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January Book Round Up

February 8, 2020

Filed in: Lifestyle

Are you a book lover like me? I would love to share the books I read with you and if you have any must-reads please leave a comment below with any books you think I would enjoy! I read 7 books this month which I think is a record for me. I also spent almost 0 time on social media…hmm is there a connection there? Follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m currently reading (username ‘swtginger’).

Summary: The book takes readers on a journey to Finland and explores simple and sensible ways to boost well being inspired by the Nordic lifestyle ranging from winter swimming and cycling to the Nordic diet – all through the special Finnish concept of courage and resilience called sisu. My take: I really enjoyed learning about the Finnish customs regarding health and wellness. I’ve adopted a term – ‘forest bath’ and I use it with my kids now when we go on a walk in the woods. This book has inspired me to read more about nature’s affect on our overall health.

Summary: In I.M., Isaac Mizrahi offers a poignant, candid, and touching look back on his life so far. Growing up gay in a sheltered Syrian Jewish Orthodox family, Isaac had unique talents that ultimately drew him into fashion and later into celebrity circles that read like a who’s who of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: Richard Avedon, Audrey Hepburn, Anna Wintour, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Meryl Streep, and Oprah Winfrey, to name only a few. My take: If you ever watched Fashion Television back in the 80’s and 90’s I think you’d love the insight into New York City’s fashion design world. Isaac is an incredible writer and I was surprised and fascinated to read about his backstory. This book is a little bit fashion history, a little bit celebrity schmoozing and a lot of introspection from one very accomplished man.

Summary: With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have. My take: Sorry I know I’m in the minority but I just did not like this book AT ALL. I didn’t connect to her and wasn’t inspired. I know many people have been though – just not me.

Summary: Habits are the invisible architecture of our lives. Rubin provides an analytical and scientific framework from which to understand these habits–as well as change them for good. Infused with her compelling voice and funny stories, she illustrates the core principles of habit formation with dozens of strategies that she tests out on herself and others. My take: I think I might describe this book as life-changing. Something in it just clicked for me. I’ve actually maintained some habits I’ve had a lifetime of trouble with for a full month and realize now that the effort required to establish a habit does truly pay off. 100% recommend.

Summary: Covering topics like relationships, childhood, communication, parenthood, and more, Rogers’s signature sayings and wise thoughts are included here. Pairing the definitive portrait of a national icon with his own instructions for living your best, kindest life, this book is a timeless treasure for Mister Rogers fans. My take: Who doesn’t love Mr. Rogers? I liked reading the article the movie was based on at the beginning of this book. The remainder of the book is broken up into different sections with his musings on things such as Parenting, Love, etc. Such a wise man. Definitely see the movie if you haven’t.

Summary: Gretchen Rubin knows firsthand that creating order can make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. But for most of us, a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work. When we tailor our approach to suit our own particular challenges and habits, we can find inner calm. With a sense of fun, and a clear idea of what’s realistic for most people, Rubin suggests dozens of manageable tips and tricks for creating a more serene, orderly environment. My take: I didn’t love this book as much as Better Than Before but it does have some good tips for de-cluttering and organizing.

Summary: Wild Game is a brilliant, timeless memoir about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them, and the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It’s a remarkable story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us. My take: I love memoirs. I think half the books I read last year were memoirs. This one is quite fascinating and gives a firsthand insight into what happens when a parent treats their child as a friend rather than their child.

comments +

  1. Heather says:

    Love that you’re doing a blog now! Somewhat relieved that you also didn’t connect with Rachel Hollis’ book. I just couldn’t relate to her either!

  2. BP says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share these! I’m inspired to try to put down my phone and pick up a book instead.

  3. Sandy says:

    I love hearing book recommendations! Added a couple of these to my library holds – thanks! In January I read “Where The Crawdads Sing” (recommend) and “Normal People” (meh, for me).

    • Virginia Holst says:

      Thanks Sandy! Where The Crawdads Sing…that’s another book I know so many people loved and I could not finish it, ha! I just didn’t find it believable but I know many people did and my Book Club argued with me, heh heh!

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