Life Lately…{September 1st, 2020}

Gen The Bookworm blogGood morning and a big shout out to all the parents who have made it to September! We may be smiling but are also crying on the inside, LOL.2020-09-01_0007We like to hide inside our L.L.Bean sweatshirts when we get nervous, which has been quite frequent lately. These striped sweatshirts were basically our quarantine uniforms March-June and these fall temps has us pulling them back out once again! While I have no affiliation with L.L.Bean, I would be happy to be their spokesperson if they are looking…

This summer has been a rollercoaster of emotions and while we have had many highs we also have had just as many lows. There have been plans that have had to be changed and many pivots in our daily family and work lives. We normally would have started school by now but this year we are starting after Labor Day which means we got a couple of extra weeks of summer. Continue reading “Life Lately…{September 1st, 2020}”

Coffee Talk | Currently…Mental Health, Homemade Face Masks, Outdoor Adventures & At Home Haircuts

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Today marks the beginning of the seventh week of our COVID19 Quarantine.  The longer this has gone on, the more we really have settled into a new routine. Some days it is hard to remember what it was like before all of this. Has this happened with any of you?

During the first few weeks, I had a lot of anxiety because there was just so much unknown in addition to the anticipation of what things would look like, both locally and globally.

While there is still a lot of things we don’t know, it feels easier in some sense that things have settled into a bit of predictability again, even if this all would have been almost unrecognizable a few months ago.

Continue reading “Coffee Talk | Currently…Mental Health, Homemade Face Masks, Outdoor Adventures & At Home Haircuts”

Everything I Read in March 2020 {Book Recap & Ratings}

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Thinking back to the beginning of last month and knowing it was only a little over four weeks ago feels almost unbelievable. So much has changed and continues to change and it is a scary time for everyone. I have also felt a little vulnerable to share, even on this relatively small public platform because many of my feelings seem(are?) trivial in the larger scheme of things. 

How It’s Going…

global crisis{image via Liz & Mollie}

Continue reading “Everything I Read in March 2020 {Book Recap & Ratings}”

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Winter Blues, My First Podcast Interview, Cozy Must-Haves & Book Giveaway!

Currently Loving

Happy February & The Winter Blues…

Gen The Bookworm

I have been meaning to check in with a coffee talk blog post and now we are halfway through February! How is your month going?

It has been a more challenging winter for me personally. The weather has been particularly dark and gray and I know that adds to the overall feeling of sadness and increased anxiety for me personally (and also many other people…)

Continue reading “Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Winter Blues, My First Podcast Interview, Cozy Must-Haves & Book Giveaway!”

Everything Isn’t Terrible by Dr. Kathleen Smith | Hachette Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Bowen Method

Everything Isn’t Terrible by Dr. Kathleen Smith

Book Summary:

Licensed therapist and mental health writer Dr. Kathleen Smith offers a smart, practical antidote to our anxiety-ridden times. Everything Isn’t Terrible is an informative and practical guide — featuring a healthy dose of humor — for people who want to become beacons of calmness in their families, at work, and in our anxious world. Everything Isn’t Terrible will inspire you to confront your anxious self, take charge of your anxiety, and increase your own capacity to choose how you respond to it. Comprised of short chapters containing anecdotal examples from Smith’s work with her clients, in addition to engaging, actionable exercises for readers, Everything Isn’t Terrible will give anyone suffering from anxiety all the tools they need to finally…calm…down.

Ultimately, living a calmer, less anxious life — one that isn’t terrible — is possible, and with this book you’ll learn how to do it.

Publication Date:

December 31st, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help/Anxiety

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

Hachette Books

Everything Isn’t Terrible

I am a big fan of self-help books in general but I am especially drawn to the idea of confronting our own anxieties. In Everything Isn’t Terrible, author Kathleen Smith presents an approachable explanation of the Bowen theory of therapy which involves not only looking at ourselves as individuals but also at our relationship systems…

“Because when we feel anxious, we often try to make other people change. We try to calm everyone else down so we can finally relax. But if you can work on managing yourself in these relationships, it’s likely that your family, your workplace, and even the greater world will calm down a little too.”

Smith uses this approach in the work she does with her therapy clients and shares valuable examples in her writing regarding this methodology then gives us questions and ways to put these ideas into practice.

I really enjoyed this hands-on approach and how interactive this book felt while reading it. The writing is accessible and also shares things we can implement into our lives in a large variety of relationships and circumstances.

I love the idea that while we cannot always change the circumstances we are in, we can change how we react to them. “By changing yourself, you change the equation.”

Thank you to NetGalley and Hachette Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

November 2019 Book Recap & Ratings {Gen The Bookworm Monthly Reading Wrap-Up}

Gen The Bookworm Monthly Book Recap

Happy December!

I can’t believe that we are in the last month of 2019. I think because Thanksgiving was so late this year, it seems like the holiday season came out of nowhere! We have three weeks of school (including this one) until Christmas Break for the kids and there is a lot packed in there beforehand.

I also have ALL THESE ideas for the end of the year posts and recaps, but then normal things end up going by the wayside, like regular book reviews posts… I normally like to link to the reviews of the books I am including in these monthly recap posts, but there aren’t too many yet…I will be adding them over the next few weeks so I can be caught up by 2020. 🙂

November Reading at a Glance

November ending up being a great month of reading with a lot of 4 & 5-star reads and just a couple that were a bit of a disappointment. While I wasn’t planning on it, I did read a fair amount of non-fiction which fit in with Nonfiction November which is a popular reading challenge in the Bookstagram world.

I also read some of my very favorite books of the year this past month. I shared my Best of 2019 (so far!) favorites back in July and I am looking forward to seeing how everything stacked up at the official end of 2019 in just a few weeks!

November Highlights

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My top four books of last month were The Giver of Stars, American Dirt, Be Mighty, and Such a Fun Age. They were all very powerful reads that I won’t forget anytime soon.

November Lows

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I had a lot of anticipation about both of these titles as both Elizabeth Berg and Malcolm Gladwell are authors I have just loved in the past. Unfortunately, both The Confession Club and Talking to Strangers just did not work for me. I have a hard time connecting with either book and found Talking to Strangers quite concerning at some parts. I discuss this one more below and will be sharing my full reviews for both of these books soon.

Camille Pagan

This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagan

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Pagan’s writing is relatable, funny and whip-smart. Her 2019 book I’m Fine and Neither Are You is one of my favorites of the past year.  This Won’t End Well will be published in February and you can pre-order it now with a kindle deal HERE. This book made me laugh out loud and I just find Pagan’s writing to be so approachable and enjoyable to read.

Elizabeth Berg

The Confession Club by Elizabeth Berg

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Elizabeth Berg was one of the first authors I really got into as an adult reader. I love how she can create simple scenes and environments with complex and multifaceted characters. Unfortunately, this one just didn’t hit the high mark she has set for me in the past, but her backlist is fantastic!

Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

The Family Upstairs was one of my most highly anticipated Fall 2019 reads. I often struggle with the thriller genre and am frequently left feeling disappointed, either because they were way too far fetched and the ending comes out of nowhere or they feel cliched and totally predictable.

There are a few I have just loved but far more that felt like a letdown…and I get it, I am rather picky about them. I like the perfect balance of detailed characters, suspense, mystery and a satisfying, yet semi-realistic ending.

The one author that has yet to let me down is Lisa Jewell, and so this made my expectations even higher for this one. I am happy to report that she has done it again! The Family Upstairs was the perfect book to cozy up with on the couch and read the afternoon away.

You can read my full review HERE.

D.J. Palmer

The New Husband by D.J. Palmer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was in the mood for a thriller to get sucked into and some of my book reviewing friends had really enjoyed The New Husband. It ended up being very engaging and a total page-turner. You can read my full review HERE.

Emily Belden

Husband Material Emily Belden

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Husband Material is a contemporary fiction novel that had a great balance of humor and relatability. I really appreciated how the author Emily Belden built detailed characters that have a level of depth that doesn’t always happen in this genre of writing. Because of this, I was really able to connect with the storyline and follow these characters on their path of grief and the process of moving forward.

I appreciated the discussion of death and loss, especially for younger characters who are still on the path of finding themselves while at the same time dealing with this huge loss. I am so glad I didn’t judge this one by the cover alone because while the cutesy cover might let you think this is just another “rom-com” I really found this to be so much more.

 

Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to an amazing book friend, I was able to get my hands on an ARC of American Dirt. As soon as it arrived I picked it up. I had heard ALL the hype and I often get wary of overhyped books but let me tell you, THE HYPE IS REAL! I cannot wait for this one to be released in January (you can pre-order HERE) because I know this one is going to be discussed everywhere!

Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Speaking of upcoming 2020 books, Such a Fun Age is another super winter release! This is one of those books that is written in a light and engaging manner but is deceptively heavy-hitting. It a compelling contemporary fiction novel that dives into racial issues from two very different standpoints as well as how we identify with ourselves and with one another. You can read my full review HERE.

Jondi Kantor & Megan Twohey

She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse for the New York Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the thrilling untold story of their investigation and its consequences for the #MeToo movement. 

She Said is an incredibly powerful and enlightening read, not only about the sexual harassment scandal but also what goes into reporting a story of this magnitude. Kantor and Twohey pulled back the layers of both their work and the stories of the women that were a part of sharing what eventually became a movement for millions.

The Giver of Stars

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was very interested to read a book by Jojo Moyes in the historical fiction genre but I didn’t get super motivated to pick it up until I started hearing a lot of my book reviewing friends just raving about it!

I absolutely loved learning about the history of the traveling library and also how it also gave women the ability to discover their own identities in a time and place when this wasn’t the social norm. This book ended up blowing me away with its multifaceted characters and layered storytelling and I will be sharing my full review soon! 

Be Mighty by Jill Stoddard

Be Mighty by Jill Stoddard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Author Jill Stoddard shares that there isn’t a human that hasn’t deal with some kind of struggle or pain. These struggles can get us down or they can also speak to us and help us understand what we need in our lives to be healthier and happier. Instead of working to avoid discomfort, when we let ourselves really feel, we can then really bloom as whole and imperfect people. Allowing ourselves to feel “all the things” can help guide us on our paths instead of just trying to avoid things that “hurt”.

I could go on and on about this one because I really got so much out of it but I will just say that while books about stress and anxiety are nothing new, I loved this fresh and approachable take on the subject and I highly recommend it! You can read my full review HERE.

Susannah Cahalan

The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cahalan’s first book, Brain on Fire, was a personal look at her own experiences and I loved that this book was a wonderful follow up to this important and timely topic as a whole. While we have come so far, we still have a way to go when dealing with mental health stigmas and treatment.

Non-fiction books like this are such a powerful and important conversation starter. While this novel was insightful and thought-provoking it wasn’t an easy read at times. With that said, sometimes discomfort is what can fuel the fire for change and I am so glad I gave this once a chance.

Malcolm Gladwell

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s books, but I just had a hard time connecting with this one. Not only was the title a little misleading with what the book was actually about, but it just didn’t sound like his regular voice or style which I have really related to in the past. I especially struggled with some of the stories he chose to dive into and his responses regarding sexual assault were quite astounding.

I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt but after reading Know My Name by Chanel Miller last month, I felt quite appalled when I read his discussion about Brock Turner. While I do think alcohol can cloud judgment (and consent) it does not take away from the fact that Brock Turner CHOSE to assault Chanel Miller and whether she was under the influence of alcohol or not, it is not the issue. Victim blaming is scary and real and it is disappointing that someone of this power and influence chose to blur the lines on this one.

Quiet

Quiet by Susan Cain

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Quiet has been recommended me to me for a couple of years and I finally got around to reading it. While some of it was a little dry, there were so many fascinating sections that really made me feel so understood. As someone who is social but also can be completely overstimulated by noise and crowds, this book made me feel so understood. I am planning on sharing my full review soon!

Neil Pasricha

You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Everyone can relate to failure but how we react to it can change our paths entirely and keep us moving forward. Every “misstep” is a chance to assess, learn and then move up and onward. I love the balance of personal stories, accessible writing, and strategies that are approachable for everyone.

Pasricha writes with compassion and proactivity and reminds us that we are all works in progress. Sometimes self-help books can help you feel heard but not really have a plan, or make you feel like you are being talked down to and make you just feel worse.  You Are Awesome contains straightforward steps that make you feel less alone but also help you move FORWARD. You can read my full review HERE.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. 

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving… Beating The Winter Blues (in November), ALL the Winter Gear, Barre Book Club & More

Currently Loving...

Checking-in:

dog on the couch

Good morning!! I am trying to become more efficient (and not overthink these posts) because you guys were so great when I asked for more feedback over on Instagram. I too love reading random daily life updates and so I am going to try and commit to sharing these once a week! I am very externally motivated so when I know someone is expecting something of me I am all in, ha.

gentle

(image from Reddit)

The last couple of weeks have had some ups and downs. My life has so many wonderful things, and it also has some painful and sad parts. I do try to be real on here, but also keeping in mind that this is a very public space. I love the image above so much because it is so very true and it is something that I try very hard to keep in mind when interacting with the world around me.

I am a glass half full person. I think because I have such great supports and self-care practices in place, it helps me focus on the good parts BECAUSE I am able to process the tougher stuff when it comes up. This is a work in progress of course, but I think it is important to mention as these posts are definitely more of the “highlight reel” kind of recaps. Okay, moving on!

Sunday Routines:

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I am a little off schedule today because Lucas was away for the night at his family’s deer camp. He isn’t a hunter but going to camp is one of his very favorite things to do this time of year. He ends up bringing the kids with him a lot because we try and coordinate it with when Kristy and I are teaching on the weekends so this was a nice adult only visit for him!

Normally Sunday mornings are my barre and grocery shopping time, sometimes mixed in with a visit to Target to peruse the bookshelves. Last weekend I got together with one of my reading buddies and we had a great Pure Empower workout with Lauren and then walked around Target and caught up. My friendships are so very important to me, and there are certain times when you just need them a lot more and this is definitely one of those times.

Snow Days!

vermont winter

By mid-month, the boys already had TWO snow days. I think they are much easier to take this time of year than in say, late March but I was still a bit surprised. The boys were super excited of course and it was a reminder for us that it was time to pull out (and FIND) all the winter gear.

Currently Wearing…ALL the Winter Gear

vermont life

We have built up quite the collection of Skida accessories over the year and especially love hitting up their Summer Sidewalk Sale in August to replenish anything that gets lost at school.

It doesn’t matter how much you label the crap out of your kid’s stuff, some of it WILL go missing and it hurts a bit less when at least you know you got a good deal on them! We have also had great luck with LL Bean gloves for the kids!

Darn Tough

For socks, we LOVE Darn Tough socks and they are guaranteed for life! I love the Women’s Stripe Micro Crew Cushion style that is the perfect height and feel snug enough without feeling like they are cutting off your circulation on your ankles! 

Bogs For Life

We are big Bogs fans around here. Bogs Boots are our go-to footwear for our whole family from late October until the end of April. I updated mine this year after having my pair for 5+ years and I went with the Women’s Whiteout Bogs that are super easy to slip on and off (A MUST for me with winter boots) are so warm and cozy and waterproof. I loved my Plimsoll Bogs but these have even better traction for better grip on ice and snow. I am ladies size 8.5 in most shoes and I size up to a 9 in Bogs. I find that having a bit of extra room is super helpful, especially when wearing heavier socks this time of year.

winter boots

While I could never be a fashion blogger (LOL) I can talk for days about winter outwear and basically anything from LL Bean or Talbotts…

You can find the Kids Rain and Winter Boot Bogs HERE.

You can find the Women’s Whiteout Bogs HERE.

You can find the Men’s Classic Bogs HERE.

Beating The Winter Blues in November

vermont life

When you have the right winter clothing, getting outside this time of year is the best! One of my favorite ways to get together with friends is to go for a walk. Kristy and do this on our lunch break at work because she has some great trails right behind her house.walking with friends

I have been trying to prioritize this lately as I have a bit more flexibility during the work week now that photography season is slowing down a bit and it is so good for our mental health…there really is nothing like some fresh air and sunshine.

This week Buzz and I met my friend Elisa for a walk at Shelburne Bay and went on a lunch hour walk with Kari up Mt. Philo. All of these walks take less than from start to finish so they are perfect to add in during our day when we don’t have a long block of time available. 

Currently Embracing…Weekend Walks

vermont kids

We are also embracing the slower-paced time of this year on the weekends. Being cooped up with kids is not for the faint of heart so getting everyone outside at least once a day is necessary no matter what the weather conditions are. While we love to walk in the woods around our house, it is hunting season now so we stick to parks and places that off-limits for that until it is over in December.

A Night Out With Friends

Owl Feet Studio

It is rare that I do something at night (besides our Better Together Book Club!) because I am not a night owl, and especially this time of year when it gets dark out at 4pm. But when Sonja at Owl Feet Studio announced she was having her first Ladie’s Night Out, I was going to be there!

When I told Lucas I was going to attend a Shibori night, he definitely chuckled. Shibori is a cloth dyeing method originating in Japan in the 18th century and utilizes the incredible properties of the indigo plant (This is Sonja’s great description, not mine!) It is a similar process to tie-dying but because you use indigo, it results in beautiful shades of deep blue.

As a photographer, I am definitely a creative person, but I also like things just so(hence why I spend my work life in Lightroom and Photoshop, ha)

So going with the flow isn’t the most comfortable thing for me. I like having a concrete plan and detailed instructions! It ended up being such a fun night and it was also great to get a little out of my comfort zone. I can’t wait for her next Art Night Out!

Currently Loving…Barre Book Club!

Pure Barre

I know I talk about barre all the time, but it is just such a positive part of my life (and one of my biggest forms of regular self-care). The Pure Barre community is definitely the number one reason why. I am a group exerciser for many reasons (motivation because of signing up ahead of time is one of them) but I also love how it brings me together regularly with such a wonderful group of (mostly) women.

I love arriving a bit early to have time to catch up and love that we now have an (unofficial) Barre Book Club! In addition to chatting about all sorts of random things, our local studio has become an awesome place to share recommendations and also to exchange books!

Pure Barre

And whenever I post a photo with my barre socks, I get asked what kind they are! A barre studio opened near my friend Sarah’s house recently and she asked me if I had recommendations for my favorite sticky socks and these are it!  If you haven’t been to a barre class before, most barre studios have you wear socks (no shoe) that help you grip the floor, which especially comes in handy during planks and pushups.

The Tavi Noir Chloe ones are my current favorite. We started having them in our studio last spring and the pair I bought them have held us amazingly well and are still super sticky and grippy! They are super comfortable and the criss-cross straps stay put and don’t dig in at all like I worried about when I first saw them.

 An Amazing Homegoods Find

Homegoods find

The other weekend, Flynn and I hit up Homegoods to browse the aisles, and we walked away with this Quilted Eddie Bauer Dog Pullover for Buzz! Pullovers are necessary when you have winter weather for 6 months of the year (they are pretty much all I wear…) and I couldn’t resist this one for him when it was under $15…and now we can match!!

quilted dog jacket

I mean, is there anything better than twinning with your dog? I don’t think so!

Currently Becoming…A Harry Potter Fan

harry potter illustrated book

I have to admit, I have never read the Harry Potter series…and I don’t know that I really want to…

A few years ago my friend Kari recommended the Illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to get our family going on the Harry Potter train. Well three years later, our 9-year-old decided to dive in…better late than never right?

He is loving this version so much that has taken to reading right after school which isn’t the norm around, that’s for sure. Both of our boys have really grown to love reading but it is normally something they do in the evening before bed.

They have a boxed set right now of books 1-3 that is a great deal and would make a great holiday gift!

Currently Reading and Listening to…

Jojo Moyes

After much apprehension, I started The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes this week! I often get a little wary of books that are SUPER HYPED UP but this one really is amazing. I have been alternating listening to it on Audible and reading Kristy’s hard copy Book of the Month copy and am just loving it.

Fireside Reading (and Napping!)

Kindle

While this time of the year can be tough with the lack of daylight, it is also such a wonderfully cozy time of year. There is nothing like cuddling up next to the fire and reading an engrossing novel or taking a nap on the couch. After Thanksgiving next week the full rush of the holiday season will be upon on us so I am trying to soak in the quiet moments like this.


I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend! I have some great book reviews in the blog line up and another What’s On Your Nightstand? post coming your way soon!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

 

Be Mighty by Jill A. Stoddard, Ph.D. | New Harbinger Publications {Book Review}

anxiety book

Be Mighty by Jill. A Stoddard, Ph.D.

Book Summary:

You are stronger than your anxiety—you are mighty. In this empowering guide, you’ll find practical tools to help you shed the shackles of worry and fear and embrace a more vibrant life.

In a culture where women are still paid less for doing the same jobs, expected to juggle family and career effortlessly, and faced with the harsh realities of misogyny and sexism daily, it’s no wonder you’re also twice as likely to experience issues related to anxiety and trauma. But there are real tools you can use now to build personal resilience in a difficult world, move past anxious thoughts, and conquer your worries and fears. This book will help guide the way.

Be Mighty leads you on a bold quest to gain a deeper understanding of your anxiety by exploring your own “origin story”—how your early experiences led to thoughts and behaviors that may have offered comfort and protection at one time, but are now keeping you from living your best life. Using practical tools and experiential exercises based in mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), you’ll learn to respond to present-day triggers in a new way, making choices from a more conscious, values-driven place.

So, drop that outdated armor and dive headlong into this book. You’ll emerge fresh and fierce, with the confidence to stand up for the life you want to live and the power to face life’s complexities as your best, most authentic self. It’s time to be who you truly want to be. It’s time for you to be mighty!

Publication Date:

January 2nd, 2020

Genre:

Mental Health/Self Help

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

anxiety book

Be Mighty (Amazon Affiliate Link)

As someone who deals with anxiety, I am always drawn to books that talk about it in a real way. Anxiety isn’t something that can be extinguished but it can be managed. Be Mighty sold me with its gorgeous cover and tag line about liberation from anxiety, worry, and stress. The introduction was just beautifully written and I love the idea that “brokenness” can actually be a wonderful tool in our paths of life.

“All emotions—the ones we like and the ones we think we’d rather do without—have purpose and value.”

Author Jill Stoddard shares that there isn’t a human that hasn’t deal with some kind of struggle or pain. These struggles can get us down or they can also speak to us and help us understand what we need in our lives to be healthier and happier. Instead of working to avoid discomfort, when we let ourselves really feel, we can then really bloom as whole and imperfect people. Allowing ourselves to feel “all the things” can help guide us on our paths instead of just trying to avoid things that “hurt”.

“The Comfort Zone is cozy. But it is never where the magic happens.”

Stoddard walks us through what stress and anxiety are and also identified how these things aren’t a problem in themselves but more so when they become excessive. As someone who has previously experienced debilitating anxiety, I appreciated the idea that it wasn’t so much that it happened but that it started interfering in my daily life. Her writing is relatable but also super informative. I loved that she was able to explain this all in a completely accessible manner. Her proactive ideas like using mindfulness were explained clearly and effectively.

“Mindfulness is the key to unlocking the space between detonator and bomb, where we can slow down, observe, and experience the moment fully and without defense. This disables our autopilot, deactivates our bomb, and allows us to discover and experience life, as it is, rather than what the mind says it is.”

I could go on and on about this one because I really got so much out of it but I will just say that while books about stress and anxiety are nothing new, I loved this fresh and approachable take on the subject and I highly recommend it!

Thank you to NetGalley and New Harbinger Publications for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

Nonfiction November Book Recommendations {Nonfiction Book Favorites from 2019}

nonfiction November

Nonfiction November

Are you a nonfiction reader? I love a good nonfiction book, especially related to mental health and parenting. It’s no surprise that out of all the non-fiction books I read this year, those genres ended up being my favorites. If you are participating in #nonfictionnovember and are needing a few more recommendations to finish your month off strong, I have some great recommendations!

fairplayeverodsky.jpg

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

I first read Fair Play this past September when I received a copy from Putnam Books to review. You can read my full review of Fair Play HERE.

I was immediately enthralled with the concept of Fair Play and was talking all about all over social media. I was so excited when a few weeks later Reese picked it for her Hello Sunshine book club selection.

Fair Play was the perfect follow up book to All The Rage, which I am discussing below. As someone who has been parenting for 9+ years, we have fallen into many societal norms and expectations that we didn’t see coming when we found out we were going to be parents 10 years ago. This book helps you feel less alone and then gives you a proactive answer on how to alleviate it!

I ended up communicating with Eve Rodsky over direct messages on Instagram (which was also one of my highlights of 2019!) and we discussed how to make this plan work by not only our initial conversation about it but also ongoing. Eve had some amazing advice, namely, they don’t stop talking about it and they have a time each week when she and her husband sit down and reflect, manage and plan. While this may sound a little… unromantic, I will tell you, it is a lot more enticing than the worst R-word in parenthood…RESENTMENT.

All The Rage by Darcy Lockman

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I listened to All The Rage on Audible and wow, what a powerful read! You can read my full review HERE.

In All The Rage, Darcy Lockman shares a well researched and relatable look at social expectations, male privilege, and sexism when it comes to parenting in the 21st century. Lockman uses studies, research, interviews with parents, and her own personal experiences which results in a well balanced and deeply impactful look at the gender inequity that working mothers still face today and the mental load women face as mothers.

Whether you are a parent or thinking about becoming one someday, this book is so insightful and thought-provoking. I appreciated Lockman’s personal experiences as they related to many issues we faced in our own experiences as partners and parents. While many people think “this won’t happen to me” a large percentage of family’s fall into the expectations that have become ingrained in our society.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a book everyone should read. You can read my full review HERE.

Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who shares her insights not only about her professional experience but her own journey through therapy. This book helps normalize therapy for everyone, and her ability to share the profound growth both she and her patients experienced was so honest and refreshing.

While Gottlieb includes many important psychological concepts, her writing is clear and conversational and easy for anyone to engage with. I found that there was a perfect balance with the personal stories that will also help her readers become more aware of their own obstacles and moments of growth as they move through this book.

To Have and To Hold by Molly Millwood

Molly Millwood

Motherhood is the hardest AND most wonderful thing I have ever done. While I am lucky to have had many conversations with the people in my personal life, never have I read something that explains the complexities of motherhood and marriage in such a profound manner until I read To Have and To Hold.

The highs and lows of parenthood, the immense love and also the intense quest to reclaim ourselves as women and partners when our lives will never be the same are so real and valid.

To Have and To Hold

To Have and to Hold spoke to me on so many levels. Millwood’s ability to write with both her voice as a professional and her voice as a mother was a perfect balance. It is relatable and real and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I loved it so much we chose it for our first Better Together Motherhood Book Club selection this fall AND Molly was our guest speaker!!

Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski

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. So while this wasn’t my favorite audiobook, this WAS an amazingly helpful book and I added a hardcopy to my collection right away!


I hope one of these recommendations makes your nonfiction TBR list. <3

Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!