For the past week I have been doing a deep dive into the What Should I Read Next podcast. I love hearing other people’s book recommendations and what others have been reading lately. I have a seriously long TBR (To Be Read, for the unitiated) list and nothing comforts me more than knowing I have a huge pile of unread books just waiting for me to discover what lies within their pages. December and January are usually great reading months for me. The mix of a little extra time off, and a Christmas bookshop gift card is magical. In the 2018 world of Thoroughly Nourished Life I am going to share my monthly reading with you all just in case you need a little reading inspiration! If you have read any of my picks please let me know what you thought of them! I LOVE talking books! And, if you want to be friends on Good Reads, come and check me out there!
Okay, so technically I read this in October, but it was too good not to share my praise! The Dry was Jane Harper’s debut novel and I hope she keeps writing for years to come. This novel is tense. Harper creates a brilliant atmosphere of tension and strain in a small town not unlike many small Australian towns that have been in the middle of drought for years and years. Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to his hometown after years away to attend the funeral of a friend who has been accused of killing his whole family. He gets drawn into the investigation and the life of the small town that he had been rejected by decades earlier. You will get drawn in by the tight writing, the cracking pace, and the suspension that pulls you through right to the end. I read this book in one day it was that good!
I’m not a minimalist, nor do I ever aspire to be. I couldn’t cope with bare bookshelves or a lack of coziness. Blame it on my Danish mother but I need a little hygge in my life. However, I was a pack rat for much of my life and I *needed* to get rid of that stuff to make room for living in my actual house. Plus, I really don’t like the idea of just carrying unnecessary crap from one house to another if I don’t need to. I picked this book up in the bookstore and before I had even finished the first chapter I had thrown out/donated about ten bags of clothes. This quote from the book really spoke to me “But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” There were certainly a lot of moments while cleaning out that I realised who I had been in the past needed to be bundled away to make room for who I am now, and who I hope I am growing into. Holding onto old clothes, outdated books, objects I don’t love is an act of surrounding myself with all the ghosts of who I used to be, or who I used to want to be, and whenever I look at them I am filled with dissatisfaction about who I am now compared to where I thought I would be. Deep stuff for a book about cleaning. I know Marie Kondo’s way of writing about tidying wont speak to everyone, but I found this book helpful for moving me on and starting the new year on the right foot.
I bought this book after hearing Annie Raser-Rowland speak on the Slow Your Home podcast. I love the theory of frugal hedonism and I think it pairs well with striving to live a more mindful life. I was afraid that this book would be a little preachy, but instead it’s funny, irreverant, and offers practical advice for spending less in life while living more. Not all the tips are applicable to Chris and I, but there were sections that made me think about where we could spend a little less money, or waste a little less resources that wouldn’t impact on our life. One of the things I have started doing after reading this is targeting the food we waste in our house. Instead of grabbing a whole lot of things at the grocery shop and then trying to cobble together our meals from what we have, I deliberately ask Chris for three dinners that he would like during the week and then check which parts of those meals I already have and what I need to purchase. This has decreased both the food I throw out at the end of the week, and the pre-dinner stress of trying to figure out what to make for Chris. There were plenty of other practical tips and an inspiration to make the most of the free wonders all around us. Not everything in this book will work for everyone (sorry Annie and Adam, we are not into share housing – we are both introverts who need our space!) but there might just be a little something that speaks to you. Do the frugal thing and check this out at your closest library!
I don’t enjoy scary movies. In fact, I make Chris change the channel when the ad for a scary movie comes on! I have learned recently that I actually enjoy a spooky book from time to time. Luckily for me, this weekend I had time and two scary books to indulge in. The Winter People was the first and I enjoyed slipping into the snowy, scary world of Sara, Ruthie and The Winter People. Told in chapters that alternate between the early 1900s and today I found this one very page turning. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you like thrillers, books set in the snow, and creepy deliciousness this one is a good pick for you.
Another creepy book by Jennifer McMahon. This one is also set in small town Vermont and focuses on the relationship between three friends growing up in a town who’s best days are long gone. This book is also told in shifting timelines, and I loved how pieces of the story are revealed in each chapter building the background and the creepy factor. I didn’t love this one quite as much as The Winter People but it is still a good library check out for a long weekend reading binge.
I don’t think I’m alone in the world having Little Women as one of my favourite books from childhood. I grew up with Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and read my Mum’s copy so much that the front cover fell off! I purchased this Puffin in Bloom edition and I have been revisiting old friends within its pages and discovering a new understanding coming to this book as a ‘grown up’. Also, I am definitely a Jo March. Anyone else a Jo?
Well folks, that’s what I’ve been reading in January. At the moment I’m reading The Distant Hours by Kate Morton and it is so thick and juicy and full of enough mystery to keep me reading well past my bedtime.
What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of the books above?