2018 Reading List: Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead

I feel strongly that women are meant to have a bigger role in our communities, education systems, government, and businesses. I love reading books about strong women. I love hearing about powerful women who create change. I know that the world will be better off when women no longer see and hear the internal and external arguments about whether and how they can succeed.

I believe all of this 100% and yet, I am still yearning to figure out how to create an impact of my own. I still have a strong desire to learn what it is that holds women back, and more importantly, how to communicate that to others.  Continue reading

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2018 Reading List: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware, was much more of typical murder mystery than my last murder mystery. This book was very much a “there’s a murder, I saw it, we have to find out who did it, oh it’s not who we think” type of mystery.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot. Murder mysteries hook me, keep me reading, and fly by quickly. This was no exception.  Continue reading

2018 Reading List: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

I wonder if the author’s name should have been a warning.

I am still haunted by this book. I signed up for a self-defense class because of this book. Pretty Girls, by Karin Slaughter, contained every detail of my biggest fears and my worst nightmares. I read those gruesome details and then laid awake all night, afraid to fall asleep and dream those nightmares.

Not to scare you off or anything.  Continue reading

2018 Reading List: My Story by Elizabeth Smart

Right before I visited Salt Lake City, Utah, I read Elizabeth Smart’s memoir, My Story. I swear, I had no idea that Elizabeth Smart was from SLC. I know that the story of her abduction was big news at the time, but I was only 12 years old. I heard her name and vaguely knew the circumstances from the 5 o’clock news clips, but I wasn’t really familiar with the details.

That’s why I picked up her memoir.  Continue reading

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

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: 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: 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

2017 Reading List: Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

This will be my final book in 2017. I read Two by Two, by Nicholas Sparks, because I was looking for something lighter, something less true and more of a story. A novel, not nonfiction, to end my 2017 Reading List.

I am not generally a Nicholas Sparks fanatic. I love The Notebook and Dear John. The movies they’ve made from his books are always pretty good- romantic, sad, and touching. But I’m not the type of person who reads every single Sparks book. I’m not always the sappy romantic type of reader.

Sometimes I am though. But I must admit, part of what made me pick up this book was that the main character works in advertising.  Continue reading