Friday, August 25, 2017

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of LessEssentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Powerful and simple - great ideas for how to focus on what is most important. Many of the ideas McKeown discusses are similar to those that I have been working on since grad school, but the reminder is well timed. This is an easy book to apply to all aspects of life, though McKeown is more focused on the work place.

Happy reading and happy essential living--

New personal goals: "Don't major in the minor things." "Less but better."

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


EmmaEmma by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading Austen is not for everyone. In fact, at the risk of BYU coming back and taking away my BA in English, this is the first time I've finished "Emma". I've tried a dozen times before, and it just never clicked. The key for me with Austen is to get past the extra words to the core of her stories and the core of her characters. They're so cleverly constructed, and in the rare experience of having watched multiple film adaptations before reading the book, I still found so much that I have never considered about the infamous Miss Woodhouse. I loved getting lost in Highbury and falling in love with Mr. Knightley again.

Happy reading~

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

One True Loves...Again

One True LovesOne True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This summer I've given myself permission to reread books that I've loved and read before. I know that making that choice means I forego another book, but I love this story so much that I'm so happy to have spent more time hanging out with Emma Blair. This is still a favorite of mine. Can't help it. Great last book of summer.

Happy reading--

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Exit West

Exit WestExit West by Mohsin Hamid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Exit West is a completely fascinating read - one that will linger in my mind and feel so relevant as I read sad stories about immigration and countries that seem far away falling apart in bloody civil wars. What Hamid does though is help those far away places and the people who call those places home feel as though they could be you. What a gift--

So why 3 stars (I'd probably do 3.5 if Goodreads allowed half stars) then? I wanted more. Hamid uses language sparingly and reminded me almost of Hemingway in his directness. All through the book, I craved the more lush descriptions of writers like Khaled Hosseini or Tim O'Brien when setting up the conflicts or the characters. And while I was totally willing to suspend reality and travel through the doors, the character development left me a little unfulfilled.

That is not to say that I wouldn't recommend this book. Its conflicts mirror today's society in frightening accuracy and challenge assumptions that all of us make. This book explores what it means to be human, and I always like to be reminded of that.

Happy reading-

ps. Unique reading choice because it was entirely informed by Anne Bogel's "What Should I Read Next" podcast and critics praise. Not my usual way to choose books....

Anne of Windy Poplars

Anne of Windy Poplars (Anne of Green Gables, #4)Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anyone who knows me knows that Anne is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters and the idea of creating a story built around letters is so fun...but this Anne book just was missing some of the wonder that the others hold for me. I think Gilbert should have gotten to include letters back as he is toiling away in medical school. It would have been fun too to have Marilla write Anne about the twins and goings-on at home. It was too one-sided and some of the side characters were borderline ridiculous.

I still love Anne, and I'm so glad to have finally found my way to this book, but overall not my favorite of the bunch.

Happy reading~