My Favorite Books of Spring

Monday, June 12, 2017

I read a little less than I would have liked to this spring because my graduation cap Etsy business was in full swing.  I felt guilty doing anything but that in my free time.  In hindsight, I probably would have benefited from setting aside a little more time for myself.  Oh well, there's always next year.

I still finished three books, which seems like an adequate amount to write a post about!  But since we're being honest, I should tell you that I actually listened to these books.  I'm a huge fan of podcasts, audiobooks, and things I can listen to while I'm doing other things...like my makeup in the morning.  I like to multitask when I can and let's face it, when you're reading a book, you can pretty much only do that.  (Ironically, I am currently reading a book on why you shouldn't multitask. But more on that next month!)

I use the Overdrive app to listen to audiobooks from the library! Sometimes you have to wait a little for the book you want, but other times you do not.  Either way, FREE IS GOOD.

Of course, I only like to listen to certain types of books.  I like to physically read novels and I don't mind listening to self-help type books or celeb memoirs (because they're always read by the actual person writing them!)

I should note - I started to actually read about 5 other books.  But I do this thing where I feel really inspired to start a book, and then it sits with one chapter read until 6 months later when I pick it back up to finish it!  Lauren Graham's book Talking as Fast as I Can, How to Speak Midwestern, and Hamilton: The Revolution are all part of this category.  Some are read a bit further than others.  Not that they aren't all great, because I can tell they are, but it's just my thing.  Allllll part of the process.  Hahaha.

Books I Actually Finished:

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

I love Master of None on Netflix.  While I waited for the second season, I decided to listen to Aziz Ansari's book.  Expecting it to be a typical celebrity memoir (which I generally like), it was much different!

This book was more of a well-researched account of romance in the modern age.
It had lots of examples and was very up-to-date!  He talked about arranged marriage and some strangely novel ways that people used to find their spouse back in the olden days (think - classified ads).  There was also a ton of findings about the current trends of internet dating, social media, and sexting.

It was a good book for me because I like to learn about the way people interact/communicate and why.  This was exactly that, but focused on romantic relationships.  I liked it!

This particular book was MUCH better listened to than it would have been read.  If you are a fan of his, you know his voice.  And it is very enjoyable to listen to him explain all of his research and stories in his own voice.  Unless you find his voice annoying which is entirely possible, but I personally do not.

Favorite Quotes & Passages:


On dating today as opposed to dating 20 years ago:
"The tools we have to find our soulmates are incredible.  We aren't limited to just the bing bongs who live in our building.  We have online dating that gives us access to millions and millions of bing bongs all around the world."

On online dating (and new-fangled things in general):
"What seems insane to one generation often ends up being the normal to the next."

On social media:
"I'd say it makes it easier to cheat, but it doesn't make it harder to be faithful."

On the findings of his research:
"Finding someone to date is probably more complicated and stressful than it was for previous generations, but you're also more likely to end up with someone you're really excited about."

On the current generation of daters:
"We want a soulmate and we are willing to look very far, for a very long time to find one."




The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner 

I truly cannot remember where this book was recommended to me or why.  
If you're not into self-help at all, skip this one.

But like I said, I like learning about why people do and say things the way that they do.  This book is tailored to romantic relationships, but can easily be adapted to any type of relationship.  There are spousal conflicts, parent-child conflicts, etc that are all used as real-life examples in this book.

Anger kind of fascinates me because it's honestly a feeling I don't experience that often.  Thank goodness. But I am not immune to it, so I wanted to learn about it from an expert.  I find it interesting that some people deal with their anger by confronting the problem directly (and potentially...loudly) and that others draw back from the situation completely and take a more passive aggressive approach.  And there are about a million other responses people can have that are between those two extremes.

This book also focuses on WHY a situation can anger a particular person in the first place.  I learned that if someone gets angry, it probably has less to do with you and more with a deeper issue that they're dealing with or something they're afraid to face.  For example: Maybe you're reaching for greater independence and they're uncomfortable with that.

Note:  I had to listen to this at 1.5x the normal speed.  I listen to most things at this speed.  This woman spoke wayyyyy too slowly.  
Side bar - According to my dad, I speak at 1.5x the normal speed.

Favorite Quotes & Passages:

On family relationships:
"As we become more independent, we learn more about our family members, not less.  And we are able to share more about ourselves."

On dealing with people:
"Trying to change another person is a solution that never never works."

On using arguments to protect us from positive change:
"Repeating the same old fights, the same old patterns, protects us from experiencing the anxieties we are bound to experience when we make a change."
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

I'm somewhat of a Drew Barrymore fan, but never really knew much about her personal life.

If you've been paying attention to her life, you probably already know that she grew up with very little parental guidance and was emancipated by age 14.  Other fun facts: She and her bff Nancy (Jimmy Fallon's wife) have their own production company, Flower Films.  She asked Adam Sandler to work with her for the first time via a handwritten note delivered to his office.  She once drove her Bronco through a gate on Sunset Boulevard on New Years Eve (on purpose, they had parties to get to).

She's a good storyteller, and this was another book that was more fun to listen to when read in the author's voice!  (Still...I listened to it at 1.5x.)

It's a cute book.  If you're a fan of hers and looking for a beach read or something, I'd say go for it.  But I have read better celeb memoirs.

Favorite Quotes & Passages:

On dealing with the struggles in life:"I love my life and it takes every step to get where you are.  And if you are happy, then God bless the hard times it took you to get there.  No life is without them, so what are yours and what did you do with the lessons?"

That's all for now!

As usual, I love hearing book recommendations you have for me.
I love every kind of book, but am specifically looking for novels to read this summer.


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