January 2019 Books

I whizzed through so many books this month due to being home on maternity leave — two of them were great, the rest were just kind of so-so. If you’re interested, you may view all of my past book reviews by clicking here.

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Just Between Us // Rebecca Drake
I loved this book because it reminded me a lot of this one, which was also a favorite! The story covers a group of friends that are trying to help save one of the women in their inner circle that has an abusive husband. There’s a great twist at the end that caught me by surprise!

Refuse to Choose // Barbara Sher
At first, I wasn’t really into this book but then there was something that really caught my eye — the author talks about “scanners” which is term to describe people that aren’t just into one thing, but prefer to dabble in many different interests and areas of life. This was definitely one of those books that gave me an “ah-ha!” moment as this is something I have been dealing with my whole life and never knew that there was actually a term for it. I’ve always said to Andy and my friends that I have so many interests and feel like a lot of them don’t really go together — I want to do everything but also feel like it’s just not possible since many of them are full-on careers.

For example, I want to write an autobiography, counsel people with mind-body disorders, become some sort of personality analyst, work for or own a business that focuses on illustrated products for kids, be a mom, write books and go on a book tour, be a motivational speaker, own a home-organization and catering business, etc. So many things, so little time! One of my main takeaways from this book is that scanners are often big-picture people and love scheming up things, kicking them off, and then are ready for the next big thing. I didn’t realize how true this was for me — as I’ve realized I love the brainstorming of ideas, starting the project, but then handing it off to someone else to focus on the details and wrap it up. In short, the word for this is visionary — which brought so much clarity to my life. This is definitely something that I plan to do some further research on, but it really made me excited to learn this about myself.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding // Le Leche League International
My friend recommended this book to me and it has been SO helpful! I even reached out to the Le Leche League group in my area for a quick phone consult with one of the leaders when I had a few questions about breastfeeding last week. This book covers so much and is definitely one that I’d like to continue to reference as we figure out this whole adventure of feeding Fletcher.

I Could Do Anything // Barbara Sher
This book was good, not great. Like her other book, I felt like a lot of the info was stuff that I’ve heard before and nothing felt mind-blowing to me.

The Gift of Fear // Gavin De Becker
I had high hopes for this book but it ended up being completely different than what I was anticipating. I was thinking it was more of a psych book, but it kind of had a different vibe to it.

Cultivate // Lara Casey
I feel like Lara’s other book was a lot more relatable for me, but this book was a good read if you’re in a season of life where you just need a jump start in different areas.

Where We Belong // Hoda Kotb
Meh, this book was not my favorite and left a lot to be desired — it was basically a collection of motivational stories but I felt like they didn’t feel too inspiring to me since I couldn’t really relate to any of them.

Chasing Slow // Erin Loechner
I was really excited to read this one and it ended up being kind of strange. I felt like the content jumped all over the place and it was hard to follow — not a fan.

P.S. I’m linking up with Jenn today! 

What are you currently reading?
Any book recommendations that I should read in the new year?

December 2018 Books

This is my last stack of books for 2018! I’m anticipating reading a lot of books over the course of the next few months as I’m home on maternity leave cuddling a little newborn and I seriously can not wait! Don’t forget, you may view all of my past book reviews by clicking here.

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Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth // Ina May Gaskin
I was really excited for this book after I found myself really enjoying her other book; however, this one was a little too “crunchy” for me. I tend to have a conservative approach to our health and wellness, but this was on a new level. For example, home births are not my thing — I’m all for diffusing essential oils, taking supplements instead of medications, and changing my diet for the sake of my health but when I am giving birth, give me a sterile hospital room because once that baby is here I want to come home to my nice clean sheets. ;)

My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired // Benjamin Spall + Michael Xander
This book was SO inspiring! I’m thinking that I probably won’t have the best morning routine these next few months as we adjust to a new schedule of baby sleeping + eating around the clock, but this is something I’d love to incorporate into my life once he gets on his own little schedule. I used to have a really solid morning routine and I felt like it really helped me set my day up for success.

The Vaccine Friendly Plan // Paul Thomas M.D. + Jennifer Margulis Ph.D.
I always love these types of books — not only are they super informative, they just really make you think about the decisions that you’re making for yourself and your family. Would highly recommend this book if you’re interested in an alternative vaccine schedule for your children.

5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life // Bill Eddy
My love for psychology once again shines through — I usually just add random psych books to my library request list and this was one of them. After dealing with a couple of crazies this past year, this book was actually really applicable! ;)

You Don’t Own Me // Mary Higgins Clark + Alafair Burke
You guys know that MHC is one of my favorite authors and this one didn’t disappoint! These are such easy reads and after whipping through so many non-fiction books this month, it was refreshing to read a page-turning thriller by one of my favorites!

Live the Life You Love // Barbara Sher
I found the recommendation for this book in a magazine article and was really excited to read it; unfortunately, it wasn’t really what I was looking for. I felt like most of the info didn’t feel new to me and felt a little redundant. I did, however, start reading another book by her (they both became available as e-books through my library at the same time) and I am really enjoying this one so I’ll be sure to share it in my January 2019 book review at the end of this month!

What are you currently reading?
Any book recommendations that I should read in the new year?

November 2018 Books

I only read one book in October so I’m merging that book in with the stack that I read during the month of November. Don’t forget, you may view all of my past book reviews by clicking here.

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The Other Woman // Sandie Jones
This book was SO good! I whipped through this in just a day and a half because I couldn’t put it down. I ended up guessing the ending but it was still an entertaining read — the story really reminded me of a “made for tv” type of movie! It covers the tale of a woman who is engaged to a man with a crazy mother — some of the events that happened were just nuts!

The Gospel Comes with a House Key // Rosaria Butterfield
I was so excited when this book became available after being on my “holds” list at the library for awhile and wanted to love it but I just didn’t! I quickly realized that the author and I hold very different viewpoints on things and it was hard for me to power through this one because there were a lot of things that bothered me. Normally, I have no problem reading books that have different views than my own but it was something about the tone of voice (for lack of better words) that just didn’t sit well with me. Originally, I was excited about this one since it’s all about the importance of hospitality, but I would recommend this book (easily one of the best books I’ve read) instead if you’re interested in that topic.

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding // Ina May Gaskin
I figured I should probably start doing a little prep for baby since he is making his grand debut in just one month. Since I literally knew nothing about breastfeeding, I figured this book was worth a read. I had intended to just flip through this one mainly due to the fact that yes, I’m all for breastfeeding but am not one of those moms that is super passionate about all that it entails. Well, I was in for quite a surprise because I LOVED this book so much! It was so fascinating and I read it cover-to-cover over the course of a week. I learned so much about the benefits, statistics, and process of feeding your baby naturally and let’s just say I’m a believer! One of the most interesting tidbits that I learned was that if you have a preemie baby, your body will produce a different kind of milk that is loaded with nutrients that a preemie needs and will then switch to regular milk once your baby is no longer a preemie. How amazing is that?! I’ve already requested her other book at the library and am really hoping it comes in before January!

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Hi, I’m Laura and I’m obsessed with reading about anything psychology-related. I picked this book up on a whim because I love reading textbook style books — I think it’s the learner in me. Anyway, I browsed through this and of course found it fascinating because I just love learning about the human mind. When I was in school, I used to read through unassigned chapters of my textbooks just for fun — such a nerdie thing to do, but hey!

This is Me // Chrissy Metz
After so much resilience, I started watching This Is Us two summers ago — catching up on episodes before season 2 started. At first glance, I didn’t think it would be my type of show (too many emotions, ha ha), but after my sister giving it rave reviews, I ended up giving it a shot and loved it. Chrissy Metz plays Kate and it was so interesting to learn more about her background — what her life was like before the show, and how the show has affected her. Would definitely recommend this one if you love this show!

The Vaccine Book // Robert W. Sears
This was another baby prep book that I quickly became super fascinated with. There were two vaccines that popped up during my pregnancy that made me realize I needed to do some research on vaccines before our little dude arrives and this book was really helpful. The statistics, breakdown of each vaccine, and story behind each one was so interesting to me (again, I love that textbook type of data) and I’d highly recommend this one if you’re looking to learn more about vaccinations and babies / children.

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way // Lysa TerKeurst
I whizzed through this book while at B&N on Thanksgiving Eve and it was just one of those books that you randomly pick up and it ends up being the EXACT thing you need to read in that moment. There’s also a study guide that goes with it and I’m thinking I might pick it up to do while I’m home on maternity leave next month and have a little more time. That being said, having “more time” will probably be the understatement of the year since I’ll be taking care of baby all day but I think it’s super important to still have hobbies even as a parent. :)

Real Food for Pregnancy // Lily Nichols
It was a little late in the game to read this book at 8.5 months pregnant last month, but I love learning about nutrition and really enjoyed reading this book. A lot of it was knowledge I felt that I already knew, but there were enough new little tidbits that made it worth reading.

What’s one book you’re read recently?
Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

September 2018 Books

This last month flew by so fast and I’m really hoping that October goes by a little slower since it’s my favorite month of all! I’m reviewing the 6 books that I read this month — I typically like to read around 8, but this month was jam-packed with a lot going on. Just a reminder, you may view all of my past book reviews by clicking here.

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An Unwanted Guest // Shari Lapena
Overall, I loved this book but wasn’t a huge fan of the ending — I felt like it could have been stronger. The story follows a group of visitors at a secluded inn and one by one, guests keep wind up being murdered — it’s a bit like this movie if you’ve seen that before. This particular one really reminded me a lot of Mary Higgins Clark’s writing style so I’d still recommend the book especially if you’re a fan of her!

Brain Lock // Jeffrey Schwartz
I picked up this book because I’ve developed some quirky habits while being pregnant and I heard that it’s a helpful one! I ended up loving this book (I’m a sucker for anything about psychology) because not only was it helpful, but it also was extremely interesting! My favorite part was when the author would share case studies and examples of patients with OCD — some of them were crazy, but after reading this book I could really understand why their brains got hung up on certain thoughts or actions. For example, one woman had OCD surrounding whether or not she turned off her coffee maker each morning so she started unplugged the whole Mr. Coffee unit and bringing it in her bag with her to work! I will also say that reading this book made me realize that the quirks I’ve developed during pregnancy are so, so minor compared to what other people are struggling with! I can elaborate more on my OCD / quirky habits I’ve picked up if anyone is interested — just let me know!

The Perfect Mother // Aimee Molloy
I was so excited when this book became available at the library and had really high hopes for it but in my opinion, it was a less-than-stellar version of this book (that I LOVED). The story covers a young single mom whose baby goes missing while she is out one night and many secrets become unveiled as the story pans out to find out who really took him.

The House Swap // Rebecca Fleet
I wanted to love this book but I just did not — the story covers a couple that house swaps with another women who seems to know intricate details about the wife’s life. The story covers an affair and I’m typically not a fan of books with those as plot lines because I always feel so bad for the other person. Wouldn’t recommend this one.

Kind is the New Classy // Candace Cameron Bure
As always, I love CCB’s books and this one did not disappoint! I love her view on life and this one was such a great reminder about having your heart in a good place and living kindly towards other. Would highly recommend, especially if you’re a fan of her!

The Psychobiotic Revolution // Scott C. Anderson
Another psychology-heavy book for the month and this one was really interesting as well. The book covers the connection between our mind and gut and how that affects us not only physically but also mentally. I definitely need to do a whole post devoted to this topic because it’s something that is very near and dear to my heart after experiencing some crazy health issues in my early-to-mid 20s.


August 2018 Books

Another month, another stack of books! Just a reminder, you may view all of my past book reviews by clicking here.

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The Party // Robyn Harding
This book was such a quick and easy read but the story was pretty good! It follows an account of an accident that occurs during a 16 year old's sweet 16 party and keeps you guessing as to what really happened that night. There's a twist at the end that I didn't see coming and it made me appreciate the story even more.

Cure for the Common Life // Max Lucado
This book was just okay -- definitely not my favorite and I didn't really find it applicable. 

The Turquoise Table // Kristin Schell
I had really high hopes for this book, thinking that it would be like this one that I loved. However, it just didn't do it for me! Overall, it was just a little too cheesy! 

Love Your Life, Not Theirs // Rachel Cruze
I picked up this book not realizing who Rachel Cruze is -- there were some good takeaways, but I felt that a lot of what she talked about was common sense.

Let Me Lie // Clare Mackintosh
I felt like this book was a little hard to get into -- I'd have to say that I enjoyed her other books better! 

Body Love // Kelly Leveque
I was really excited for this book but overall felt that it didn't really fit my lifestyle. Kelly is a nutritionist that talks about healthy eating, but her plan is based around three meals instead of many smaller meals. Great concepts, just not for the way I typically eat.

The Light Within Me // Ainsley Earhardt
I LOVED this book! I had never heard of Ainsley before picking up this book and I fell in love with who she is as a person and loved reading about her story to where she is now. Would highly recommend this inspiring book! 

If You Only Knew // Jamie Ivey
This one was just alright -- I've listened to a few of Jamie's podcasts, but her book wasn't my favorite.

What's one book you've read recently?
Any great fall book recommendations?