Books I've read in 2018 & recommendations!

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Hello again lovely friends and happy Sunday! Today I wanted to write about something a little bit different - my thoughts and recommendations on the books I've read so far this year. 

Growing up, I was a voracious reader.  Think - when I got into trouble and was sent to my room, it wasn't much of a punishment because I could read whatever new Nancy Drew book I had picked up from the library *shrugs*. 

This year, one of my New Years resolutions was to read a new book each month. I find myself spending a lot of time online these days (especially before bed, eep!) but reading is truly my favorite form of relaxation and unwinding from a long day.  So today, I want to chat about five books (and one book I didn't make it through) in case you need any recommendations! I would also love to hear any of your favorite books because I'm always looking for something new, so lemme know in the comments below!

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Braving the Wilderness - Brené Brown: This is a book that's going to make you feel a little uncomfortable (it did for me!), but also make you really think about how to connect with others on a daily basis. Brené writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” As someone who leans towards introversion and sugarcoating, this book was a wake up call to SHOW UP in my interactions.  Even if a conversation is uncomfortable, digging deeper and opening up in a (respectful) way about my true opinions is what inspires meaningful connection and relationships. I have so much admiration for Brené and her work!

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The Desire Map - Danielle LaPorte: This one may be a little woo-woo for some, but I appreciated the overall message and work required to narrow down what drives the decisions that you make.  Danielle leads you through a pretty intensive exercise to narrow down your key drivers to 3-5 words.  In case you're wondering my words are soul, spark, connection, radiance, and honor.  If you're thinking about what's next for you or just want to level set with where you're at with your goals and ambitions in life, I highly recommend this book.

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson: I'm not one for self-help books, which is why I picked this up in the first place. Through this book, Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. The key message that I took from this read is: don't wait to start something until you think it's perfect, because it likely won't ever be perfect in your eyes.  Just go for it now and figure it out along the way! I've actually abided by this for the past couple of months and it feels really good to just dive in headfirst.
 

It ends with us - Colleen Hoover: I tore through this one over holiday break.  What starts out as a (somewhat) typical rom-com type storyline ends up somewhere completely different than what you think at the start.  Colleen reminds us through this novel how fragile love is in the best way possible.  I don't want to give too much away because I think you would enjoy it - I would highly recommend this one!

Now for the book I didn't get through and the one I'm currently reading and enjoying!

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The Storyteller - Jodi Picoult: This book dives deep into the Holocaust in a very unique and different way from what I've read in the past.  I'll be honest though - this one was just TOO intense for me though at this point in my life.  I found myself really down and in a funk after I would finish reading for the night...so I decided to put this one on pause for a little bit.  Definitely a good read if you're ready for some intense themes and storyline, but if you're looking for a more light-hearted read, I would look elsewhere.

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I've just started Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and it's really hooked me in.  It definitely keeps you guessing, and I'll report back in full once I've finished!

I love to get any recommendations from YOU (I'm always looking for new books to read!) so let me know in the comments below!

Xoxo,

Meg