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264: Summer Reading Resources

Ever wanted to read more? (It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to grow my biz!) Get my favorite summer reading resources at TaraSwiger.com/podcast264

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It’s summer! And that means it is time for summer reading. This may be the time where you’re spending more time than ever with your family and you just need a break with a book!

I get so many questions about how I read so much, what books I recommend, that I wanted to put together a whole resource episode with absolutely everything – my best tips, the tools I use, the sites I read, the books I recommend for your business and for your summer.

Usually I talk about running a business and mindset and once a month I share what I’m reading, but here’s the truth: I’m recording this ahead of time before it’s even June, so I can’t tell you what I read in June. And I’m taking a break from the podcast to spend my summer with my foster kids and with lots of books and the pool. But no fear! You’ll still get episodes every single week, because I planned WAY ahead!

What better way to go into the summer than to talk about what I love best about summer, which is ALSO the number one key to building my business: books! Everything I know about my business I learned through trial and error and experimenting and I figured out what to try and how to experiment from books.

But I know a lot of us struggle with reading more, so today I’m going to help with that! We’ll talk about how to read more, how to find a book you’ll like, and resources of my favorite book lists, (including the best books for your business, mindset and mental health).

Summer and books have been linked in my mind ever since I was a kid and participated in the library reading challenges – did you have these? The library would publish cards like a game board and you’d fill it in with the books you read, and then you’d win prizes. And do you remember “The Pizza Hut Book It!” program? I had to look it up because it was such a huge part of my childhood – winning PIZZA for reading (and getting the fabulous holographic pin) was really the highlight of my year, and also just about the only sport I ever competed in! While I was writing this episode, I went to look it up and Book It! is still around! Their website has tons of good resources – reading trackers, activities –  for you and your kids! You can sign up for the Summer Reading Program and get weekly emails with reading suggestions and projects.

I record this it’s late May and I’ve already read more than 75 books in 2019. I often get asked: How do I read so much? A few years ago I put together a guide: How to read 100 books a year.

How to read more

The key to reading more is to read what you like, always have plenty of books on your list and on your shelf and to stop when you want.

The thing so many adults struggle with is to read what you like – give yourself permission to read what feels good, even if it’s not what you think you “should” be reading. Maybe you love YA fantasy, maybe you love romances, maybe you love comics. It really doesn’t matter, reading anything gets yourself into the habit, and you can use that habit to read more of the books that will educate you on what you want to learn (ie. business or psychology).

You also have to have ENOUGH books, so that you can immediately pick up the next one. That means enough on your To Read list and enough in your actual home (or on your Kindle). If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I bring home anywhere from 5-15 books at a time from the library. In the rest of the episode we’ll cover how to find more books for your list, how to keep track of it, and how to find more of what you like.

And finally, you really need to let yourself stop when you want to. Maybe you put the book down for just a few days, or you wait until your more awake, or you just don’t like it and you stop altogether – life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy!

How to find books you’ll like

Did you know your library has a Reader Advisory? They can suggest books, if you know what you like. They also published lists of books that are like other books, or that are on a topic you wanna learn more about!

There’s also a great online resource, through your library, called Books and Authors. (I think your library has to have hooked it up for you to access it. Check your library’s website. You can look up any book and it will tell you other books like it. Even if it’s been years since you really liked a book, if you can identify even one, you can find another!

Another way to find the books that YOU are likely to like is to find reviewers you like and read what they suggest. 

  • on Goodreads (look at reviews of your favorite books, click on the profile of a review you particularly like and then read a few other reviews by them. If you agree and/or you like they’re writing, check out their most recent reviews and you will find some new books you’ll like!). I like Emily May.
  • in papers (NY review of books, LA Times, etc)

Check out lists!

How to find books for kids?

  • Help your kid(s) identify what they like in a story. Start with 3-5 stories they’ve loved (movies, video games) and help them dig into the aspects they liked best. This is a great way to help them find the words to talk about books and stories, too!
  • Check out nonfiction! If your kid nerds out about ANYTHING (even movies and video games!) there are books about it!

Comics count! 

Comics are a great way to get a reticent reader to read!
You can find “graphic novels” which are the collected issues of a storyline of a comic, at your library! Once you know you like a comic, you can start buying it (or the graphic novels) at your local comic shop. And if you don’t have a comic shop, you can get it on your Kindle comics with a Comixology subscription.

A few of my faves that are appropriate for anyone 10+:

Ask me on Instagram! I LOVE helping you find books, I not-so-secretly really want to be a librarian (if only I can do it from home?) – tag me on your post, I’m @taraswiger or send me a DM! (Maybe I need a book recommendation podcast? Hmmm.)

How to keep track of it all? Tools I use:

  • Goodreads – I use it mostly to track books I want to read. It’s great to track books I have read, but the way I use it nearly daily is to add ANY book I’ve heard of that sounds good to my list. I’m not worried this is every going to be too big. I want it to be as big as possible, so I never run out of books that I’m excited about.
  • Library holds & requests – A few times a week (usually when I’m waiting somewhere or need a break from work), I open up my GoodReads To Read list, open up my library catalog and place a hold on a few books (Holds top out at 15 books and a lot of times this spring I topped it out. I read more than ever, but it stresses me a bit, so I’m keeping it under 10 at a time now). What about books your library doesn’t have? I just discovered the “request book” page on my library site and now I request that the library buy the books I want! This is great for new books that haven’t been released yet – by requesting it you get at the front of the line on the holds (great if a book is going to be on hold to like 20 people). I’ve also requested some quilt books and instead of buying them, my library borrowed them from another library (not one that’s connected in our catalog)
  • Libby – get ebooks and audiobooks from your library, all from your phone.
  • Book of the Month Club if you want new books before they’re released AND you want to own your books, you can’t do better than Book of The Month – you get access to brand-new books, each month. You can skip any month you want. (If you sign up from this link, I get a free book!)

Other reading bits and bobs

Favorite book podcasts:

My own summer To Read List

This summer I’m focusing on the newest books – from Anne Bogels list – and those that I already own. This list is only those I currently have, or have on reserve at the library:

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

260: What I’m Reading May 2019

I explore my enthusiasm by reading… a lot. Learn all about the books I’ve been enjoying over the last month at TaraSwiger.com/podcast260

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I follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I read

Non-fiction:

Novels: 

What I was reading in May of last year, and 2017, 2016 and 2015.

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

255: What I’m reading: April 2019

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I follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I read

This month I got kinda book-crazy and attempted to read 40 books in the 40 days of Lent. I'm at 32 books right now, and I have about a week left, so it's possible I'll get there. For more on what I'm reading (in real-time!), follow my Stories on Instagram.

Non-fiction:

Novels:

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

247: What I’m Reading: February 2019

I explore my enthusiasm by reading… a lot. Learn all about the books I’ve been enjoying over the last month at TaraSwiger.com/podcast247

Play

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I'm reading:

Links:

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

196: What I’m reading: February 2018

I explore my enthusiasm by reading… a lot. Learn all about the books I’ve been enjoying over the last month at TaraSwiger.com/podcast196

Play

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I read

What I'm reading

Other links mentioned

Seattle!
I'm coming to you next week! Join me at one of these events (click the title for details and to RSVP)

Natural Solutions for knitters (and all crafters!)
March 8
Perfectly Knotty, Arlington, WA

Rest + Roll: an essential oil Make + Take for moms
March 9th
Bremerton, WA

Essential Oils 101
March 9th
Bremerton, WA

Intro to Essential Oils
March 10, 11am
Cherry Street Coffeehouse

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

What I’m reading – July 2017

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I read

What I’m reading

I need some more recommendations! Tell me on Twitter or Facebook!

  Here’s to another great month of reading!

What I read last July.

And in July 2015, 2014, and 2013!

What I’m Reading: February 2017

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I read

What I’m reading

I need some more recommendations! Tell me on Twitter or Facebook!

  Here’s to another great month of reading!

What I read last February.

And in February 2015, and February 2014!

What I’m Reading: October 2016

A list of alllll the books I read this month (there were a lot!) and what I plan to read next. Read more at TaraSwiger.com.

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I read

  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, by Scott Adams – I took copious notes on this book! In it, the Dilbert cartoonist explains how he reached crazy goals (spoiler alert: systems!). So you know I loved it and recommend it.
  • The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, by Sherri Lynn Wood – Oh man. I love this book. It gave me so many quilty ideas! It's exactly the kind of craft book I love – lots of ideas + inspiration + “how to think” stuff, without step by step instructions (which I never follow anyhow).
  • Leaving the Saints, by Martha Beck – Oof. I thought I was reading a (well-written) book about the author leaving the Latter Day Saints. And then it turns into so much more. It gutted me and I'll be thinking about it for a long time.
  • The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, by Susan Wise Bauer – Yes, the author is a bit sniffy about those of us who haven't had a “classical education” but I always say what I learned in college wasn't so much conjugating French verbs but HOW to learn anything, and how to think critically. This book gives you the tools to apply that critical thinking to both fiction and non-fiction. It also provides a list of books in literature, history and philosophy to round out your classical education. Since it's a library book, I didn't read the blurbs for all the suggested books, but I did take notes on critical method and the books I haven't yet read. (I started a new note keeping system during reading, would you like to see it? Lemme know on Facebook!)
  • Year of Reading Dangerously, by Andy Miller – The above book led me to the “reading” section of my library (meta!) where I found this. Funny, interesting, and definitely got me re-excited about my Great Books project. (My list is here.)
  • Self-Compassion, by Kristin Neff – This book is summed in her TED Talk. If you enjoy the talk, read the book. (It's just $7.99 on the Kindle right now!)
  • Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle-Melton – Like I said last month, I found Glennon's blog, read a ton of her archives and immediately checked her first book out from the library. And then her next book came out and I snatched it up… and then it was named Oprah's next Book Club pick. I hope that won't turn you off from this, a totally gripping memoir about a woman's understanding of herself, as a woman, in this world that objectifies and sexualizes us.
  • All the Things We Never Knew, by Sheila Hamilton – Another memoir! This one by a woman who slowly uncovers her husband's mental health diagnosis and struggles to keep him safe and alive, even after it's totally destroyed their relationship.

What I’m reading

I need some more recommendations! Tell me on Twitter or Facebook!

Yeah, so I read a LOT this month. I didn't even share them all here (I skipped the ones I didn't love, or wouldn't recommend.)  Here's to another great month of reading!

What I read last October.

And in October 2014.

What are you reading?

What I’m Reading: May 2015

What I'm Reading May 2015

 I follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.

 What I'm reading

First of, let's just get this out of the way – I finished very little in April. I made good progress through some dense books, but so much of my month was spent in non-reading situations (you know, those in which you're face to face with a real! live! person!), that I really never had a full-on reading binge like I normally do at least once a month. So, here are the books I've either just finished or am in the middle of:

  • Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me, by Ellen Forney. Oh man, this was an amazing graphic memoir. If you know and love anyone who suffers from, well, any mental illness, read this. Her graphic representations of both mania and depression were the best, most human, caring, most understandable anything, I've ever read about it. This page, in particular, cracked me up.
    (If this book was a movie it would have an R rating for some bits about her sex life. If that'll offend you, skip it. But if it won't, READ THIS.)
  • Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama, by Alison Bechdel. This memoir-ish look at the comic's relationship with her mother (and therapists) doesn't have the same coherence as her first, Fun Home (which I read last month), but I enjoyed it.
  • Playing Big, by Tara Mohr. I'm in the last chapter, and I'm gathering my thoughts about it.
  • War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy. Is there any way to tell you that I found this for $2  at a used book store in Carlsbad and since it's on my Great Books  list, I immediately started reading it and I'm halfway through and finding it surprisingly enjoyable, without sounding completely pretentious? No? I thought not.
  • The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Only a chapter in, because it's not a read-before-bed read. Definitely requires some brain cells to process. (That said, it's probably already made me a better writer. Can't ya tell?)
  • I also read a lot of comics I LOVE this month: Thor*, Saga, Jem (!) and this one (our new favorite!). (If you don't want comics piling up, but want to try some of these, get 'em digitally at Comixology.)

*In case you don't keep up with comics, Thor is a lady now! And she's not Lady Thor or Thor Girl – she's full-on Thor, goddess of Thunder and she's bringing it.

 

What are you reading?

 

 

PS. What I was reading last year.

The usual disclaimery disclaimer applies! 

What I’m Reading: January 2015

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.
What I'm reading

What I read

  • Time Warped, by Claudia Hammond
  • Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon. I wanted to post almost every page of this book and say: Yes! Yes! If you don't know how to start sharing your work or using social media, read Austin's book. It's less specific than my book, but has the same message, in such an inspirational package.
  • Not My Father's Son, by Alan Cummings. Not a “my fab celebrity life” memoir at all, but a close, compassionate look at his two family stories: the results of his abusive father & the uncovering of the mystery of his mother's father. It's sweet and authentic and brave.
  • Yes, Please, by Amy Poehler. Funny and sweet, Amy gives some good life advice that you probably already know.
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. Part of my Good Reads Project – what took me so long?

What I’m reading

The Great Books Project

After months of waffling, the Great Books Project is underway. I’m tracking it via GoodReads (my entire list is here) and holding discussions on the Facebook page, with conversations about our lists, our progress, and regular quotes from the books I love. I’ll be sharing a little update here each month, and you’re welcome to join in on your own project, either in the comments, or over on the FB page (the joy of FB is that we can all reply to each other).

This month I got a bit further in the Aeneid (I'm taking it slow, a “book” or two a month) and plowed through The Color Purple in a few days while travelling. Why in the world had it taken me so long to read this book? It's a beautiful reflection on self-definition and finding your voice as a woman and creative. This book reminded me WHY I'm doing this project – to find beautiful gems I've missed.

 

What are you reading?

 

 

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