What I’m Reading Lately 9.17.18

It’s been a hot minute since I shared some of the books I’ve read and loved. My book journal where I track my reads is currently packed somewhere (booo!) but I think I’ve read close to 40 books so far. Definitely not on track with my usual pace, but that’s ok! Here are some of my favorites I’ve been reading lately.

Fiction

Eleanor Oliphant Is Totally Fine

I listened to this audiobook, which I highly recommend. I enjoyed the story, centered on a woman, Eleanor, who has experienced a trauma in her past and is not entirely self-aware enough to fully understand the world around her. I enjoyed the story and watching the evolution of Eleanor as she learns about friendship, love, and taking ownership over her own life.

Little Fires Everywhere 

I hated (ok, really didn’t like) Celeste Ng’s first book, Everything I Never Told You. I loved Little Fires Everywhere. The story is centered in a community called Shaker Heights, and examines what happens when a poor girl and a rich boy become friends and how the difference in backgrounds impacts their friendship and their families. Plus, there’s a mystery fire and you need to figure out who set it.

The Things We Wish Were True

I listened to this book for free after accidentally buying a month of Kindle Unlimited (whoops!). I full on loved it. The story takes place in a southern town, and follows a handful of characters who are brought together after an almost-tragedy at the local pool. I love novels that have multiple perspectives and follow multiple characters, so this was right up my alley!

The Alice Network

I full-on resisted reading this book because it was everywhere. EVERYWHERE! Sometimes I don’t love reading books that everyone is reading. But, I gave in and got The Alice Network on Audible. I loved it. Historical fiction, told through two perspectives – Eve during World War I as a spy, and Charlie who is trying to find her cousin who disappeared during World War II. It’s a mix of mystery, suspense, and friendship. Loved it!

Into the Water

I just finished Into the Water yesterday. I was looking for an easy, suspense read after finishing Year of Yes. This wasn’t an easy read (lots of perspectives) but it was a mystery that kept me guessing until about 75% of the way through.

Non-Fiction

Educated

This book has gotten mad buzz this year and for good reason. In short, it’s the story of a family living in Idaho and how the father’s increasingly radical point of view pulls his children from going to school formally and instead keeps them at the family home, working and practicing Mormanism. Despite the odds (not having formal schooling, an abusive family member, a dangerous living situation), Tara ends up not only going to college, but earning her Ph.D. Must read.

The Sound of Gravel

This book was very similar to Educated. It’s a coming of age story about a girl growing up in an unstable family environment, consistently moving between Mexico and Texas, trying to make ends meet. Ruth is one of many siblings, and takes care of her siblings, her mother, and herself.

The Glass Castle

Book #3 in the dysfunctional family memoir. I would call this one of the original dysfunctional family memoirs. This is definitely a genre I love – I think its interesting to delve in to someone else’s reality and learn about what their life is like. I really enjoyed the book and want to watch the movie next.

The Year of Yes

I am a full-on, crazy Grey’s Anatomy fan. I liked Scandal, but I loved Grey’s. I wasn’t sure how I would like Shonda Rhime’s book, but it turned out I loved it. Shonda Rhimes talks all about how she had it all (on the outside) but actually, she was turning down every opportunity to get involved in her own life. She decided, after a conversation with her sister, to say yes to every opportunity that came her way. And what happened was she forced herself out of her comfort zone and grew

Reading People: A Book Review

I love reading and I love personality tests. Combine these two things with the Anne Bogel’s new book, Reading People, and you have a trifecta of my favorite things!

Back in June, I was chosen to be part of the Reading People launch team. Reading People is a new (soon-to-be-out on September 19 book) by Anne Bogel, the blogger behind Modern Mrs. Darcy and podcaster behind What Should I Read Next. To say I was excited to get a first look at her new book would be a complete understatement!

Reading People by Anne Bogel - Book Review

What Is Reading People?

Reading People isn’t a book about reading (though I would totally read that book too). Instead, it’s a book about reading (or learning how to read) yourself and the people in your life through the lens of personality. It’s about knowing yourself and others better. It’s about knowing yourself and others more deeply.

I’ve always been drawn to learning more about personality; whether it’s the Myers-Briggs (I’m an IFSJ!) or StrengthsFinder (I know my top 5 strengths!) or figuring out if I’m a highly sensitive person (I think I am!), I am fascinated by learning more about myself and how I can use my personality traits to best interact with others. I also thinking knowing more about yourself (for example, I’m an introvert) can help you feel less alone in the world.

What I loved about Reading People (and what made it unique from the typical personality typing run-downs), is that Anne infuses the facts and research with stories and examples. I loved that after telling me the “need to know” information, she shared a story about herself or a friend or family member (or favorite book character – Atticus Finch from to Kill a Mockingbird is an INFJ!) to make the facts accessible to a regular person who isn’t a pro in personality typing. I felt like I was learning about personality from a friend, rather than reading a technical rundown on a website.

Reading People by Anne Bogel - Book Review

Why Does Personality Matter?

I value learning about personality because it gives me the opportunity to learn more about myself and others. I truly believe that I work at my best when I know what I need to work my best. I also believe I work better with others when I know what they need from me. For example:

  • Introvert/Extrovert: I am an outgoing introvert. I enjoy being around people and being social, but I need a quiet space to recharge after spending time with people.
  • Highly Sensitive Person: After reading the chapter on Highly Sensitive People, I began to ponder whether I fit into this category. I’m not sure and need to research more (I already bought The Highly Sensitive Person to learn more), but Anne gave great examples, such as not being able to concentrate when there is a distracting noise in the background or how tags in shirts really impact my ability to concentrate, to consider.
  • StrengthsFinder: I just completed the StrengthsFinder before reading this book (great timing!) and loved seeing the different themes that strengths fall under (I’m a mix between Relationship-Building and Strategic Thinking).

Reading People by Anne Bogel - Book Review
Here’s the good news – Reading People is coming out soon and you can pre-order it! Why pre-order? Well, in addition to getting the book, you also receive the Reading People audiobook read by Anne, plus access to her Reading Personality class!

If you do pre-order/order the book, follow my advice:

  • Don’t feel like you have to read the book from start to finish. I found myself jumping around a bit, and that is fine. Make it work for you!
  • Have a notebook, highlighter, and pen (or be ready to highlight A LOT in your Kindle). I took a ton of notes while reading Reading People and already plan to read it for a second time. This time, I want to be more deliberate about keeping tracks of the notes that I take.
  • Be open to learn more about yourself! Understanding yourself can be difficult, but it’s also incredibly helpful to be your best you (cheesy, but true!). Have an open mind and use Reading People as a way to know yourself better.

For more info, be sure to check out the Reading People website.

I was sent a free copy of Reading People in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.