Up until this year I have not read much but I think that’s because I tried to treat it like the way I would watch Netflix — binging it. As of this year, I started doing Gretchen Rubin’s read 21 minute in 2021 to help me read more. I found doing this practice manageable and sustainable because reading 21 minutes a day is achievable. Now I can’t imagine a day where I am not reading 21 minutes.
I’ve been reading more for the mental health benefits and how to process difficult emotions especially as I go through life as being a new mom. Also because of the pandemic as there are significantly fewer events and people are less inclined to go anywhere, reading has provided an escape where I can still have this sense of human connection and empathy. Reading is one of the simple pleasures that has centered me because there have been many moments when I have felt overwhelmed especially on some weeks when my husband is out doing army training.
I keep at least three current reads happening at any one time. One is a physical book because I LOVE the feel of physical books. One is an e-reader — it’s slim enough to keep in my purse and allows me to read on the weekends when we are out of town. An e-reader also comes in handy when I read before bed and my husband is already sleeping. The third one is an audiobook when I know I absolutely DON’T have time to read — if I know I have to be on the road for a long time, working on a project for most of the day at home, etc. I always have something to read on-hand.
I also participate in the Bout of Books challenge where I would read three 30-minute sprints per day in a week. I’ve attempted to participate in my library’s read-a-thon and other community read-a-thons, but I always forget it’s happening. But I don’t think I would be able to read that much in one sitting at a read-a-thon. The Bout of Books sprints are more flexible for me.
Books I finished in July and so far in August:
- Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (for the book club) – I loved this book! I’ve gushing about it in my previous posts (See #1, #2). Since I bought the book for book club, I’d be happy to lend this book out to someone!
- Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nerfertiti Austin (borrowed from the library) – I learned about the fostercare and adoption system. It also made me think about how parenting differs based on race and socio-economic backgrounds. If you were seeking a parenting book — this is not it. It’s more like a memoir of a professor who decides to start a family by adopting a black boy and raise him on her own.
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Hong Park – This is another book I bought and would be willing to lend out too. I enjoyed this book a lot because she is an Asian American creative and she pursued this path at a time when there were almost no Asian American creatives out there. She writes so beautifully and I want to read the rest of her work!
- The Dry by Jane Harper (borrowed from the library) – This was a good book. I related to the feelings and frustrations of living in a small town as I have grown up in one. I also see it in the Facebook posts from my high school classmates who have never left.
- The Vacationers by Emma Straub (borrowed from the library) – The story was ok. I should have panned it. I guess I was more drawn that the story took place in Mallorca and I was dreaming traveling to Mallorca.
- The House by the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (borrowed from the library) – This was a feel good book. Strangely it made me understand kid more — someone who is candid and full of curiosity and imagination. I enjoyed the main character’s development.
- Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (in audiobook, from the library) – This was a loaded book that has pulled me all different directions emotionally.
Books I am currently reading:
- A Promised Land by Barack Obama (in audiobook, from the library) – I was so lucky to get this audiobook renewed immediately. I usually wait several weeks until I am able to renew.
- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson – This was a book I had to read for book club last month but I did not want to speed through to finish. After each chapter, I like to research her findings. It’s an incredibly fascinating book!
- From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding by Jesse Thistle (borrowed from the library) -I heard about this book from another book club. It is a memoir and so far there are quite a bit of parallels between this and Firekeeper’s Daughter.