2018 Reading List: Factfulness by Hans Rosling

How much do you know about the world we live in?

No, really. How much do you know? Do you know how many girls worldwide go to school? Do you know many households in other countries have electricity? Do you know the proportion of people living in poverty worldwide?

These topics are not typically things that are on our radar. The answers aren’t found on the five o’clock news, or in your Instagram feed. There is no headline that reads “Five families in Somalia confirm indoor plumbing is working.” There’s no reason to bring up the state of endangered species at your next happy hour. But we all have estimated answers to these questions anyway. And it is our estimated worldview that shapes our opinions about so many other things.

Our estimated answers to these questions are wrong. And our view of the world we live in is wrong.  Continue reading

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Reading List 2018: What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

You hear it over and over again. Life lessons. Real truths. Things I’ve learned now that I’m x age. Things you should learn when you’re x age. The only things that matter in life.

In Oprah Winfrey’s book, What I Know for Sure, she tells us everything she knows. For sure. These are her life lessons. The things that it took her years to really figure out. The lessons she learned the hard way.  Continue reading

2018 Reading List: The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson

Welcome to the Garden, a wondrous, magical place where it’s always warm, the sun is shining, the waterfall lulls you to sleep, the grass is lush, you have friends and books and games, you have healthy food to eat, and all the time in the world to do as you please. But this, my friends, is not the garden of Eden. This is your nightmare.  Continue reading

2018 Reading List: The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer

I was about to head out on a flight to Kansas City, Missouri for our annual company meeting and I needed to quickly grab a book to read. That’s usually how it goes, right? So I had The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer on my shelf and threw it in my bag. After the first five minutes of reading the first chapter, I thought I’d made a big mistake.  Continue reading

2018 Reading List: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Dear Anna Kendrick, let’s be best friends. I like scrappy people. According to your book, Scrappy Little Nobody, you come from humble beginnings. You weren’t the coolest kid in school or the most popular. You were picked on, you had insecurities, and you had trouble making friends. You had a dream and your parents sacrificed a lot to help you make it happen. I like those kinds of people. People who don’t give up, who do what they can with what they have, and go after what they want. I think we’d be great friends.  Continue reading

2018 Reading List: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Against my better judgement, I downloaded Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin on my Nook. It’s been on my list to read for awhile, but I should have known better. I read Gretchen’s last book, The Happiness Project, and I determined that I just don’t like her. I should not have been surprised when I found I wasn’t a fan of this book either.

I want so badly to like Gretchen Rubin’s books. I even tried listening to her podcast! But I made it about 15 minutes into the frivolous banter with her sister and I called it quits.  Continue reading

2018 Reading List: Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker

I bought Early Retirement Extreme, by Jacob Lund Fisker, for my husband for Christmas, since he’d recently shown an interest in personal finance and making sure that the both of us are well on our way to a comfortable retirement. Yes, we’re 28 years old, but it’s never too early to start saving and planning.

He read the book first and really enjoyed it. He told me that it was like “those blogs you like” and said I should read it next.

Let me tell you, it’s not similar to the blogs I like. But it is useful, I guess.  Continue reading

2018 Reading List: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Why would you want to live in a town where women keep (allegedly) drowning themselves?

That’s the first thought I had as the story behind Into the Water by Paula Hawkins unfolded.

This book is a murder mystery by the same author of The Girl on the Train. A woman is found dead in what is known as the “Drowning Pool” – a section of river surrounded by cliffs where the water is calmer. There is a history behind the Drowning Pool. Women have been committing suicide here by throwing themselves off the cliff (hence the name) for years.

But wait – were they all suicides? Is Nel’s death now a suicide or something more sinister? Nel wouldn’t kill herself, right?  Continue reading

2018 Reading List: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I finished reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in February and I couldn’t bring myself to write a review. First of all, I was waiting until I actually tried implementing some of her tips. Second of all, I couldn’t figure out if my review would be good or bad.

This book (apparently) became a word-wide phenomenon soon after it was published. It’s been on my list to read for awhile, simply because I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Mostly I’d heard about it on the minimalism blogs that I follow, so I knew that whatever she said, it would be along the lines of purging your belongings.

Though the book elaborates quite a bit about clutter, how to get rid of it, and how to organize it, Marie Kondo has a couple points to her philosophy that stood out to me in particular. Continue reading

2018 Reading List: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is the second book I’ve read by Jenny Lawson, but it was actually the first book she published. I honestly can’t decide which one I liked more.

This book felt more like a memoir. It followed a progression of Jenny’s life, from where she was born, to childhood, to high school, to dating her now-husband, to the wedding, to new homes and her career.

I felt like I was getting to know her better in this book. She introduced herself, she introduced her crazy life in a series of hilarious, rambling stories. She makes you fall in love with a lifestyle that you literally can’t imagine.  Continue reading