Good morning! This is kind of a weird book of the month post, because this book is a 10 week course. It's too cool not to share though, and I've been doing it since the beginning of June, so your regularly scheduled month post in August will be a normal novel again. For now though, everyone should at least check this out if you haven't already heard of it. It's a book that guides you through a ten week course to discover or recover your own creativity. It's got a message that I'm a huge advocate of, that everyone has creativity in them. You don't have to be able to draw or paint or sculpt to be artistic or creative. This book is the OG Big Magic, which is a more recent option. I like this one though, and I will do a full report when I've completed the course! If you have any questions about the course or about how it's going so far, feel free to email me at email@example.com, and I will answer the best I can!
I received this book as a gift last year, and I've re-read it many times since. I chose it as the book of the month because I found it so helpful and wanted to share. As a parent, and one who loves all things design and decor, it can be really hard to figure out what to compromise from your own style to fit the needs and limitations of living with a child or children in general. They are messy, get into everything they aren't supposed to, throw all of those things, and proceed to break them as well, but I wouldn't have it any other way. That's just what kids do, and until they are of a certain age, there's not really anything a parent can do, other than have the smallest amount of things possible within the reach of their little one. Thanks to this book, I've found easy solutions to styling and situating a room around Bailey. Luckily, Bailey is getting old enough to be reasoned with when it comes to what she can and can't touch or play with, so we've been able to slowly integrate things to her level. She still breaks the occasional ceramic bowl, but for the most part she is pretty good at leaving things alone if you tell her to. If you talk to my parents, you will learn this is the opposite of me. I still can't really leave things alone, and I've always been an explorer. Hopefully it holds up that Bailey hasn't received this gene from me. I want her to explore, but I'd rather have her be a good listener first, and learn to explore the things she's allowed to second. Back to the book though, not only is it's content insightful, but the images are gorgeous and equally inspiring. Let's just say this book is the blueprint for a well-designed family home.
Good afternoon! This months book of the month is Design Mom by Gabrielle Blair! As a parent, I'm always trying to find ways to make our home as kid friendly as possible, while also still looking like "us". This book has helped tremendously, and I can't wait to share how at the end of June. Happy reading!
I want to start this discussion by saying I generally loved this novel. I can easily see why it won the Pulitzer Prize. It's complex, and intriguing, with interesting characters that are relatable but also just bizarre enough to add something to the story. The main character, Theo, is the most "normal", I would say. While his life is infused with tragedy, he still keeps his head for most of the book. He still ends up dealing with most things any young adult deals with. Bully's, unrequited love, laziness in school, and you know, a stolen painting worth millions of dollars. The only difference between his art-theft and your typical black market stolen paintings, is that in his situation, stealing the Goldfinch sounds perfectly reasonable, and would have probably been very acceptable by authorities had he turned it in right away. I mean, if I were in a museum in 8th grade and bombs went off, I would have probably tried to save my lost mother's favorite painting as well. It's understandable, but that wouldn't make a good story.
It's also in the plot structuring that Tartt hooks you. She begins the story with a foreshadowing flash-forward. Theo is a grown man hiding out in Amsterdam, for reasons unknown to the reader. All that you know is that he's done something bad enough for international newspapers to be reporting on him. This opener stays with you throughout the entire book until the story catches up to where we started, and the situation reveals itself. I was asking myself the whole time, "is this why he's hiding in the beginning of the book, or did he do something else?". Another intriguing question that the author presents is what's Boris's roll in all of this. Theo mentions when he leaves Boris initially that it's not the last time he see's him, which leaves the reader waiting for him to just pop up later on in the story. Of course, Boris's part make sense towards the end, being that he is an excellent thief, but his presence is another way the author reels you in.
The book is lengthy, and without these questions presented, I probably wouldn't have finished it. Certain parts could have been shortened, but for me, I read through it easily enough. Goldfinch is a winner, and I'm sure it will be a classic for years to come. Go get yourself a copy and start reading!
Morning guys! This month's book of the month is Goldfinch by Donna Tartt! I've heard mixed things about it, and I'm excited to see what all of the fuss is about. I've already started it, mostly to get a jump on those 700 odd pages. I'm already 100 pages in though, and I'm loving it so far! This is gonna be a good one. Happy reading, all!
Hi there! In all honesty, I didn't finish this book. It simply didn't hold my interest, and I got about half way through. It was a good story, but I like books that move along a bit quicker. I could read a bunch of cliff notes and do a full report, but that's not very authentic, and I always aim to be honest. I may finish it one day, but for now, other books are catching my eye, and that's something I can't ignore! I'm off to go read one of those, have a good day!
Hey there! For April's book of the month, I wanted to choose something inspiring and dynamic. Brooklyn, March's book, was very easy to read and was a pretty straight forward story. This month, I wanted something a little more challenging. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a classic that I've yet to read, which is saying something. "Classics" were the first kinds of books that I loved, thanks to my mama. However, I hadn't heard of this one until about a year ago. It's been on the reading list ever since, and I can't wait to tackle it this month! (That gorgeous cover doesn't hurt either.)
Hi guys! Let's start by saying that Brooklyn is, in a word, enlightening. My generation, in the U.S., is possibly the farthest, in mindset, from the immigrants of the 20th century. As a young adult, it's hard to grasp the courage of our ancestors who traveled here, through challenges we couldn't begin to fathom. The why behind immigration hasn't been lost on me, or the fear that comes with it. I've traveled internationally before, and moved away from home. I'm well aware of how living in America is simpler and more beneficial than living in a country with less opportunity. I understand the homesickness aspect of it too. The only thing we can't really relate to is immigration feeling like the only choice. If we move or leave home, it's generally because we want too. It's not our only option to lead a full life, like it was Eilise's.
Leaving Ireland, and coming to Brooklyn, was the only option to reach her full potential. This is not the case in our easy lives. I can walk out my front door, and there is a job opportunity in any field I could want. I think this is the point of Brooklyn, to give perspective. Everyone needs it at some point in their life. It's what Eilise needed, and it's what she found in coming to America. Parts of the book are hard to read, and sad, but it's an honest depiction of the hardships of immigration, which is the only real way to understand if you haven't been through it yourself.
Hi there! It's the beginning of the month, and that means a new book to read! I chose Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, mostly because the film they turned it into caught my attention. I've decided to read it before I see the movie though, which is usually what I do in a book/film adaptation situation. I usually try to not hold it against the movie though, if they change things from the book. Also, I wanted to do a novel this month, since we took a break with a cookbook last month. I was looking at self-help and organizational type books for this month, initially. My interests wouldn't stray from the novels though! I kept looking at them more, so I just decided to throw in the towel and settle on one. Brooklyn has rave reviews, and it's really giving off A Tree Grows in Brooklyn vibes, for obvious reasons. This book tells of actual immigrants though, as opposed to the children of immigrants, so that will be a new perspective. I can't wait to get started! Happy reading!
Hi readers! I'm going to start off by saying that it took awhile for me to get into this book. I wasn't really hooked until about 100 pages in, but considering that The Luminaries is 830 pages, I guess I didn't waste too much time. Once I was into it though, it flew by. I feel like it's mostly due to the constant movement of stories in between characters. This also makes sense because of the astrological symbolism that each character carries. Each of their personalities couldn't have been represented so beautifully if not for the movement.
The characters, zodiacs and planets alike, give the story it's mystery. At first I was trying to guess who was what, but then I realized that the charts before each section are meant to be analyzed. They show the zodiacs by the characters name, and then their symbol. That's when I started to notice, throughout each chapter, they were all the epitome of each zodiac. It was brilliant. How Eleanor Catton dreamt a plot that connects 12+ characters to one murdered man is mind boggling.
It starts to make more sense when you realize patterns between the zodiac characters and the planet characters. Everything that the zodiacs go through are all caused by the planets actions. Light bulb moment: that's how it is in the real universe too! If you've ever read a horoscope, you know that your emotions and actions are effected by what planets are intersecting with your zodiac. Reading a fantastical take on a realistic phenomenon was riveting.
This book really was everything you could want in a novel. It is mystical, romantic, and even enlightening. It forces you to think about what it means to be fortunate, and how easy it is to let your wealth, plenty or scarce, take over your life. That is the one thing each character has in common, they are either chasing money, stealing it, or burying it. I think the message in all of this, is that you are in control of your own life, and you can't let the "planets" lead you astray. Even without symbolic meaning, it's still an awesome story. If you haven't read it yet, go now! It's worth every nugget.
Hey readers! It's Book of the Month: Discussion time! This months choice was Essentialism by Greg McKeown. To start off, I think it's important to acknowledge that a readers take on this book and concept is highly personal. Every person who reads it will take away something different from it. That's just how self-help/improvement books go, key word being self. That being said, this discussion piece is solely based on my opinion. I'm sure every person who has read this has learned something different from it.
My personal overall view of the book is that it was the most inspiring book I've read, as far as looking at your own life goes. I think that in the debate of "I'm a non-Essentialist or an Essentialist", I've always leaned more towards the latter. Mainly because I have always been a little selfish and stubborn. My whole life, I've always viewed opportunities as things I either had to do, or didn't, very black and white. If I didn't want to do something, I didn't do it. Of course, there were things like math tests that I had to do; but when I had the option to choose, I generally knew what I wanted. The only real time I have trouble deciding on things is when it comes to food. Most of the time, when I'm hungry, anything sounds good. Brett and I always have a hard time picking a place to eat. Yet, we always decide and are satisfied. Making decisions is usually such a big relief for me. I like to know where I'm going, what the plan is. That generally means making hard and fast calls on what to do next. Being able to say no is definitely one of my long-standing "Essentialist" traits.
We all have things we can work on though. Working up the courage to control your own life isn't the only thing being an "Essentialist" entails. It's also about being able to recognize, out of the few things that are the most essential to your attention, which should be at the top of your list. The most essential of the essentials. This is where my struggle is at. I like doing a lot of things, such as playing with my daughter, but also reading a book for an hour or so. The book made me realize that I would benefit by choosing which is most important, in that moment, so that I can focus all of my attention on that one thing. It's like the great Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation said, "Don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing". This concept leads to a much more relaxing and full life. Because I read first when I get home from work, when I'm playing with Bailey after, I can focus my full attention on her and won't be itching to read a chapter of my latest page turner. I can just enjoy being with Bailey.
That is what the main focus of the book was for me, streamlining my activities. Since finishing the book, I've been trying to do just that. I make a to do list each day, and try not to add to it. It's hard, but I've learned to love setting limits for myself. Now, I can't imagine not making a to do list. It ensures that I do what I want and need to do, and only that. Then, I'm not wasting time and get to enjoy life even more. If you haven't read this book, you should. Even if you think you can't learn anything from it, you can. No one has their life pulled together that well. Happy reading!
Yay!! It's time for a new Book of the Month! I loved reading and writing a report for November's Book, and I can't wait to do the same for December. The book for this month is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. After doing a novel last month, I'd like to switch it up with some non-fiction. This book comes highly recommended from Brett's mom (it's her copy, thanks Susan!) and many others. Being a part of a generation known for it's impatience and excess, I've been working through my life the past year to simplify everything. I still have small bits of my beloved clutter, but looking at the things I actually used, like my wardrobe, made it easy to get rid of the non-essentials. I want to take it one step further with this month's selection, and explore what else I can do in my life to tone it down. Time to get reading!