In an effort to better record what I'm reading, I'm doing a monthly round-up here with some of my thoughts on the books I've read. These aren't book reviews as much as a few thoughts on how the book inspired me.
Spark Joy by Marie Kondo ~ I wasn't sure this book would be much different than her first book, but I found so much inspiration in this book. I think the biggest take-away from this book is that creating beautiful spaces will add joy to my home. Not so much in the decorating sense, but in the small things like inside drawers and closets. I know I have closets and cupboards that make me shiver in disgust and anxiety when I open them, and I will work on making them pleasant and joyful. I've already done this with a few areas and it really does make a difference.
After You by Jojo Moyes ~ This is the sequel to Me Before You which I read and wrote about last month. I enjoyed this book, but found the story to be a little far fetched. It wasn't as good as the first book, but sequels rarely are (in my opinion).
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes ~ This is my fourth book by Jojo Moyes this year, and I think I need a break from this author. Or maybe I need a break from chic lit. I did enjoy this book, but it was my least favorite of the four I've read by Jojo Moyes. In this book I found that the majority of the characters were lacking in moral character and therefore very unlikable.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ~ This is a big book and I'm glad I chose to take it with me on our road trip. I was able to devote large chunks of time to getting through this beautiful story. I found the pacing of this book, and the switching between characters and story lines to be delightful. I fully understand why this book is so highly praised. (I heard about this book on Anne Bogel's podcast - What Should I read Next)
Sideways on a Scooter by Miranda Kennedy ~ I was scanning the shelves in my library while waiting for my daughter to make a selection and found this book. I find it hard to pass up a good memoir and this one looked interesting so I grabbed it (despite the fact I had 5 other books waiting to be read at home). This book provides a fascinating look into the life and culture of India. An expat living in India for five years, Miranda recounts the difficulties of understanding and promoting the customs of the caste system.
Apartment Therapy by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan ~ This book is set up as a way to cleanse your home in 8 weeks, with areas and assignments to focus on each week. I did not read the book in the way it was intended, but did come away with a few ideas and tips. One is the idea of the "out box". When decluttering a room, you do not necessarily need to decide what to do with items you no longer want in that room or space. You simply remove them and put them in the out box which you will deal with later. I really like that this takes the pressure off of making a hard decision right away. Often I resist decluttering because I don't want to make final decisions about my stuff. Once the item has been removed and placed out of sight for a while, I can more easily decide the fate of those items. The other idea was the encouragement to beautify my space. I have had quite a few meaningful things in storage and I want to bring them out where I can enjoy them regularly. Making my home beautiful matters to me, and this book was a big inspiration to me.
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne ~ This one was a re-read for me. This book talks about using the power of less when it comes to raising kids. According to the author, there are four levels of simplification in this process: environment (decluttering), rhythm, schedules and filtering the adult world. I found this book to be extremely encouraging both times I've read it. There are plenty of practical tips for simplifying life and stories and examples taken from real situations. Personally I've been discouraged that my kids tend to read the same books over and over and over, and rarely pick up something new. Kim John Payne suggests that kids need time to read deeply and repeatedly to truly foster a love for reading - not an endless stream of new books like I've been pushing. The other big takeaway for me this time was his encouragement to talk less and listen more. I can make observations without judgement or praise, respond without words and bear witness by noticing quietly.
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher ~ This was our big read aloud for the month. I really enjoyed the way the author wrote this book, and it was a very sweet story.
I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick Lit