 4, 2017

What I'm Reading December 2017

It's the last month of 2017! How crazy is that? My goal this year was to read 17 books (here's the list of books that I wanted to complete), but as of the end of November, my book count is 14/17. Here's what I'm reading this month and mini reviews of the books I read in November. 

This Month's Books:

Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse 
I've read this book before and really liked it. It's very spiritual and deep, yet easy to read. I don't remember much of the plot, so it'll be nice to gain a refresher. 

The 4 Hour Workweek - Tim Ferriss
I adore Tim Ferriss and listen to his podcast and read a lot of articles that he writes, but I haven't taken the time to read his books. I thought I'd start with this one because it's what he's best known for, but I also want to read the 4 Hour Body and Tools of Titans because I've heard wonderful things about both books. 

Last Month's Books:

The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
This is the book that won Hemingway his Pulitzer and came highly recommended to me from many people. Until reading this book, I was only familiar with his early work during the '20s and '30s (such as The Sun Also Rises and Hills Like White Elephants). This book is on the shorter side, but is about a Cuban fishing village and an Old Man's attempt to catch a fish. It's full of motifs and examines the relationship between nature and humans and destiny, dignity, and demise. It is an easy read, but a beautiful one, and if you're into any of the Jazz Age authors, this would be a good book to read. 

Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
This book is way different from what I imagined. If you've ever seen the movie The Secret or heard about the law of attraction, this book is that concept applied to wealth. This is not a book with physical steps that you can take to achieve wealth, but is a book with mental steps that you can take to put yourself in a mindset to achieve wealth. It has a lot to do with visualization and goal setting, and I think that it's useful for people in all sorts of situations. It is a little pseudo-sciencey (although let me point out that the power of visualization is scientifically backed, especially in athletics) but worth a quick skim through nonetheless. I want to go back through the book and pick out the goal setting exercises and actually do them now, because the first time I was reading for content and not actively applying the principles to my life. 

Driven - Robert Herjavec
I've read this book before, and I really like it. It is a business/self help book that doesn't sound too formal. It's full of lists and do's and dont's and is such an easy book to read. It's definitely not my favorite book like this, I prefer Fredrik Eklund's "The Sell" much more, but it's not a bad read either. 

Let me know in the comments what books you've read lately and your thoughts on them! I really hope to get through three more books so I can make my 17 in 2017, but 14 non school related books during a year is probably a new best! Make sure you're following on Bloglovin to get updates when new posts go up!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Holiday 2017 Gift Guide: Books

It's mid-november, which means that it's time for gift guides to start! We're starting out my gift guide series with books. Books are such a timeless, beautiful gift because physical books are something most people don't like to spend money on.