October Reads



Good morning! It’s Monday, so here’s to a brand new week ahead. I’m excited. 🙂

On  the last day of every month, I share my monthly reads with you. I try to read about one book a week; sometimes it’s a couple more, and sometimes it’s fewer. But I know that about one a week is a comfortable number for me to enjoy the process while still challenging myself to learn! You can see the whole list of everything I’ve read in 2017 here.

This month, I read 5 books. Two were audiobooks, and three were on my kindle. I rarely buy a book (because my tax dollars are doing that for me at the library!), but this month I did buy one book to read on my kindle because I was so excited for it and didn’t want to wait!

This month: 

  • 2 fiction

  • 3 non-fiction

  • 3 books that I LOVED! 

  • 2 books that were meh….

     I’m excited to share them with you! And if you’ve read any great books recently, would you please please share them with me? I choose most of my books from word-of-mouth recommendations, so I LOVE hearing about the books that you’ve enjoyed!

    1. What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Add this one to your holiday reading list!! It’s charming, funning, and warming. This was my first Julie Buxbaum books to read, and I absolutely fell in love with her characters. This book is about two teenagers; a girl who recently lost of dad in a car accident, and a boy who falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. This was one of those books that made me feel like I knew the characters, so I was personally rooting for their success and well-being.

I’m adding more Julie Buxbaum books to next month’s reading list. 🙂

2. Braving The Wilderness by Brené Brown

A couple years ago, I was visiting my little sister in Abilene TX while she was in grad school. We were sitting on the floor of her darling little west Texas house, and I flipped open a book called Daring Greatly by BrenĂ© Brown (who I hadn’t heard of at the time.)

When I asked who she was, my sister replied “she’s basically the queen of every social work student everywhere.” Haha! My sister went on to explain about all of Dr. Brown’s research on shame, fear, and vulnerability, and how everyone everywhere should at least listen to her TED Talk (which has close to 32 million views.)

I drove home to Austin, listened to her TED Talk, and immediately started reading through her books. Her latest book Braving The Wilderness, is about what it means to belong and what it means to stand alone. This is the only book I bought this month, because the Austin library had such a long waiting list and I just couldn’t wait!

3. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

I’m gonna go ahead and admit that I’m a sucker for packaging. If a book cover looks pretty, I’ll pick it up and consider it… Last week when Nate and I drove to Dallas for my grandpa’s 90th birthday party, I needed to find something to listen to on the drive. I kinda randomly picked this one, mostly because A) it was one of the few audiobooks available (most good ones have e waiting list), and 2) I liked the bright yellow cover.

It’s about misfit teenage girl who becomes obsessed with Lizzie Lovett’s disappearance. She becomes so enthralled with mystery of Lizzie she ends up taking her job, boyfriend, life… The synopsis of the book reads like a mystery or thriller! Except it’s not. This is a quirky, funny sort of book.

I couldn’t ever grasp the writer’s style. So many parts of this book are written in a funny, sarcastic nature, but the premise of the book is about a potentially dead, missing girl. So I just didn’t love this one.

2. Relentless by Tim S. Grover

Tim Grover is famous for being Michael Jordan’s personal trainer in 1989. Since then, he’s trained some of the leading names in NBA, and he has become NBA’s most sought after personal trainer. This book is his guide to success.

Here’s my honest opinion: this book is absolute CRAP for 99.9999999% of the world. If you’re preparing for an olympic gold medal, this book is for you. But if you’re trying to live a happy, successful life, there’s not a lot in this book that translates over…it just wasn’t that helpful for me to read.

Tim Grover writes about all sorts of definitives, such as,

  • You have to be the best at one thing. You can’t do more than one thing.
  • Pick your career or relationships, but not both. You can’t be at the top in everything.
  • Everyone has a dark side, and you need that to succeed. This is why there are so many scandals among the elite. Learn to cultivate your dark side.
  • You’re going to have to be selfish, have an ego, and be an a-hole to get to the top and stay at the top.
  • Being at the top doesn’t equal happiness. It means you’re the best.

So, for most of us, these are not the steps we’re interested in taking. I’d say for about 90% of this book I was shaking my head saying, “nope, not willing to do that. I don’t want to sacrifice every relationship in order to be the best at one thing.”

I did take away this one thing, though: Are you trying your hardest? If not, why? This idea was hammered into me pretty hard during the book, and I’m taking that little tidbit with me for the next few months. I’m working hard on several different things right now (Tim Grover wouldn’t approve…haha).

2. The Gifts Of Imperfection by Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection is one of Dr. Brown’s older books, so I circled back around and read it this month. Every time I read one of her books, I fill my journal with pages and pages of notes about what I’m taking away from this book.

Although this book is categorized under self help, it is so much more. If you’re looking for a book to read to start 2018 on the right foot, add this to your reading list. It’s a great one to read over the holidays this year so you’re ready to start the new year with a fresh mindset about living wholeheartedly.

I always love hearing from you! If you have any book suggestions that I can add to my holiday reading list, please let me know!

Happiest Monday, friends! I’m staying bundled up this morning and enjoying our last few hours of cold weather. Austin was hit with a cold front over the weekend, which is basically a miracle for October. Ha!

We’re back to the 80s today, so the fall temps are about to end. I’m just hoping the cold comes back in time for Thanksgiving this year!







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6 years ago

I’m a Brene Brown fan also! I read her books extra slowly because I have to go back and re-read insightful sentences. I liked her newest book too! It’s comforting and filled with aha moments.

6 years ago

Great list! It feels like it’s always November and I’m looking at my reading goals and my actual reading and start to stress because I’m behind. Love that you can get in one per week!

6 years ago

I read Gifts of Imperfection years ago and am reading Braving the Wilderness now!

In fact, I should get off the internet and read since it’s due back at the library soon.

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