This year, my go-to form of self-care has been reading. I have loved reading for as long as I can remember, but it always seems to be the thing that I “don’t have time” to do.
No matter the season, I’ve found a way to talk myself out of reading for enjoyment. In college, I needed to read things for class first. When I was teaching, I needed to read something I could potentially use with the kids. When I became a mom, I found myself falling into this rhythm of falling down the social media rabbit hole whenever some free time fell into my lap.
This year, I made the decision to get intentional when it comes to reading more. So, I almost always have an audiobook queued up to listen to while I’m driving. Typically, I would listen to podcasts in that time, and this little shift has been a complete game-changer in my life as a reader.
Also, as I mentioned here a few weeks ago, I am committing to shutting off my screens at 8:30 (aside from the occasional This is Us episode, if I’m honest) every night and reading before bed.
I’ve read 9 books so far this year, which is HUGE for me. Probably more than I read in a year since I was teaching.
So, I thought I’d share some of my recent favorites, in case it gives you a little self-care goodness too.
First, what I’m reading now…
I’m a member of hope*writers, a group which Emily Freeman is a co-founder of, so I had heard all about this book. I will say, though, that I didn’t intend to buy it, because, well, I didn’t think I needed a book to tell me how to do the next right thing. Duh, right? Then, I got sucked in by the pre-order bonus of a course and an audiobook. That course was fantastic. The companion course alone was worth well more than the cost of the book. I’m only a few chapters in to the actual book, but I’m loving it so far. It’s super cozy, if that makes any sense, and makes me feel like I’m on a good path.
Now, what I’ve been reading…
I was on the launch team for this book, and it’s such a privilege to share it. Amanda & Anne-Renee’s writing really opened my eyes to some of the distractions (hi, cell phone and social media) I seek while I’m with my kids. This book is very faith-based, so be prepared for frequent Bible references. Even if faith-based books aren’t your thing, though, if you are OK with Bible references, I think this book will really open your eyes to some of the things we do unconsciously as moms.
This is a book I read last year, but I was so enthralled by it. This was one of those books that, whenever Danny would get back from work, I would have to gush to him about what I had read and how unbelievable it was. Westover grew up in a survivalist family in Idaho and didn’t set foot in a school until she was 17. It’s just wild, and a great read.
This is, hands down, the best book I’ve read in awhile, and certainly the best book I’ve read this year. Each chapter is based on a relatively simple phrase, but the stories she tells are so rich and relatable. I listened to this book on audio, and Kelly Corrigan narrates it herself, which makes it so much more enjoyable to listen to (I’ve listened to another of her books that she didn’t narrate, and, while it was good, this one takes the cake). You can fully hear the emotion in her voice at one point, and I practically get goosebumps just thinking about it.
I listened to this particular part I’m thinking of while running at the gym, which was a mistake. It takes a lot for a book to make me cry, and, boy, did I have the most ugly-but-satisfying cry when this one ended. This book is just wonderful.
Let me hear from you:
Are you an audiobook person?
What book recommendations can you give me?
*Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. Of course, buy from wherever you prefer to buy books, or check them out from the library!