BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

So, I've become quite the reader lately. It's interesting to come back to his part of me because as a child, I literally would never stop reading. I was obsessed as a little kid until I got so involved with sports that there just wasn't enough time, and I played sports traveling year round and then three sport athlete in high school plus as you can expect, I obsessed over grades (and boys cough cough) so reading has taken the back burner for a really long time. I forgot just how much joy it gives me, and there is not many things that give the satisfaction like reading a good book. I'm going to take you through the books that I've read, and the ones that I plan to read, and I'm going to rank them. This is going to be an arbitrary ranking system based on just about nothing, and be warned that I almost always like every book that I pick up so my recommendations might be higher than others. With TV shows, podcasts, and movies I'm the same way-if I watch it, I normally think it's great! haha! WITHOUT FURTHER ADU! 

MERE CHRISTIANITY

There's a lot of hype behind this novel by C.S. Lewis, and I think that it most definitely delivered. It's about his conversion to Christianity and all the thought process that went behind that. I will say that when I got the book, I was expecting the full reasons for her conversion, but I also would say that you have to be a Christian already to appreciate this novel because it seems that he answers the questions of Christianity with bible verses and well, if you were someone that didn't believe the bible, that wouldn't add up. However, it also felt really cool to see into the mind of C.S. Lewis after growing up with Chronicles of Narnia. 

RATING: 7 (eek that feels so mean and low lol) 

BIG MAGIC

This book is absolutely fantastic. I just loved it. It talks about the creative spirits within us all and how none of us truly hash that out most of the time due to the subconscious fears that we have, and how to move past these and just do what makes you happy even if it doesn't make a dime because we always relate things back to money and that's not what this life should be about. I truly didn't expect to love this book this much but I loved it. It made me want to continue to pursue photography which I've been doing just for the pure love of the art and no other reason. 

RATING: 10

THE CHINA STUDY

Oh gosh yall, I loved this book specifically because of the way that it was written. It looks as if it's going to be a textbook. I read it while in Miami and my best friend was like "WTF are you reading?" haha! But it was written so well to where I legit could not put it down. Obviously, I'm super interested in nutrition, but wow. It's about the plant based diet and his experience in the food industry of propaganda and lobbying. I'm adult enough to know that while I'm in agreeance with The China Study, there is an entirely different group of professionals that are against this book and many articles saying that it's skewed cherry-picked data. We all have the right to our professional, critically thought out opinion, and mine aligned with this book so I think I probably double loved it for that reason. 

RATING: 10 (I told yall, I give high ratings lol) 

COMMONWEALTH

This is a super popular book right now, and it is definitely a great one. It's about a blended family situation and I think that the only way to put it is that this book just feels like real life and so it's so easy to relate to. I will say that it's hard to get into just because there's nothing that really pulls you in but by the end, you can't stop reading and it's hard to get a popular book these days so BRAVO to the writer for this one.

RATING: 8 (the beginning was just really hard to get into for both me and brandy) 

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? 

I did an entire blog post on this. I won't belabor the point. This book is so good. If you're an athlete or really anyone that likes to work hard for your goals, READ DIS BOOK.

RATING: 10

THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F***

OBVIOUSLY, don't listen to this audiobook with kids in the room and if the f bomb offends you then you've been forewarned but I think you could gather that from the title. I honestly really loved this book. I reference is quite literally almost daily now with Tanner and felt it had a really big impact on the way that I live my life if I'm being honest. I know that I'm in the years where I'm coming into my "own" and accepting who I am and this book just allows you to rest in that. Like, it's okay to not care about some things and care about others and not do things you don't want to do. That doesn't make you a butt hole. You just are allowed to be you. I loved it. 

RATING: 10

ALL FEMALE COMEDIAN BOOKS

  • Yes, Please - Amy Poehler

This was my least favorite of the three. Amy talks a lot about how much she didn't want to write this book and how hard it was so I just feel it was forced and coming up with stories that weren't that interesting to fill a book. She is a lovely lady though and it made me like her more throughout the book but just wasn't some great book haha! 

  • Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick 

Anna just has such an inspirational story of how hard she worked and how poor she stayed to be able to chase the dream of becoming an actress and how she still feels like a nobody with all the stars that she's been able to meet. She's really cute and I loved hearing her story.

  • The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo 

This is the best of the three in my opinion. Amy Schumer also has had a lot of awful stuff happen to her (family affair, verbal abuse, physical abuse, fat shaming, etc etc) so I think that it really allows you to feel emotion with her as she tells her story. She also REALLY enjoys sex and talks about that a lot so if it's on audiobook, just be warned with kiddos! ;) 

I will say that I know that all of them are comedians but sometimes I felt book jokes were forced just because they felt they "had to be funny" like a line about kids followed up with "I can't even keep a plant alive" ... I mean "hehe haha" but sometimes the jokes just weren't that funny and cliche. HAAA! I'm such a hater. 

MAGNOLIA STORY

Oh Joanna and Chip, how you make everyone fall in love with you and your life and your love story. They are just so great and reading their story from start to finish makes me love them even more for how hard they have worked to get where they are. I think another wonderful part about them is that they don't pretend to have it all together. They talk about their flaws and how it makes them beautiful and complement one another. They are like #relationshipgoals as it gets! 

RATING: 10

INTO THIN AIR

This is about the most deadly summit to Everest where many died and many were injured. I know what you're thinking... that must be a gripping novel of pursuit, and honestly...not really. I felt like it was a story that could have been told in like 10 pages, but he wanted to write a book so the beginning is hard for me to get through where he talks just a lot about climbing and all of the different attempts of other people to summit in the past. I just think I don't care enough about climbing because Tanner loved this book, but I have to admit that it was not my favorite and I was glad when I was finished. Regardless, it was such a horrible experience for all of them and something that really shook up the climbing world to which I'm sure all of them are still affected today. 

RATING: 7

HANDMAKER'S TALE

Yall. Yall. Woah. This is a "futurist" novel about the government taking over the US and it becomes a totalitarian nation and the "handmakers" are those that can bear children for the women in power that cannot, and essentially they brainwash/force/rape them into having the leaders babies. They use scripture to justify the things that they do, and honestly I was a bit disgusted. It was "good" but also very weird. I mean I guess it's one of those 1984, "could this really happen?" things and that's absolutely terrifying to think about, so I'm going to just not. People murdered, abused, forced away from families and all by the government-WEIRD.

RATING: 9 (uhh it was still so good even in it's weirdness)

GRACE NOT PERFECTION-Emily Ley

This book is just so pretty and cute and has great life advice. It's not anything that you couldn't read in like a blog post, but I adore Emily so I loved every page. She's such a pure hearted woman and hearing her story of her start to where she is now was such an intriguing story and worth the buy for sure. I love supporting women like her anyway so I was happy to purchase this pretty book. 

RATING: 9 

INTUITIVE EATING

This is a book that I believe every women should read at least once in her life. It really has some revolutionary things to say about food, and I think that literally everyone could benefit from it whether fit or not or whether you are a healthy minded fit individual that has no interest in intuitive eating-you should STILL read it. It's a great great book. 

RATING: 10

THE ATONEMENT CHILD (Francine Rivers) 

This is the same author of one of my favorite books "Redeeming Love" and she definitely has a way with writing that will keep you captivated from beginning to end, however I will say it was very very predictable. That didn't stop me from wanting to read the entire thing, but I just pretty much knew how things were going to end up from the very beginning, even just based on the title. From a literary sense, is that a bad thing though? I don't think we need a shock factor in every book for it to be good. It was still great! 

RATING: 9 

Okay, I'm going to do one more explanation and then just tell you the other ones that I've read because this is getting long. 

THE NEW JIM CROW

As stated in the beginning of this novel, it's not for everyone. It's not for someone who is going to come at it with a suspicious conspiracy theorist eye, but rather a heart. I really feel it's so important to read these types of books. It really shakes up my white privilege and the things that I have been so fortunate to be given just by the color of my skin. It's EXTREMELY well written by a very educated author and I can't say enough good. If you are into racial justice, then you'll really like this book and appreciate it's efforts as well. 

RATING: 10

Okay, the other books that I've read with ratings are: 

  • The Passenger (Lisa Lutz) - 8
  • A Long Way Home (Movie: Lion)- 10 SO GOOD SO MANY TEARS
  • Two by Two (Nicholas Sparks) - 6 (maybe I'm too old for his novels lol-super cheesy)
  • Blue Like Jazz - 8 similar to Mere Christianity but better IMO! 
  • While the City Slept - 8 ! great book on mental health 
  • Brain on Fire - 10 another mental health book SO INTERESTING!!! 
  • The Good Girl (Mary Kubica)- 10 thrilling! 
  • Harry Potter #5 (working my way through)-10 out of 10 because it's HP AND #OBSESSION
  • A Life without Limits (Chrissie Wellington)-10 ! ironman athlete's story and SO inspiring 
  • How Not to Die (Michael Gregor)-9 another vegan one and such great info! 
  • Finding Ultra - 9! Rich Roll's book on plant based eating and .... finding ultra ;) 

I TOLD YALL I'VE BEEN READING!!! LOL! That's 27 books. I'm so proud! 

Documentaries: To the bone (eating disorder film-rating:8), What the Health (blog post coming soon-rating:7)

Books I have on my list to read next (I'm also competitive so I'm like #LETSDOTHIS to see how fast I can get through them all hahaha): 

  • Harry Potter #6
  • Same Kind of Different As Me
  • The Wonder
  • Girl Boss
  • Being Mortal
  • A Man Named Ove
  • Irresistible Revolution 
  • Small Great Things
  • Devoted: The story of a father's love for his son
  • Rich People Problems
  • The Kind Mama
  • Sure as the Dawn 
  • Peculiar Children
  • Echo in the darkness
  • Voice in the wind
  • Meaning of Marriage
  • Natural born heros
  • Reconstructing Amelia
  • The light between oceans
  • Everything everything
  • Nowhere Near First
  • How do you kill 11 million people
  • Good as gone
  • Chasing Grace
  • Surfacing
  • You and me Forever
  • Beautiful Ruins
  • Four Agreements
  • The gift of imperfection
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • Into the water
  • Lean in 
  • Jenny
  • Grit
  • Outliers
  • The Nightinggale
  • I know why the Caged Bird Sings
  • The Stranger Beside Me
  • The Woman in cabin 10 
  • The couple next door
  • What she knew
  • The vanishing year
  • Unravel
  • Necessary Lies
  • Behind Closed Doors
  • Into the Woods
  • Fearless
  • Supernatural Birth
  • Big little liar
  • The Secrets of my Life
  • Talking as Fast as I can 
  • I Can't Make This Up
  • The little book of Hygge
  • Nothing to Prove
  • Black Edge
  • Anna Karenina

 

 

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