December: What I Watched & Read

What I Read This Month

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I had a few iTunes gift cards so I rented some documentaries!

What I Watched

Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

This is why I’m trying to reduce waste, cut back on my plastic use, and eliminate single use items.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

You’ve probably noticed that I love books that get into the psychology behind why we buy and the tricks brands and marketers use to exploit that. This documentary goes into product placement in particular. Plus, it’s funny.

Bag It

What starts out as a documentary about plastic bags, becomes a documentary about plastic and what it does to our oceans, animals, bodies, and planet. The narrator is quirky so it’s actually pretty funny…not a dry documentary. Great information too.

What I Read

Overdressed: The Shockingly Hight Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

As I’ve gotten into sustainability, it has led to an interest in sustainable, fair trade fashion. Kind of a change from the money-saving fast fashion I used to prefer. (And still sometimes do..habits are hard to break.) Mostly I just buy secondhand clothing these days. Anyway, this book gives a great overview of the many issues with fast fashion including poor working conditions, low wages, the impact on the environment, poor quality, and the overall financial impacts. So whatever the reasons you’re curious about this topic, it’s probably covered in this book. It was a good read!

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath & Jim Harter

This was good in the sense that it gives a good reminder and refresher on why and how to be well, but there was nothing really new or shocking in it. And really the book itself is only about 100 pages…the last half of the book is all resources.

pimpin-aint-easy-but-budgeting-isPimpin’ Ain’t Easy But Budgeting Is: Budgeting Tips Without the Tricks by Renita Williams

This book is written by one of my Instagram friends, The Budget Enthusiast! It’s one of the most real personal finance books I’ve read. Not only is it practical and helpful, but it had me laughing out loud at some points.

This Is What You Just Put In Your Mouth? From Eggnog to Beef Jerky the Surprising Secrets of What’s Inside Everyday Products by Patrick Di Justo

I love scanning the clearance racks at Half Price Books. You can find the most random things and you’re not out much cash if the book is a dud. This one was interesting, science-y, and sarcastic. It breaks down the ingredients in food and other everyday products. A bit disturbing but a good read!

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

I’d seen this book around but didn’t really give it much thought until it came recommended by my friend Jeff. He actually did a hilariously wonderful podcast episode about this book (listen here) and that’s what made me finally check it out. It was good, really good. You need to have some thick skin and not be too concerned about reading swear words, but it’s an excellent read.

Porcelain On Steel: Women of West Point’s Long Gray Line by Donna M. McAleer

I love military history, especially women in the military, and the mysterious world of the military academies intrigues me. Mostly because I could never do it! This book tells the stories of several women who graduated from West Point. It’s not just about their experience at West Point, but also their lives afterwards. As a female veteran, they were interesting and inspiring stories to read.

13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff

Not going to lie…I really didn’t know much about Benghazi until all the election talk and that’s ultimately what made me curious. I also feel like it’s one of those things I should know a bit about. It was a good read. Well written to present first-hand accounts without getting too involved in the controversy and politics.

Make Money, Not Excuses: Wake Up, Take Charge, and Overcome Your Financial Fears Forever by Jean Chatzky

Eventually many personal finance books start to sound the same, but I still like to read a finance book now and then, even if I don’t learn anything new. It helps me refocus on my goals and stay motivated. However, this book didn’t do it for me personally. 1. It’s a huge turn off to me when authors mention their fame and success and name drop throughout their books. If it’s in a way that makes a relevant, helpful point…maybe it’s not too bad…but that’s a fine line. 2. At no fault to the author, the book is old. It’s pre-recession. Some finance books are timeless, but this one just seemed dated. 3. I don’t like the “girl power” vibe, the “women versus men” style. She stereotypes her audience in an annoying way. This book could maybe be inspiring to many people, but it just wasn’t for me.

2016 was the year I fell in love with reading again. I think it’s mostly due to my new little house and cozy reading room! Excited to see what books are in store for 2017!

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