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April was a good month for reading. I’m still working on getting my priorities straight with my free time and too often I succumb to the temptation of TV and social media, but this month I did a lot better at getting that under control. It resulted in a lot of reading!
What I Read In April
The Residence: Inside the Private World of The White House by Kate Andersen Brower
This book was really good. I love this kind of US history stuff and it’s always exciting to read about a place that you’ve been. I just wish I’d have paid more attention during my White House tour a few years ago. I think this means I need to go back! This book is described as “Downton Abbey for the White House staff,” and while I’ve never seen Downton Abbey, I know it has a huge following. The book was very interesting and fun to get the “behind the scenes” info on the White House.
39 Low-Effort Ways to Save up to $9,340.67 This Year by Haley Nelson
I seriously know the coolest bloggers! Fellow Twin Cities blogger David Carlson’s book Hustle Away Debt comes out in a few days and this month another local blogging friend Haley published her ebook! You might remember Haley from her guest post about three awesome recipes for people who don’t cook. (Like me.) This book is a good, quick read for anyone looking to improve their financial situation, whether it’s paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for a big purchase. It’s nicely organized into bite-size pieces so it’s not overwhelming. The advice is practical and useful and can be used by nearly anyone. It’s not at all about getting rid of everything you love and enjoy for the sake of saving a few pennies like some finance books are. This one helps you enjoy the things that bring you joy while still saving money. It’s a good read no matter where you are in your personal finance journey; even the most experienced finance gurus will learn a thing or two in this book!
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
You really can’t go wrong with David Sedaris, especially when it was a 50¢ book sale buy! His books have a way of making you laugh, yet realizing the sad reality of people and society. They’re filled with raw truths, cloaked by humorous stories. I find myself literally laughing out loud at parts. This one was no different. Great essays as usual!
Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul by Ruth Soukup
I read Ruth’s last book, Living Well Spending Less, and for the most part enjoyed it, so I was excited to check out her latest book, especially considering my recent venture into minimalism. The book was…ok. It was good, there was just a little more religion and scripture in it than my liking. I did really like how it focuses not just on decluttering stuff, but also your mind and life. Decluttering is about so much more than just physical things and this book does a great job delving into that. It’s broken down into three sections making it super easy to follow.
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing my Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story by Dan Harris
I’ve realized that judging by the number of books on my shelves about happiness and simplifying life, you’d think I was just absolutely miserable. I have bad days just like anyone else, but I’m generally doing alright. There really does seem to be a recent trend in this time of self-help…we all seem to be depressed, stressed, stretched thin, and overall unhappy. For me, it’s all intertwined with my interests in minimalism, slow living, and saving money. Finding ways to really cultivate the life that I desire.
This book delves into meditation and mindfulness. Meditation is something I would have laughed at a year ago, but it keeps coming up as I explore mindfulness and living with intention. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a racing mind, some anxieties, and a constant urge to rush through everything in life focusing on the next thing without enjoying the present. One of my previous boyfriends would tell me, “Quiet your mind, love.” Easier said than done, but I guess that’s what I’m working on!
10% Happier is a good read for anyone who is totally skeptical, yet curious. It’s not all flowery and hippie-like (although, now I actually am curious to read some of those books) and is more practical, down to earth, and actually kind of humorous! As for whether or not it works for me? Too soon to tell, but maybe someday I’ll do a post on meditation.
Clean, Green & Lean: Get Rid of the Toxins That Make You Fat by Dr. Walter Crinnion
I’ve recently developed an interest in reducing the amount of toxins and chemicals in my life and the products I use. It started when I read Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma recently. I’ve switched over almost all of my beauty and cleaning products, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg it seems. Upon learning about my new interest my coworker lent me this book. Not so much about losing weight (which would be a great bonus!) but mostly because it talks a lot about reducing toxins in our lives.
Overall it was a good book. There were parts I loved, such as the information about toxins in our homes, and there were parts I took with a grain of salt, such as some of the medical procedures and supplements. It was interesting, but I don’t put much weight in some of the information just because many of the studies were very small. Twenty people, one hundred people…it just felt like not enough research had been done yet.
Ready For May!
I have a shelf full of books I hope to get to in May! It’s honestly been tough to break the habits of TV and social media but I’ve been so much happier with how I’ve spent my time. Hoping to continue that in May! What’s next on your reading list?What's next on your reading list? Click To Tweet