What I Watched & Read: February 2017

Quote About Reading

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 Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

This has been on my list for a long time and my blogging friend Emilie from Burke Does sent it to me a few months ago. Many of my creative friends have raved about this book, but I had mixed feelings. Every now and then there was a great little thought or gem, but other times it was a bit too “woo woo” for me. Overall I like the idea of it, but it could have been half the length and still just as good.

Simplicity: Essays by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

This book is a compilation of blog posts, or “essays,” by The Minimalists. These are the guys behind the documentary I mentioned last month. I’ve read their blog for years but the posts flow really nicely in book format, and I haven’t read some of these essays in a long time. Some great thoughts on minimalism and live an intentional life. Big thanks to my friend Jeff for passing on a bunch of books to me!

Essential: Essays by The Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

Pretty much the same review as the previous book listed, except that this one came out before that one. I didn’t like this one as much though. It’s one of their earliest books so maybe that’s why the writing didn’t seem as great. It’s also a huge turnoff for me to see a ton of typos in a book. We’re all human and I’m sure my blog posts are filled with typos, but I guess I have higher expectations for a book.

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

My friend Jeff passed his Minimalists books on to me and they are fairly short, so as you can see I had a bit of a binge. Unlike the previous two, this one is not filled with essays and is more of a traditional book. It gives more background behind the authors’ journeys. If you check out these books, this is probably the one you should read first.

Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry by Stacy Malkan

I heard about this book when I read Slow Death By Rubber Duck and give it two thumbs up. It’s a little dated but overall really great information that makes you stop and think about the products you slather onto your body. The chapter “Pinkwashing” most opened my eyes as I had a cousin with breast cancer, my best friend’s sister, and last year I lost a friend to breast cancer after her third battle. She was only in her early 30s. Can’t recommend this book enough.

The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers

As mentioned above, my friend Jeff passed on a bunch of books to me. Knowing I like quotes, he snuck this one into the pile and I’m glad he did. A quick read that makes you smile, feel a bit nostalgic for your childhood, and inspires you to make the world a nicer place.

Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World by Bruce Lourie & Rick Smith

Last month I read Slow Death By Rubber Duck by the same authors and really liked it. I had found it at a used bookstore and it was already 10 years old, so I was curious to see what has changed since then. This book provides an update and also explores ways to keep these chemicals out of our bodies. It was another good read by these authors.

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs

This book is a great example of why I love getting book recommendations from like-minded friends who know my interests and tastes. This is a book I probably wouldn’t find or seek out on my own, yet I really enjoyed it. Lots of good insight and “did you know” type stuff. Many times I found myself thinking, “these are my people!” but other times I was thinking, “Now I just want to go read instead of reading about reading!”

Another Planet: A Year in the Life of a Suburban High School by Elinor Burkett

I was reminded of this book when I gave a presentation at my old high school recently. Elinor Burkett spent the 1999-2000 school year at my high school and wrote this book about her experience. I was in 8th grade at the time so many of the people mentioned in the book are older siblings of my classmates. I’ve heard a lot of controversy about the book and the way students and staff were portrayed. The last time I read it was right after it came out, so it was interesting to read it again as an adult and after I’d had some of the teachers mentioned. It was interesting and I do recommend it, but I was reading it a bit differently than most would, actually recalling the people and places described from my memories.

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