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If you checked out my post about goal setting for the year, you know that one of my main aims was to take care of myself, and for me, part of that included finding a way to read more. In case you didn't know, finding spare minutes to read with a toddler running around is not exactly easy, BUT I carved out the space and read FOUR WHOLE BOOKS last month. That's literally more than I read in the whole last year!
Miles likes for me to stay in the room as he settles down in his crib for a nap, so I decided to use that time to quietly sit in a chair by the window and peruse the pages. I thought it'd be fun to do a little book review with my own little 4-star scale, so here are my thoughts...
* * * * This book has been recommended to me so many times, and to be honest, I've put off reading it for two years. I was pretty against reading any parenting books while I was pregnant and during Miles's first year for fear of developing pre-conceived notions of the way things were gonna be (and because what new parent has time for that?!), but this book really is worth the time. It reads less like a "this is how you should raise your kids or else" and more like a memoir of an American raising children in France. Plus, it really does provide some good insight into parenting and reveal how crazy the American way can be at times. I've already implemented the French idea of feeding Miles in courses and not letting him snack all the live long day, and it has been life changing!
* * * I had actually started this a few months ago, but in the midst of travel and toddlerhood, I didn't make it past the first section. I've followed Emily Ley for years (since attending Making Things Happen back in 2012), and it was so fun to see her story in the pages of this GORGEOUS book. Very lighthearted yet inspiring without being overly self-helpy. <--- That's totally a word. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of parenting, work, or the need to live a Pinterest perfect life, this one will lift you up and give you some simple tools to get back to what matters. A beautiful, meaningful gift item for a mama, friend, or teacher.
* * My dad had sent this over with my mom when she visited, and since I'm a fan of Fixer Upper, I was looking forward to reading it. At first, I didn't love the way the book was written with the back and forth dialogue between Chip and Jo, but after awhile, I got used to it. This one is a quick and easy read, but it didn't change my life or anything and was only mildly entertaining (thus the two stars). That said, it is inspiring to see their whole story from humble beginnings to a TV show.
* * * * This was by far my favorite book that I read last month. Another of my goals for this year is to be more present with my family. I find it so easy to get sucked in to my iPhone or the computer, and avoiding them some days can seem like breaking an addiction. I've been trying to break out of the habit of spending time on #allthethings when he's around, and this book was just the kick in the seat I needed. The author's own experience reiterates what we miss out on when we go through life distracted and "busy" and drives home the whole "live in the now" mantra. A great read for any parent in this "go go go" world we're living in now.
So there you have it... more to come at the end of this month as I'm already halfway through book two for February!
What are you reading right now? I'd love to hear your recommendations!