January 2012 // Books

Oooooooooooooooookay, so January got of to a slow start! My goal of reading 75 books this year means I need to average 6.25 books per month. This month, I read 4. Slow going around these parts.

(Don’t even ask about how many books I read off my own bookshelf. The answer is a resounding and sad: 0.)

Whether I have an aggressive reading goal or not, I can always tell whether or not my life is in balance by the amount I am reading. Right now, I’m not reading very much. It was a struggle to finish these 4 books and I NEVER felt like I had enough time to get lost in a book this month. All indications seem to say I am teetering on the brink of insanity.

Ahem, Noted.

Hopefully I can get back into the swing in February, but I can tell you it’s been slow going this month already. But I have SO MANY good library books right now I have to find a way to make that happen! Wish me luck.

Here’s what was on the nightstand last month:

The Underside of Joy by Sere Prince Halverson
We already talked pretty in depth about this one, so I am just going to leave it at that.  But it was enjoyable and there is still lots of discussion going on over at Blog Her weekly about this one if you are on the fence.

I mentioned in my review that it seemed very Jodi Piccoult-ish and for the sake of disclosure I feel like I should say I am NOT a fan. But this book seemed to have the good parts of the Piccoult novel, with out all the drawn out dramatics. Short, sad, touching.


The Pocket Stylist by Kendall Farr
This was a really quick and informative read about all things style related. It was a recommendation from Wardrobe Oxygen (and you know I love that site) and I agree with her that it is full of practical tips that regular women can use. And I’m talking actual direction that YOU can take into YOUR closet, not your fantasy closet that you will have when you are super stylish.

I’m thinking I will do a little cliffs notes review of some of the more enlightening tips in the future if you’re interested. I found it to be fun to read but also full of good thinking! Shapes, fabrics, tips from behind the scenes of styling photo shoots — I mean, I love that in a reference book. It’s at least worth a check out at the library! 🙂


This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
This is the best book I’ve read in a while. Darkly comic, real characters and writing that made me laugh out loud and feel envious of all at the same time. I think there are two main camps with Jonathan Tropper — those who think he is a knock off Nick Hornby and those who think he is the most brilliant writer EVER. I would say I fall somewhere in the middle — the guy has a way with words (analogies that are so on-point it is nuts!) and he is super hysterical, but there is a bit of that Hornby vibe that you have to acknowledge. If Nick Hornby is Radiohead, Jonathan Tropper is Coldplay. How much hipster pride you want to hold on to while reading this book is up to you. Worthwhile read though. Thanks for the recommendation Liz!

The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander The morning after my dad died I remember waking up and realizing that despite the absolute devastation I was feeling, the entire world had just kept on spinning. It was a really horrifying moment actually. If real life had a soundtrack, there probably would have been a lot of canned shrieking going on. That probably sounds ridiculous, but I was 19 so I still had that feeling that my life was the center of the universe.

Anyway, what the hell does this have to do with this book? Good question. Going through that type of grieving experience at that age really underscored for me early this idea that I could not control what happened in my life, I could only control my reaction to it. My thoughts and judgments were what limited me, it wasn’t external events. It’s one of the best lessons I have taken away from such a shitty experience. That’s a long sidebar to say that this book deals with a lot of those same types of potential little epiphanies about how your own thoughts can limit you creatively and professionally. While I thought this was an interesting book and would definitely recommend it, it sort of felt like retaking a class that I had already aced, if that makes any sense? But if you are in need of a little epiphany in your life, it’s worth checking out.

Any Earth Shattering Reads for you this month?

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4 Responses to January 2012 // Books

  1. PinkieBling says:

    Yay, I love these posts! I would love to see Pocket Stylist posts in the future, too.

  2. PinkieBling says:

    Oh, and I should have told you how much I relate to the second to last paragraph, too. I think I’ve told you before that I lost my dad at 16. I could not believe the world had the audacity to go on as before.

  3. Tamara says:

    I always love your style posts, so yes! do that cliff’s notes version for us!

    Also, my mom’s death had that same feeling, everyone else was just merrily chugging along avoiding their mother’s e-mails, not calling their moms on Sundays, and I was never going to be able to do any of those things ever again. It was so scary and isolating. Thankfully friends who had also lost their moms came forward and let me know that even though the world was still spinning it was going to be awful for me for a while. (And this all happened last year at the age of 35, so my sense isn’t that it was how old you were, but how it feels to lose a parent.)

  4. Janssen says:

    I just read the Happiness Project and oh my word, I am in love with that book.