On Being Human by Jennifer Pastiloff | Dutton | Book Review

Jennifer Pastiloff book review

On Being Human by Jen Pastiloff

Book Summary:

“Centered around the touchstone stories Jen tells in her popular workshops, On Being Human is the story of how a starved person grew into the exuberant woman she was meant to be all along by battling the demons within and winning.

Jen did not intend to become a yoga teacher, but when she was given the opportunity to host her own retreats, she left her thirteen-year waitressing job and said “yes,” despite crippling fears of her inexperience and her own potential. After years of feeling depressed, anxious, and hopeless, in a life that seemed to have no escape, she healed her own heart by caring for others. She has learned to fiercely listen despite being nearly deaf, to banish shame attached to a body mass index, and to rebuild a family after the debilitating loss of her father when she was eight. Through her journey, Jen conveys the experience most of us are missing in our lives: being heard and being told, “I got you.”   

Exuberant, triumphantly messy, and brave, On Being Human is a celebration of happiness and self-realization over darkness and doubt. Her complicated yet imperfectly perfect life path is an inspiration to live outside the box and to reject the all-too-common belief of “I am not enough.” Jen will help readers find, accept, and embrace their own vulnerability, bravery, and humanness.”

Publication Date:

June 4th, 2019

Genre:

Memoir

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

On Being Human is the best title ever, and before this book, I had never heard of Jennifer Pastiloff…but the cover totally sold me. This book is primarily a memoir of Pastiloff’s life from childhood to present. She did not have an easy road and parts of this book were incredibly difficult to read but I so appreciated her honesty and her ability to share in such a raw and open way.

I always love memoirs and think sharing our stories is SO important, even when they are not totally relatable to us at first glance. I ended up connected so much with Pastiloff and found myself nodding along as I read. She has so much insight and wisdom but in a completely approachable manner.

I felt like she was talking to me, not down to me with her writing. And while she now leads retreats all over the world, it felt like I was just talking to a friend who happened to be introspective but also totally real. Pastiloff writes about how we talk down to ourselves and believe our own bullshit stories which can make us think we are not good enough.

Many people have tried to share this message before but it has never come across like this to me..maybe because they felt they have conquered it? Pastifloff it is relatable because this is something that is a lifelong struggle, no matter the hurdles you face and accomplishments you “achieve”. She has this humility about her that made this different than anything I have read before.

I especially appreciated her sections on her struggles with her mental health. While it isn’t exactly a “self-help” book I found so many thought-provoking lines that I kept underlining throughout.

“Depression is a response to past loss, and anxiety is a response to future loss.”

“ There will always be the one who doesn’t like you, the one who says, ‘No, you should not do this, Yes, you suck’. And we always always have two choices: keep going or shut down.”

Sometimes her honestly made me a bit uncomfortable, but I think that is what made this book so powerful. I can’t put my finger on it as it took me a bit to get into the book and I wasn’t sure about for it a while but now that I am finished, I can’t stop thinking about it. She has a unique ability to share in a way that made me think about my own choices and reactions in my life as well and it is one I won’t forget as a reader.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Amelia & Emily Nagoski | Book Review

Burnout by Emily & Amelia Nagoski

Burnout, audiobook, book review

Book Summary:

“This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.

Burnout. Many women in America have experienced it. What’s expected of women and what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s world are two very different things—and women exhaust themselves trying to close the gap between them. How can you “love your body” when every magazine cover has ten diet tips for becoming “your best self”? How do you “lean in” at work when you’re already operating at 110 percent and aren’t recognized for it? How can you live happily and healthily in a sexist world that is constantly telling you you’re too fat, too needy, too noisy, and too selfish?

Sisters Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, are here to help end the cycle of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Instead of asking us to ignore the very real obstacles and societal pressures that stand between women and well-being, they explain with compassion and optimism what we’re up against—and show us how to fight back. In these pages you’ll learn

• what you can do to complete the biological stress cycle—and return your body to a state of relaxation
• how to manage the “monitor” in your brain that regulates the emotion of frustration
• how the Bikini Industrial Complex makes it difficult for women to love their bodies—and how to defend yourself against it
• why rest, human connection, and befriending your inner critic are keys to recovering and preventing burnout

With the help of eye-opening science, prescriptive advice, and helpful worksheets and exercises, all women will find something transformative in these pages—and will be empowered to create positive change. Emily and Amelia aren’t here to preach the broad platitudes of expensive self-care or insist that we strive for the impossible goal of “having it all.” Instead, they tell us that we are enough, just as we are—and that wellness, true wellness, is within our reach.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

10 Things to Tell You Podcast

I learned about Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle on the 10 Things To Tell You Podcast episode about anxiety. I listened to this book on audio and while I think their intentions were good, I think listeners are either going to love their narration style, or not….for me, I was somewhere in the middle.

I did think the information they shared was fabulous and the explanation of completing the actual stress cycle was brilliant. Honestly, I had never thought about it in that way before and it makes SO much sense. That section alone made this book super helpful to me and I have been recommending it to so many friends.

They also included some great practical advice about choices we CAN make when we can’t always control outside stress in our lives. While it may not have been earth-shattering information, it was a great reminder of the things that we have control over in our own lives. Suggestions like prioritizing sleep, connecting with others, and showing yourself compassion are such powerful and attainable things we can do right away to help our own responses to external stressors.

There is a big emphasis on “the patriarchy” in this book. I found that it was not the most powerful part for me as a reader but it certainly was beneficial in some ways. I think this book would have been strong enough without that section because the stress cycle parts were so hugely beneficial to me. All that said, there certainly is validity in how patriarchy affects women’s daily stress.

If you are looking for a book either as a refresher on stress management or if you are feeling like you need some new tools for handling daily stressors, I highly recommend checking this one out.

2019 Summer Reading | New & Upcoming Book Releases

2019 Summer Reading!

2019 summer reading

Transitioning to “summer mode”

Today is our first (unofficial) day of summer. Our boys finished school on Friday and today we are starting off on our new summer routine. I get a lot of apprehension before big transitions but then usually do just fine once we are in the swing of things. Does this happen to anyone else?

I love summer so much but there is a lack of routines and consistency that as a someone who thrives offs that stuff, well…it can be a bit of struggle. I know I am not alone in this feeling which helps, and whenever I start feeling this way I think about all the wonderful things about summer, like all the new books!!!

ALL the books

I don’t know if I am just noticing it more this year but this spring/summer has the most unbelievable amount of new releases from so many of my favorite authors! Every week another great book is released, and I have met some new to me authors along the way too.

Organizing when life feels chaotic…

Last week I was organizing all the things. In between my last week of solo working and the end of the year school activities, I decided I should work on getting my life together, ha! I have done this since I was a child, and I find it incredibly calming. Amidst the chaos, finding peace through organizing can be quite helpful when you get to worrying.

Summer Book Stack

On our last official day of “freedom” (AKA the last half day of school), I decided to find all our favorite spring and summer reads that Kristy and I have collected together and photograph them. I am sure this was a super great use of my time, but it did pay off for sharing on here!

Between the two of us, we have read all of these and thought they would make great summer reading recommendations stack! We read a lot of the same books and while we don’t always agree with our love for something, we agreed about these!

bookstack-1-2

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

I am starting off with a book that won’t be released until the beginning of August but it is worth the wait. Kristan Higgins is one of the best summer reading authors in my opinion. Her books are unique, the characters are layered and they are always page turners and totally satisfying. You can read my full review of Life and Other Inconveniences HERE.

In the meantime, if you are looking to read some of her writing now, check these out.

On Second Thought, Good Luck with That & If You Only Knew (which also is a Kindle Deal right now!)

beach books

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

There are certain authors I associate with summer and Jane Green is one of them. Green’s newest release brings us a book about complicated relationships in a completely engaging storyline. I love books that bring in current issues and that seems to be a great theme of 2019 reading. The Friends We Keep brings us betrayal, forgiveness, coming back “home” and a second chance at happiness.

Jennifer Weiner

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

I know, I need to stop talking about Mrs. Everything…but I can’t! Books affect everyone differently, which is one of my favorite parts fo reading. I just connected so much this book and it made me think, long after I had finished it. You can read my full review HERE. And if you have read Mrs. Everything already, did this touch your reading heart too?

summer reading, St. Martin's Press

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

There is nothing like finding a new author to love and Montauk did that for me! Nicola Harrison’s writing is beautiful and captivating and she drew me right in from the very first page of Montauk. The storyline was layered and the ending totally caught me off guard! You can read my full review HERE.

summer reading

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Another new to me author is Beth O’Leary! There are a million reasons why I love being a part of Bookstagram, but one of my very favorite things is learning about books I might not have otherwise. The Flatshare came highly recommended to me by some of my favorite book reviewing friends on Instagram. I am easily persuaded by other peoples suggestions and was not disappointed by this charming and relatable novel. You can read my full review HERE.

Elin Hilderbrand

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand 

And finally, the queen of summer reading, Elin Hilderbrand takes us back to the Summer of ’69 in her first historical novel. I am reading this right now and am just loving it. Her books rarely disappoint me and her ability to transport us back in time while still keeping her beach book vibe alive is amazing. I have never been to Nantucket but almost feel like I have been of her incredibly detailed writing. I always love her alternating narrations and storylines and I can’t wait to share my full review of this book soon.

I grabbed my copy a little early through my Book of The Month subscription but this will be released TOMORROW if you hoping to pick it up at your local book store or at your favorite online book retailer.


I hope you have enjoyed this list of recommendations and I would love to know if you have any that you would add! <3