Alrightttt here we are. The end of another year and many many many books down. I always start with my bookclubs book list and go on to the others I read this year. Despite COVID…our bookclub did meet twice in person after March and a few months on Zoom. (no one likes zoom…let’s be honest) We took off many months so we could all read whatever we wanted. So here are the books we read together:
Miki’s words are insightful, pushing the status quo, and inspiring. She pulls in her experience as a business woman, a mother, and passionate movement shifter to shake your normal up ways of thinking. She takes 13 different areas of life that most people are “ok” with and shows you a different way to come at it. Everything from feminism, patriarchy , money, perfectionism, relationships, business, and vulnerability. At the end of each chapter she gives questions for you to journal and work through / talk about with other people. Along with a challenge. So her words don’t just sound good in the moment you read them but start to root and take action within your life.
Miki is such a unique woman. She sees the world differently therefore she lives differently. She is ok pushing what society has said is the standard into reaching for more. This book will get you fired up to shift things in your life and in your mind. You may not agree with everything she says but there you must be open to her perspective. Change helps us to grow and become better evolved humans and this book is tool for that growth.
Who should read this book?
Literally every woman who is fed up with how it “should” be. Anyone who needs a little fire under their tired feet. Anyone who has always felt they were different. Anyone who thinks for the equality of humans. Anyone who enjoys questioning the status quo. And anyone who is uncomfortable with questioning the status quo, feminist, sex, money, and everything else taboo. This book will ease you in nicely to the conversation and show you everyone has a place at the table to have a discussion.
Why should you read this book?
You should read this book because we must not get stagnant. We must not be ok with what society is telling is. That we need more things, that money is tacky to talk about, we must grow up and get a real job, we should get skinner, buy a bigger house, etc. Miki will disrput your life. She will disrupt all the thing you think you know about society for the better.
“What are some of humanity’s greatest obstacles?
The “status quo.”
In order to move humanity forward, we need a healthy dose of disruption . . .
. . . But this time from a modern woman’s perspective.”
Genre: Autobiography, Christian Life, Women’s Issues
Page count: 281 pages
What I thought of the book:
I first read this book last January after a friend referred it to me. She knows I love all things rest, rejuvenation, and slow living. I went into this book thinking it would be like all the others, a guide to living a slow life. This is almost a memoir of her life’s journey chasing slow and failing miserably along the way. It’s a coffee book type of book because it’s designed so beautifully. It has hidden little notes, recipes, and design tips throughout. But it also has REALLY hard words to swallow when you are reading it because it will hit you hard.
She taught me there is something deep down within all of us, like a lion, that is searching for it’s next prey. The prey for her and for me, is striving for the next thing to do, always saying yes, and MORE (more money, more things, more stuff). Throughout the whole book she will use the analogy of the lion inside to describe this inner turmoil with ourselves. The constant back and forth of saying yes and learning no. The more we feed the lion the more it will continue it’s search for MORE. This is a book about slowing down yes but, it’s also a book about why and where does this need for constant more comes from.
Erin was one of those first bloggers in the 90’s when the internet went boom. When you are reading it feels like you are at coffee with her sitting across from the table listening to her life’s story, with all the messy beautiful moments.
The one reason this book is different than all the other is because half way through writing this book she recognizes while chasing slow- she is still striving for more. It’s in the chase that slow needs to happen. It’s in the striving that perfectionism needs to be put in it’s place, which is back on the shelf. I promise you will get something good out of this book. I read it once a year in January to remind myself what this life is all about and it’s NOT about the more or the next but being content with the already.
Beautiful design, descriptive words, and honest conversation.
Who should read this book?
Any woman who is needing honest true words about how HARD life is but how good it could be if we do the work to silence the lion inside. Anyone who needs to know you are not a lone in your busyness. Anyone who has been “trying” to live a slow intentional life but keep messing it up.
Why should you read this book?
Because it gives recognition to the struggle of life. It makes you think about the areas of your life you may have fallen blind to and call them “good”. This book tells will guide you in a way of life that could save your marriage and your relationship with your kids.
This was REALLY hard to find the best quote because I didn’t mark up this book. It’s too beautiful that I didn’t even underline one word….sooooo here is one!
“We fluffy this great pit with our ego boosts, our need for control, our unrealistic exceptions, and soon our days are dictated by it’s excuses. The lion sulks around our soul, pacing for his next meal, hungry for more than we are throwing his way. Perhaps we are feeding him the wrong thing. “
“WITHOUT GRACE, MINIMALISM IS ANOTHER METRIC FOR PERFECTION. Chasing”
Rachel takes you through the lies she has believed through of her life dealing with trauma, triumphs, motherhood, dating, marriage, and struggles with genuine humorous moments. Without too much Christian language, she invites the reader into the life of a hard working mom of 4 balancing her insecurities and fears while maintaining a legit real conversation with Christian values. She is honest with gut punching type of love and advice for the girl in her twenties trying to figure out the dating world, the mom in her thirties trying to balance motherhood and work, and the women in her forties overcoming all that life has thrown at her. She does not stray away from topics that may seem taboo or too personal…she actually addresses them head on with vulnerability hoping if she can walk through the fire first others will not be afraid to either. Rachel hopes that more Christian women will be real about their life and invite us into each other’s stories without hiding the hard parts or displaying them in a nice little neat box. She is cute, ( I follower her on social media), funny, and genuine with being PUSHY to not let life pass you by.
I personally listened to this book on Audible and it was great to do laundry to, clean, drive, or sit on the plane. Beware- I definitely cried at moments on the plane when I was not expecting it. She dives into topics of her brothers death, bad sex for years in marriage, bad luck during foster and adoption processes, work life balance and peeing her pants while jumping on the trampoline with her kids. I bet you anything you’ll fall in love with her by the end of the book. Not because she is funny or even full of insights but because she is REAL and honest about this life we are all living.
Who should read this book:
A woman who needs a kick in your pants to get going on a project, to pick yourself back up again, or to know you are not alone in this world.
Why should you read this book?
Because every once in a while it’s good to know you are not the only one who struggles with body image issues, traumatic experiences in your childhood you are just now processing through, and her perspective on this whole Christian woman life is REAL, throwing away the ideals of perfection.
“You can live through something that rocks your world off it’s axis, you can survive losing a piece of your heart without losing the core of who you are. More than nearly surviving the loss, you can thrive. You can do it because it’s what you deserve. More importantly you can survive the loss because living is the greatest honor you can give to the person you lost. Even if the person who is gone was your younger more innocent self. “
Tips on how to start a book club + book recommendations
My mother has been in the same bookclub for the last 25 years. They met once a month and have continued this tradition for all these years. I remembered when it was book club nightat our house. I would help my mom get the house ready, set up all the snacks, and help her make dinner for her friends.I would sit and listen to some of their conversation about the books they read and eventually got sent up stairs once the wine was flowing and conversation wasn’t “kid friendly”. Every night before bed I would read a book or listen to one on tape. I’ve done this ever since I could remember. Even last night I got in bed at 12:30am after a long night of finished editing and HAD to read at least for 10 minutes. It’s almost like my brain needs that space between technology, talking all day long, and activities to sleep time.
When I moved to Flagstaff I so badly wanted to start a bookclub but with me traveling so much I knew it was going to be hard to invest the time. Finally, after 3 years of being in Flagstaff I saw my schedule slowing down. Although, I had every excuse in the book for 6 months to not start the club. I don’t have enough time to read a book a month, that will get expensive (not like I don’t already buy a book a month?), and no one will actually read the book will they? My good friend Taylor kept asking me every month- “when are you starting this thing?” Sooooo eventually in January, flying home from Ohio after the Holidays ,I sent out a big text to friends and facebook messages to see who was interested. Well friends, we got a strong bookclub which meets once a month and EVERYONE actually reads the book!!! Here are some tips on how to start
Invite 6-8 friends/random people/strangers and have them invite 1 person who LOVES to read. I told my girls at the beginning this is not a small group where we’re going to talk about our feelings…we’re going to talk about the topics of the book!! (Although, we all end up catching up for an hour before discussing the book….I love it.) Don’t JUST invite your closest friends. You are looking for women who will have very different ideas, mindsets, opinions than you. That’s how you have great conversation and grow as an individual.
You don’t want it to become too big or not everyone will be able to talk. I think over 13-15 would get a little crazy. Not everyone can come every meeting too, so invite more than you think. People will drop out or want to bring more friends. Our is about 10 each time and it’s the perfect size!!
2. THE COMMUNICATION:
Start a facebook message or email chain with everyone in it so you can attach the book title, time, address for hostess house, etc.
Meet at each others houses ONCE a month at the end. We try to find a date that works for everyone. My moms bookclub meets the last Tuesday of every month, so it’s always a set date.
The person who is hosting chooses the book. New book, new house.
It’s really fun to see everyones houses and have a meal!
Have a sign up sheet for each month in the year so people can know when to plan and come prepared with the next book for the month at each meeting.
You don’t want to much time in-between the last meeting and when you give the title of the next. Some people read slower than others, so try to reveal the next book at the end of the meeting.
4. THE FOOD:
The host prepares a meal or appetizers! It makes it easier and everyone gets a turn at their house. Wine is always a must.
Good options are:
-Big Salad with toppings
-Thai Curry + Veggies
5. THE BOOKS:
You can choose ANY BOOK in the universe. We do a lot of novels, self help, nonfiction historical, etc. Anything under the sun. What is fun is that I would have never picked those books myself but was so happy to read them.
I would suggest going to your local library and renting books! SO MUCH CHEAPER. but I love marking in my books and giving them to someone else after I read them- so I tend to buy them a log through Amazon.
BUT new discovery- our local Bookstore has a 15% discount on all their books if you register as a bookclub…so I’m starting buy all my books there.
6. THE DISCUSSION:
The host usually comes prepared with 1-4 discussion questions to start conversation. If it’s a really good book we don’t need guided questions, the conversation ebbs and flows naturally.
Some questions we like to always start with are:
1.Would you recommend this book and why or why not?