Read Feed | January 2020

2020 is off to a strong start, with six books now tucked away on my new Goodreads shelf. I’m hoping to make solid progress on my goal of 60 books for the year prior to Baby Hall’s arrival — that way I can have plenty of grace for myself during maternity leave when I will have zero time or energy to pick up a book. (However, I’m thinking audiobooks will be nice for middle-of-the-night nursing sessions. We’ll see!)

I was sad to lower my book count for the year, but I’d rather surprise myself than miss a goal. Obviously learning the rhythms of being a mama will take up much more of my time this year (in a good way!) so I wanted to be realistic. Five books per month is still a really great goal, and I’m one book ahead this first month, so that’s a great sign!

I’d love to hear about your book goals for 2020, along with any recommendations or books you plan to read soon!

As for me, here’s what I read in January:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott — 5 out of 5
This book is one of my all-time favorites. I remember reading it for the first time in 6th grade, and falling head over heels for these characters. I loved re-reading in December-January in honor of the new movie (which did NOT disappoint!). I listened to the Audible production, narrated by Laura Dern, who plays Marmee in the film, and it was well done and a nice way to revisit an old favorite.

The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth by Dr. William Sears & Martha Sears, RN — 4 out of 5
This was a practical read for me as we prepare for Baby Hall to join us next month. It had very helpful information and I highly recommend it to expecting mamas. Don’t be thrown by the early ’90s publishing date — I found that 99% of the information was still applicable today.

The Brutal Telling (Inspector Gamache #5) by Louise Penny — 4 out of 5
A fascinating next installment of the Inspector Gamache series, this book also broke my heart as one the characters I love ends up being the killer! It seems like I get to one in the series each month (based on the library wait list), so hopefully I’ll get through #6 in February.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson — 2.5 out of 5
I had a feeling going into this book that I wasn’t going to be overly impressed, and I was right. However, after how many lists this has appeared on over the past few years, I felt obligated to give it a shot. While he had a few decent points, this really could be summed up in an article rather than an entire book.

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist — 5 out of 5
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve committed to reading this book every January as a way to kick off the year. After a rough day of baby prep, this was exactly the message I needed to re-center on what really matters. I will never stop recommending this book, so if you haven’t read it yet, you should. (P.S. — When grabbing the link the share for this, this is a FREE Kindle read for Amazon Prime members! Go get it!)

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dalai Llama XIV, & Desmond Abrams — 3.5 out of 5
This book is the first of six in Sarah Bessey’s 2020 Field Notes Book Club. It covers a week of extensive interviews and teachings from these world leaders. I was inspired by what they shared and have learned in their 80+ years of life, and it would make an interesting mini series on Netflix or Amazon Prime (I instantly thought of Oprah’s Soul Sundays). I am glad I listened to the audiobook, because I would have struggled to stay dialed into the text. The format made it feel like an ongoing conversation, rather than a transcript.

That’s it for January! I’m already excited to share the books I’m reading now, so be on the lookout for my February reads in a few weeks!

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