Category: Books

Must read books

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about what I’ve been reading. In January of 2014 I set a goal that I would read 15 books. I love to read but I noticed, at the beginning of last year, that I wasn’t doing it enough. I was letting busyness (and watching TV) get in the way. Setting a goal was a way for me to be more proactive and intentional about making time for reading. I’m happy to say that I exceeded my goal and actually read 18 books in 2014. This year, I “upped” my goal to 20 books. I’m reading Wuthering Heights right now (yuck, so far) and have a lot of other books on my “to-read” list.

Throughout 2014, I posted a few times about the books I was reading. You can read about my thoughts on the books I read earlier in 2014 here. I kind of fell off the band wagon when it came to posting about the books I read, so I’m catching up now. If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for recommendations on good books to read. Here are my thoughts on some of the books I read later in the year. If you read a book that really spoke to you or have any recommendations for me, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

eleanor and park

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Mindless Eating book Review

Mindless Eating

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I’ve totally fallen behind on my resolution to read 15 books this year but I’m climbing back on the bandwagon. I love to read and I really need to make more time for it! After starting it in March, I recently (read: finally) finished the book, Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. Brian Wansink is a Food Psychologist and his book explores the reasons behind certain food choices we make and why we often overeat. Some of his findings are truly fascinating and he includes tips and tricks for how to “mindlessly” lose weight instead of mindlessly gaining weight. Simple steps, like changing the clear, see-through candy jar on your desk at work to a colored, opaque jar can actually save you from eating a number of calories throughout the week. I liked this book because it focuses on small lifestyle changes as opposed to drastic diets, which, the author points out, almost always fail. The author points out many invisible factors that influence our food/meal choices and it has certainly helped to make me more aware of why I’m choosing to eat something. (more…)

February Bookshelf

I’m a little late in posting about the books I read for February but I just got back from an 8 day cruise vacation! My first cruise ever! It was completely wonderful and I’ll be posting about it soon so stay tuned but that is the reason for my absence on the blog as of late.

Anyway, I am keeping up with my reading resolution for this year and the books I chose to read in February were good ones! I finished The Kingmaker’s Daughter, which I started in January and reviewed last month. I also started and finished D is for Deadbeat and The Kitchen House. I am currently reading Mindless Eating, which is not really a diet book as much as it is an “awareness” book. It’s been enlightening so far. I’ll review that one at the end of this month but here are my reviews for February:

d is for deadbeat

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My books for January

dovekeepers

One of my resolutions for 2014 is to read more books. I have always loved reading but recently, especially last year, found myself reading less and less. A typical weekday consisted of coming home from work, doing some errands around the house, maybe working on my blog or doing some freelance work, cooking dinner and then plopping myself in front of the TV and eventually falling asleep. Towards the end of last year a few coworkers and I were discussing different books we had read and I realized how much I actually missed reading! The last book I read in 2013 was The Happiness Project and I started it in July and didn’t finish it until December! The problem wasn’t that it was a bad book. I actually really enjoyed it and you can read my review here. The problem was I wasn’t making time for reading. Watching TV is a mindless activity that helps me unwind after working a full time job, juggling social events and trying to keep up with errands and housework and I don’t intend to give that up. But reading actually can be very relaxing too. Plus, it’s better for your brain than watching TV for obvious reasons. (more…)

The Happiness Project

happiness

I recently finished the book “The Happiness Project”, by Gretchen Rubin. It took me a long time to finish it but I finally did. It was an interesting book and so the content really had nothing to do with the time it took me to finish it. I love to read but lately I just find that for some reason I always wind up on the couch watching TV during my down time instead of picking up a good book. It’s a habit I want to change. Reading makes me happy and it’s something I want to make time for which is one of the points in her book (make time for fun) so it’s fitting to mention here.

Gretchen Rubin makes many good observations about happiness and her book is jam packed with great advice on how to be happier. She points out that trying to improve your own happiness isn’t necessarily a selfish goal. It turns out happier people are more likely to help others and less focused on their own problems. Also, helping others is a sure way to make yourself feel happier. This book is full of interesting aspects I never took into consideration about happiness and although Rubin makes many good points about happiness and gives a lot of great advice throughout the book, my two major takeaways from the book were one of her “personal happiness commandments” to “Be Gretchen” (or in my case “Be Stephanie”) and the other was one of her resolutions to cultivate gratitude. (more…)

The Hunger Games Trilogy: My Review

hunger games

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Some stories you read for entertainment or information. Some stories you read and forget. And then there are the stories, that are few and far between, that have the ability to change your life and stay with you forever. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins is one of those rare stories that you read and you know you won’t ever forget.  From the moment you turn the first page, you are caught, and she doesn’t let you go even after you’ve finished the last book in the series, The Mockingjay. (more…)

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