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: 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: 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

2018 Reading List: Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Fooled by Randomness, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is a book that I’ve had on my to-read list for so long that I completely forget how I heard about it or why I wanted to read it in the first place.

I was getting ready for a business trip to Corpus Christi, Texas, and sometimes when I travel for work, I am motivated to read more nonfiction – self-help books, memoirs, etc. So I downloaded this one to my Nook and dug in during my flights.

I’m not sure why I was expecting an easier read than this. The book was very heavy on probability and statistics, which were not my strong suit in high school. I scraped by in AP Statistics my senior year because I’d wanted the weighted GPA. I actually understood virtually nothing.

So this book was a difficult read, but I found it compelling in an “interesting-perspective-but-I-don’t-agree” kind of way.  Continue reading

2017 Reading List: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on love and life from Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed has been on my list to read for a while now. I read Strayed’s book, Wild, a few years ago and fell in love with her. Cheryl Strayed’s tenacity and grit in the face of all her challenges and loss are qualities to be admired.

Before reading Tiny Beautiful Things, I had never read or heard of Dear Sugar. So without any background, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But what I found was more than just an advice column. It was a window into Cheryl Strayed’s heart. The columns and stories she tells in this collection go deeper than right and wrong, this not that, yes and no.  Continue reading

2017 Reading List: Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrating People Who Make A Difference

There is no better book to read during the holiday season than one filled with stories of kindness, compassion and generosity. I read Chicken Soup for the Soul® Celebrating People Who Make A Difference at this time of year when it’s all too easy to lose sight of the true meaning of the holidays. This was the perfect book to bring me back to center, to focus on what’s really important and to remember that there is so much good in the world, even when the terrible news and headlines can feel overwhelming.  Continue reading