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I expected April to be my worst month for reading to date, but I actually came out ahead. As you know, I do most of my reading through audiobooks because I have a long commute and am still in college classes that take up a lot of my reading time. My library has an array of audiobooks available for check-out through Hoopla, OneDigital, and Overdrive. This has been great for my wallet and time management because I can work through my 2017 reading list with ease.
Unfortunately, I have listened to all the audiobooks available that coincided with my reading list. I will have to start paying for Audible (planning on using their free trial first to see if I like it) or digging into some actual text reading to continue with the list. However, just because there are no more audiobooks available from my reading list doesn’t mean there aren’t books available that I want to listen to.
There are more than 20 titles I want to listen to available through the public library that aren’t on my list. I am going to continue listening to these books so my commute isn’t a complete waste.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
I was disappointed in this book. I thought it would “WOW” me in its vulgarity, as it is often said that this particular novel was not well received because it challenges the roles women were meant to play and talks of cheating and scandal. But I was underwhelmed. The characters weren’t heroic, and the “heroine” of our story was just okay. I am happy I read it, but was expecting so much more from such a controversial book.
Admission by Jean Korelitz
I went into Admission expecting a light, fluffy read. How could I not when they made it into a movie starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd? The movie cover acts as if it’s some romantic chick lit, when it is anything but. Korelitz tackles teen pregnancy, the high society connected to Ive League colleges, and the mother-child dynamic. The romance is minimal and takes a backseat to the heavier topics mentioned above.
I enjoyed it more than I thought, and I recommend it if you’re looking for a character development story with a strong female lead.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
I could say so much about Marie Kondo’s egotistically named tidying method, “KonMari,” but first – let me say this: I enjoyed the book and took away several great tips that I have already incorporated into my life.
Now… Marie Kondo is the drug of choice for neurotic, self-absorbed women who may be suffering from OCD. She talks about decluttering your things by category – not by room – which is a great idea. She also notes that it is essential to touch each item and ask yourself if it “sparks joy.” Also a great idea. It’s when she starts talking about things having feelings and how each item must be treated with love and spoken to every day.
If I gathered information correctly, I think Marie Kondo is a single woman in her 30’s who will probably end up an old maid with one or two cats. I am not saying this to be mean. I say this as a matter-of-fact. Anyone who can keep their home as she recommends is either retired with no children or a non-cohabiting career woman in her 30’s-50’s.
She does digress towards the end of the book that there are people who won’t want a tidy home (because you can only have a tidy home if you use her methods), but that “those people won’t read her book” either. It’s like she knows that the people who will love and benefit from her method are neurotic and uptight. (I can say this because I am one of those people.)
She comes off as arrogant, and I found myself hating her, but loving some of her ideas. Still, she lost me several times and I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes at some of the things she wrote.
Should you read it? Absolutely – if for nothing but laughs. But you may benefit from it too. I’ve pinned several images on Pinterest related to her methods because I do agree with much of what she says. However, it isn’t for everyone and I won’t be KonMari-ing my entire home anytime soon.
FOLLOW MY MINIMALISM BOARD ON PINTEREST!
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Would you believe that I had never read this book? Talk about crazy. As a personal finance addict, I already knew all of Ramsey’s Baby Steps so I never felt the need to read the actual book. When it popped up as an available audiobook through the library, I thought, Why not?
Friends… it has renewed my vigor for paying off debt. Dave Ramsey read the book, so it was like listening to his podcast, and no matter how you feel about him, he is an infectious guy that makes you want to get on the right financial path. I won’t speak too much on it here, but I will tell you that I’ve remapped our debt-pay-off journey AGAIN due to listening to this book. I highly recommend giving this book a read OR listen if you’re feeling unmotivated to pay off debt right now.
Living Well, Spending Less! 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup
I follow Ruth’s blog, so when her book appeared as a featured read on Hoopla, I decided to listen in. The book was sub-par. I felt it very basic with the same tips we have all heard before. It wasn’t revolutionary. However, if you’re a Christian woman with children building a home of love and gratitude, you might enjoy it. It’s the standard fare. You may be able to relate to some of Ruth’s own problems as she recounts her time as a shopaholic.
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
If I learned one thing in April, it was that I hate e-books. I cannot read them. Rachman’s The Imperfectionists was my first try at reading an e-book on my phone/iPad and I barely finished it before it was due back to the library. I don’t think I’ll be tackling another one for awhile. I would have enjoyed this book more had I been holding it in my hands.
The story follows a group of people who work at a newspaper as emerging technologies take over. While trying to be innovative, the internet still manages to have an impact on their readership. Between fighting for the paper and the drama unfolding in their lives, The Imperfectionists was a bit tragic. If you work in journalism, you might enjoy it, but overall, steer clear.
What did you read in April? Any recommendations for me?