What I Watched & Read: January 2017

What I Read This Month

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What I Watched

Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things

I’ve long loved The Minimalists, their blog, books, and podcast, but I got burnt out. Which is why it took me months to finally watch this documentary. It featured many of my favorite bloggers and authors so it was really cool to see them, but because I’ve read these books and blogs, it wasn’t a bunch of new information. I’ve been surprised at how many of my non-minimalist friends have watched this and really enjoyed it. Although it wasn’t all new information, it was still really good. They did an excellent job showing that minimalism really is different for everyone and that it’s about much more than just getting rid of stuff. Actually, the documentary was more about intentional living than decluttering. I highly highly recommend this, even if you’re not the slightest bit curious about minimalism.

What I Read

 The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker

This book was good but at parts it kind of drug on and left me asking, “Well what do we do?!” It eventually gets to the point. This was kind of a different take on the issues with our food system and it was a good one. It also nicely avoids the whole vegetarian debate.

Get Your Sh*t Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need To Do and Start Doing What You Want To Do by Sarah Knight

Love love love! Practical yet human and hilarious. Last month I read her first book The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and I loved it. So when I saw this one at the airport I couldn’t resist buying it for the plane ride, even though I already had several books in my purse! These books literally get me laughing out loud at my desk on my lunch break, but it’s not all sh*ts and giggles…it’s actually practical advice in a human way, not a “holier than thou” tone.

Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things by Rick Smith & Bruce Lourie

This book focuses on 7 toxic chemicals that are in every day things. It was informative but also funny, overall really good. The only downside is that it is about 10 years old so I kept wondering how things have changed since (legislation etc) but my friend Jeff told me about their more recent book Toxin Toxout, so that’s on my list.

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations by Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely has been one of my favorite writers since I read Predictably Irrational in grad school. This one can be read in one or two sittings and is a great book for anyone who needs to motivate anyone else…anyone really! It’s great for managers and supervisors but provides insights that anyone can apply to their life. Must read!

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich

I’ve always loved learning about history, but tragedies and disasters in particular. I don’t know if it’s some twisted part of my personality or what, but I’ve been fascinated by the Titanic and Chernobyl tragedies for years. This was a sad, tough book to read…yet still a good one if that makes sense. It was a slow read because there was a lot for me to absorb and process.

I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez

I’ve loved gymnastics since I was a kid and still have a bit of Olympic Fever. This was what you’d expect from a gymnastics biography…upbeat, fun, and a quick read. Laurie does a really nice job of being humble and human and writes like she’s talking to a good friend.

The Quarter-Life Breakthrough: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life That Matters by Adam Smiley Poswolsky

I’m not looking for new work but I’m always looking to improve my situation and this book was recommended to me. Unfortunately I didn’t love it. Parts were really good and inspiring, but most of it made me cringe a little. I think many people would like this book, my problem is that I work in recruiting and struggled to get out of the HR mindset. I do overall like the message of finding meaning in your life and work and the book did make me continue to appreciate how I really hit the jackpot with this job as far as challenging, meaningful work, a boss that encourages me to learn and grow, and great coworkers.

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