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April/May 2023 Reading Life Roundup

Image created by author using Canva.

I’m back with another roundup of the things I’ve read in the last couple of months. If you want to check out my previous roundups, here are the February/March (Medium or Hive) and January (Medium or Hive) roundups.

I noted in February/March that I was trying to write a little each week about the roundup. That didn’t really work for very long, so I missed April and am now going to combine it with May. I love doing these, so I’m going to keep thinking about how I might make this a more regular monthly update or perhaps even bi-weekly.

Gretchen Rubin on her book tour for Life in Five Senses. Photo taken by author on May 1, 2023 at Joseph Beth Booksellers.

It was a BIG period in my reading life as I got to see one of my favorite authors – Gretchen Rubin – live at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati. Rubin was on her book tour for her New York Times bestselling book Life in Five Senses. I’ll share my thoughts on the book below.

The Goal!

This month I am trying to publish something once every day. Additionally, my library’s adult summer reading program kicks off this month in the Beanstalk app. I love tracking my reading in that app and want to build the habit where this becomes my app of choice for tracking reading. I plan to read an average of 20 minutes a day in June and July – so a total of at least 1220 minutes, which is 20 full hours of reading! I count listening to books as well as reading with my eyes – or if I can swing it, being read to by some of my favorite little ones – all as reading.

What I Finished Reading

Termination Shock and Cryptonomicon – I started Termination Shock in March and was able to finish it as well as take on the behemoth 40+ hours of Crytonomicon. My friend Taj recommended the author Neal Stephenson to me. She was right that I’m truly enjoying his work!

The Ungrateful Refugee – This was also underway in March and is finished. This beautiful novel by Dina Nayeri is especially wonderful as an audiobook. I’m still waiting on Everything Sad is True, Dina’s brother’s book, to become available in audio from my library. I didn’t enjoy it in print but want to try it as an audiobook.

Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie — This was my Lenten devotional for this year. I easily finished this by Easter and got so much insight from this charming, genuine book.

The Widow’s Strike, No Fortunate Son, The Forgotten Soldier, and Ghosts of War by Brad Taylor. I’m continuing to make my way through Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan series. This is what I read when I am just doing relaxing reading and not specifically trying to get something out of the reading experience. Typically, it’s the before bed reading.

Fast Like A Girl by Dr. Mindy Pelz. I’ve given intermittent fasting a try a few times in the past, and I am giving it a go again. As I publish this, I’m on my 4th day of 18/6 fasting and feeling great.

Make A List by Marilyn McEntyre. This was a simple little read with so much depth. I loved exploring how McEntyre has used list making in so many ways. This is a book I’m considering writing some more about. Stay tuned as it may come to the fore more this week.

Smart Brevity by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz was my second favorite and most practical read of this two-month period. I wrote up my thoughts on the book, and it has completely transformed the way I structure my newsletter and many of my other writing efforts. I’ve already written a little more about my thoughts on this book. Check that out here.

Image created by author using Canva.

Life in Five Senses by Gretchen Rubin was my favorite read/listen of the month. I’ve loved many of Gretchen’s books and listen to her podcast weekly. While I still love the Happiness Project just slightly more than Life in Five Senses, this is definitely one I will read over and over again. There are so many wonderful ideas in this book. It’s another one on my list to write about more this month, so you may see more about it.


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