I remember the stress of trying to figure out what I wanted to focus my study on at university. I am someone who genuinely loves to learn, and it doesn’t really seem to matter what the topic is! I will just as happily read a book on mathematics or nutrition as a literary classic or a philosophical treatise. It took me a little while, but I finally found the common thread: reading.
It doesn’t necessarily matter what the book is on. I just love reading. I always have. There are many pictures of me as a little girl with my nose buried in a book, be it an atlas, a cookbook, or a story.
Three years of intense reading through an English degree later, I left university with a desperate need for a break. I had loved my degree, but it took me a little while to regain the ability to just read a book, rather than analyze it, scribble all over it, and essentially tear it apart!
For a while, I found solace in different forms of reading: blogs, internet articles, newspapers. But recently I have really rediscovered the love of books. The love that started it all for me.
With this in mind, I decided I wanted to start to share a little on this blog about what I am reading. I am hoping it will make it up here monthly, so I am starting with what I read last month.
Books I Read in March
Abundant Simplicity by Jan Johnson
This is simply a beautiful book. I feel like I need to read it again already, perhaps every month! It goes through the different aspects of living a “simple” life in a way that I found easy to relate to. It was practical and even brought up areas in my life that I had never thought of simplifying (like simplicity of words, which ended up being one of my Lenten resolutions as a result). I have already bought this book for others, and would recommend it to anyone, especially to those who want to simplify their life but are not sure where to start.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May
I am not completely finished with this book, but I have found it a really useful read as I enter my third trimester of pregnancy. There are some graphic descriptions (and pictures), but it is written in quite a non-intrusive style, and it was just nice to be informed on the ins-and-outs (quite literally) of natural childbirth. Ina May is especially good and taking away a lot of the fear that surrounds the topic of childbirth, although I did find it hard sometimes to work out how to apply some of the details of the births on The Farm (their midwifery centre) to a hospital or birth centre setting. I guess I will find out how helpful this really was to me come July!
Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go Of The Try-Hard Life by Emily Freeman
I actually started this book last summer, but mislaid my copy somewhere in the midst of moving house, so when I found it again last month, I was overjoyed to realize I could finally finish it! This book is the perfect book for any girl who has grown up as a people-pleaser and struggles to separate herself from that. If you find it hard to say no when you know you should, if you find yourself stretched too thinly across many areas, if you feel tired by the effort of “trying” to earn love, then this is the book for you. I found it immensely freeing. Emily has a way of making written words sing like music, and you can get a glimpse of her style over at her wonderful blog, Chatting at the Sky.
I have resolved not to read too many parenting books during this pregnancy. I find there are just too many opinions and different ways of parenting, and it just leads to confusion and guilt. But this was one that I felt was worth reading. It is very non-judgmental and respectful of both parent and baby. I love Tracy’s easy-to-read style, and I found the book immensely helpful on a practical level, while not ladling on huge scoops of expectations and guilt. She works on the principle that every baby is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. I foresee myself dipping in and out of this book often when our little one arrives!
I have started on some April reading now, and am already looking forward to sharing some of these with you! 🙂