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What I’m Reading: June 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

  • Tools of Titans by Tim Feriss – SUPER big compendium of advice from a million awesome people. I learned a lot and rededicated to some of my best habits.
  • Essential Oils Every Day, by Hope Gillerman –  my new fave book for creating essential oil routines!
  • More than This, by Patrick Ness – fun sci-fi thriller. I wanna read everything by this guy now.
  • Six Four, by Hideo Yokoyama – Japanese thriller, fun, but a really different pace than American novels.
  • Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi – super funny, weird almost-not-sci fi. I love anything by John Scalzi
  • The End of All Things, by John Scalzi – much more nerdy sci fi than Agent to the Stars and great.

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 June.

And in June 2015, 2014, and 2013!

What I’m Reading: May 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 May.

And in May 2015, 2014, and 2013!

What I’m Reading: March 2016

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.

A list of the business + fiction books I'm reading this month, with mini-reviews and recommendations, at TaraSwiger.com.

What I read

  • The Magic of Thinking Big, by David Schwartz – Recommended a LOT on several podcasts. I enjoyed bits of it, but it's very 70s-self-help-business-y. That said, if you're not turned off by that style book, I loved it.
  • Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell – With all my travel, teaching and house-unpacking in February, I ended up mostly reading novels this month. My brain needed a break from all the strategic thinking it was doing. I particularly adore Rainbow Rowell and I loved both of hers that I read this month.
  • Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell
  • Fates and Furies, by Laura Groff

What I’m reading

What I read last March.
And in March 2014.

What are you reading?

 

 

 

What I’m reading: February 2016

Join me for an informal book club! A list of all the books I've read in February, and what I plan to read next. From businessy goodness to classic lit to comics! More at TaraSwiger.com

 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 read

  • Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes. This is one of those books I've been thinking about since I started it. I'll be revisiting it for sure. If you need to feel bolder to take big action in your life or biz, read this. Now.
  • Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. Laugh out loud funny. Check out The Bloggess and if you find it hilarious, read this book.
  • So You've Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson. What happens to people who are the publicly shamed by Twitter, who become “trending topics” because of their stupidity or honest mistake? Ronson finds those people and talks to them. I kinda live in fear of the internet turning on me, so I found it strangely comforting.
  • Alias, by Brian Michael Bendis. If you liked the Netflix show Jessica Jones, you gotta read this. This comic is SO much more than the one storyline in Jessica Jones and is even better (and I really loved that show!) {Note: I read the Omnibus, from my library. But if you don't want to commit to that, start with Volume 1. Better yet, request it at your library!}
  • Searching for Sunday, by Rachel Held Evans. The story of a girl who was raised Evangelical (like me) and slowly realized she needed to find a new tradition.
  • Hunger Makes me a Modern Girl, by Carrie Brownstein. Oh man, I read this book because I loved Sleater-Kinney and this book delivers. Carrie is a beautiful writer. I was totally blown away by the first few chapters.
  • Wildflower, by Drew Barrymore. I just now realized this month was full of autobiography-ish type books. As much as I love Drew, this suffered from being read right after Brownstein's book. It wasn't as beautifully written, but did manage to dig a bit deeper into specific stories. I read it in a day, so it was definitely enjoyable!

What I’m reading

What I read last February.
And in February 2014.

What are you reading?

What I’m Reading: November 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.
"The last of human freedoms- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." -Victor Frankl #whatimreading #airplanemode

What I read

  • Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is this quarter’s Starship Book Club pick. I LOVED it. I highlighted it like crazy. If you're a creative, get it and read it. Please.
  • Steal the Show, by Michael Port – Pre-ordered it on my Kindle, to read before my teaching gigs, and I learned a few things I implemented in my recent classes.
  • Why Not Me, by Mindy Kaling. Funny + quick!
  • You're Never Weird on the Internet, by Felicia Day. Super encouraging autobiography, for internet-nerd gals.
  • The Confidence Code by Katty Kay. This book is inspiring my current #BizConfidenceChallenge! I learned a lot, and it cleared up a lot that I've experienced with my clients (and myself)!
  • Man's Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl. This is part of my #greatbooksproject (reading all the books I missed in high school and college) and it was just beyond description. It begins as the story of Frankl's experiences in the concentration camps during WWII. But it's somehow not dark, but completely hopeful. As the book continues, he begins to tease apart what pushed some people to survive and find peace during the atrocities.

The quote that will stick with me:

“The last of human freedoms – to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”

-Victor Frankl

What I’m reading

 

What I read last November
And the November before that

What are you reading?

 

 

The usual disclaimery disclaimer applies! 

 

What I’m reading: August 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.

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Looking at the list of this month's reads made me think about why I choose to read what I read. I realized it might help you in your own choices if you understood what I'm hoping to get out of the books I read. Sometimes it's just for pure fun and relaxation (novels), sometimes it's to learn something I don't know, or because I want different perspectives on an issue I deal with/teach in my work (many of this month's reads), and sometimes it's just to learn from the structure  or style of the book. As I work on my own book proposal, I need to understand what already exists in the market so my book is different and complimentary. Often I'll read a book for my clients or students, to see if it answers their questions (and then I'll recommend it to them!).

No matter why I'm reading a book, if I find myself avoiding it or just not moving forward through it quickly, I put it down. I'm a big fan of quitting (wow, I wrote that post 5 years ago!). If I don't like a book, I don't put it on the list here (or if I do, I'll tell you why I didn't like it).

 What I read

  • Landline, by Rainbow Rowell – Oh man. This is the book that solidified my love for Rainbow Rowell. While her other books are categorized YA, this is definitely adult. It's full of moments I've recognized in my own marriage, and insights into what it's like to spend a lifetime with someone. Totally recommend.
  • Radical Self Love, by Gala Darling – This isn't available anymore, but I think it's because she got a traditional book deal to release it. Fun, sweet, full of the kind of stuff you'll find in her best blog posts … but it could definitely use an editor for structure.
  • The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield – I heard the author on a podcast, and he seemed smart (he's a multi-time best-seller author!), so I picked up the book. At its core, it talks about the same kind of thing as Gala's book (above), but in a more structured format. If you have NO idea what you want to do with your life, and you're very very stuck, I recommend it.
  • Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell – Loved it!
  • The Soul of Money, by Lynn Twist – The title turned me off, but the author worked as a fundraiser for The Hunger Project and has used her experience in the third world and the super-rich fundraising world to explore our relationship with money. The book is much more about our cultural relationship than your personal relationship, but I'll be using some of the insights I gathered in the updated version of Pay Yourself.

What I’m reading

 

What I read last year

 

What I’m Reading: April 2015

What I'm Reading April 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 read

 

  • Zero to One, by Peter Theil – This is a book about how to create something from scratch (through the lens of a venture funded tech start-up). Even though you probably don't have investors to please, the book is filled with smart advice for how to think of your tiny business and the mindset that's required to make something completely new (to go from 0 to 1).
  • The Saga series, by Brian Vaughn –  So good. I read a lot of comics and I don't know why I don't talk about them here, but I love this one. Also, the new Thor is fantastic and Hawkeye has beautiful art (and one of the best female characters in I've read anywhere, in a while).
  • Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel – Oh man. This is one of the best memoirs I've read. Ever.
  • Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby – Funny! I was obsessed with I Love Lucy as a kid (I've read all of Lucy's biographies and watched all the episodes multiple times, thanks to my local library), so this book was right up my alley. I notice that in months where I have a LOT of work (I wrote 6 weeks worth of class content and 4 weeks worth of blog content in 2.5 weeks in March!), I tend to stick with fiction. Non-fiction (especially about business!) gives me so many ideas and sparks so many new projects, that I have to avoid it if I'm going to follow-through on months that are already packed.

What I’m reading

Find of the month: Love Gilmore Girls and reading? Olive made an awesome Rory Gilmore Reading List! LOVE!

What are you reading?

 

PS. What I was reading last year.

 

 

 

The usual disclaimery disclaimer applies! 

 

 

 

What I’m Reading: February 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 read

What I’m reading

What are you reading?

 

11 best books of 2014

my 11 favorite books of 2014For the past two years I've been sharing my monthly reading lists and holding an informal “book club” in the comments each month. I absolutely love the suggestions you make, and I've found many new authors thanks to your ideas!

Each month I say a bit about the books and might mention if I really liked it, but if you were looking for books I wholeheartedly recommend, it's not so easy to find the best. (This is on purpose, as I can't tell how much I want to recommend a book until I've pondered it for a while after reading it.) So today I'd like to narrow down the 72 books I read in 2014 into my very favorites. These are the books I would wholeheartedly recommend that you pick up and read this year! I've split them into most-favorite (you should read them no matter who you are!), starting a craft business (especially useful if you're just getting started or want a refresher), and fiction, because we all need more fiction!
(Note: most of these books were published long before 2014, but I read them in 2014.)

My most-favorite

  1. 10 years in the Tub: a Decade of Soaking in Great Books, by Nick Hornby. I picked this up randomly from the Reading section of my library (geek alert!) and I am so happy with it. It’s a collection of Hornby’s “What I’m Reading” articles (you know I love that!) for the Believer magazine, which he wrote for 10 years. The articles are funny, memorable, and perfectly express what it is I love about reading. (Warning: It caused me to add over a dozen books to my To Read list. Beware!)
  2. Make it Mighty Ugly by my pal Kim Werker. I’m actually still reading this book, because I'm doing all the exercises in it. I've discovered quite a bit about myself and feel myself becoming braver in my creative endeavours.
  3. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg – This was so great! I find myself applying this to my own life and my work with clients all the time. If you want to get stuff done or lead a life you love, you need to develop habits that make things happen. This book teaches you how.
  4. If You Can Talk, You Can Write, Joes Saltzman. The title says it all…and I'd add: If you have a business, you can (and do!) write!  I used the prompts to keep up with my 1,000 words a day and found myself quoting it to the writing-scared. Pick it up if you think you “can't” write.
  5. 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 more on the inspirational, just-get-going side than my book, but has the same message: Share your work and keep sharing it.

Starting a Craft Business

6. The Eventual Millionaire: How Anyone Can Be an Entrepreneur and Successfully Grow Their Startup, by Jamie Tardy – Despite the title, this book is less about being a millionaire and more about starting a business and growing, based on how millionaires have done it. I tend to avoid “get rich” books, and this book is far from it. Jamie has a great podcast with interesting interviews, and she’s taken all she’s learned and turned it into a great getting-started guide. I recommend this to anyone who doesn't know where to start.

7. $100 Start-up by Chris Guillebeau. As I hoped, this is going to the top of my to-recommend list for those where-to-start questions. This is for you if you’re not sure how to get started and if you are seriously excited to start a business. Even though I’m 8 years past “start-up”, I still learned stuff – I used the Launch Checklist while opening Pay Yourself (and had my biggest class launch ever!).

Want my all-time favorite small business books? I've collected all 28 of them in the Bibliography of this class. You only get it when you buy the bundle.

Fiction

I find reading fiction to be as important as any non-fiction, business-y, or educational reading I do. It improves my ear (and hopefully, pen) for great turns of phrase, interesting language usage, and metaphor. Plus, it's fun. And we need fun.

8.  Ready Player One, by Earnest Cline. SO GOOD. I devoured it.

9. Hotel New Hampshire, by John Irving. I went through an Irving spell several years ago and I don’t know how I missed this one. A great novel, recommended by Kim.

10. The Magician’s Land, by Lev Grossman. This is the last book in the three-book series, so you definitely need to start with the first!

11. The Odyssey, by Homer – I’m sure I read parts of this in High School, but as part of my Great Books Project I wanted to read the whole thing. I was completely shocked by how gripping and … modern it all felt, especially if you read any sci-fi. I wholeheartedly love it, recommend it, and can’t believe it took me so long.

My favorite reading this year was inspired by my desire to read all those books I missed and developed into my Great Books Project. I shared the seeds of this idea back in July and then I really started reading in earnest in October.

 

What were your favorite books of 2014? What are you adding to your list?

 

 

Disclaimer-y Disclaimer!  Or course I’m biased when my friends write a book, but I don’t mention things I don’t like. Also, I'm an Amazon affiliate and I get a tiny percent when you buy a book through my links. Read the usual disclaimer here.