Books aren’t just about the knowledge contained within the pages; they are also about what they teach us about ourselves. We learn what we want in life and how we feel about circumstances based on the imaginary worlds we read about. Who didn’t want a dragon (even though we knew it wasn’t real) after reading Harry Potter? That book taught us all that we wanted to believe in magic because, with magic, anything is possible. Books make us dream and think outside of the normal standards we live in.
That’s why I’m not limiting the types of books that I’ll read this year. Even books we think will be about escaping the ‘real’ world for a while have things to teach us. So on January 1st, 2021, I started reading.
My first book of the year was a book I actually got a couple of years ago but could never sit down and read. I had previously made it to page 3 or 4 in the book and never went back. So I figured it was a good place to start. The book I started with was by Anna Kendrick – Scrappy Little Nobody
This book surprised me. I honestly don’t know a lot about her as an actress, so reading about how long she has been acting and what it was like for her to struggle to chase her dreams at such a young age was very eye-opening. She speaks openly about how much she still, to this day, feels like an outsider (something I think everyone can relate to at some point in their lives). She talks about how even while she was making big blockbuster movies, she still wasn’t making money (because contracts are negotiated before they know the movie will be making millions). She talks very openly in the memoir about how once she did have money, nothing changed. Her life wasn’t magically better. Money didn’t fix or solve anything because she still went home to the same apartment, with the same clothing and had the same anxiety she had before. It was a good read and a very realistic view of what “fame” really is vs how most people see it. I think even if you’re not a fan of her acting, this book has some great childhood stories and life lessons for everyone.
I also grabbed a copy of the new Rupi Kaur book – Home Body
My cousin had said I needed to check out “Milk and Honey,” so when I saw this on the shelf, I thought, hey, let’s try it first. It’s a great read. The book is not very long, so you can choose to read it quickly or take in each page and take your time. As I was reading it, at points, I needed to take a minute, walk away and process the words because they walloped me. I think Rupi Kaur has a way with words that sinks into your soul. I will be getting Milk and Honey as well as anything else she has written that I can. I highly recommend this for everyone to pick up.
I also jumped on the Netflix Bridgerton train on December 25th like most of you. I watched the show on repeat about a dozen times before January 1st. So I purchased Julia Quinn’s books that the series is based on. I read the first one in the series this month. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn.
If you enjoyed the Netflix show, you will, of course, love the books but let me warn you, Netflix did take some liberties. There are some differences between the book vs the show. Some of those differences I actually wish had made it into the show, and others I’m glad did not. I will not get into specifics because I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I highly recommend the books. If you haven’t seen the show, you can read the books before watching or waiting until after. The book’s differences vs the show mean you don’t really have to watch the show first or read the book first. It doesn’t make a big difference.
I also read a short book that only took a day by Kendall Ryan – The Stud Next Door
I found Kendall Ryan’s books a little more than a year ago, and I love how she writes. Her books are small, so they can be read in a single day if you choose to read them that way, and of course, they always have happy endings. Who doesn’t love a happy ending (even if it’s complicated and messy)? Her characters are real-life people with real-life problems, and I think that is why I enjoy her books as much as I do. It’s not a typical ‘romance’ story, and her books feel real in a way that some romance books don’t.
The last book for this month that I have read so far is part of the book club. This month we are reading a book by Marie Forleo – Everything Is Figureoutable
At the time I am writing this post, I have not yet finished this book (live chat is January 30th, so that I will finish it before that), but so far, I’m enjoying the book. It’s a great book to remind us that none of us knows everything, and we have to learn by trying and failing and trying again. I also enjoy how she uses the book to get you to look realistically at all the beliefs you have that could be holding you back in life. So far, I would say absolutely worth the read.
I’m going to write one blog post a month (at the end of every month) to give an update on how the list of 40 books is coming along and what I’ve been reading.
As of this moment (I’m writing this on January 25th), I’ve read 5 books. Some of these I have purchased as E-Books, and some I have the hard copy of. This, of course, will not be the case every month as this month did have some holidays, which allowed me a little more free time than normal. Some months throughout the year, I may only get one book done, but my goal is to try to read 3-5 pages of a book every day for the whole year, which means some books may take more time.
As of today, 5 books down and 35 more to go for the year. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these and what you thought of them. If you have any book suggestions feel free to send them my way.
Happy Reading Loves <3