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Summer readings


Over halfway through my Summer Reading Pledge, I've discovered two things: 1) I don't do well when I tell myself in advance what I should read, thus another month has gone by where I finish books that were not on my original list. I think it feels too much like school when I plan out all my book picks, and I much prefer to read whatever appeals to me in the moment. And, 2) It's totally possible to pull an eye muscle by reading too much. This wasn't officially diagnosed or verified by doctors, but I don't know how else to explain the 5+ days I spent with dizziness/nausea and double-vision in my left eye that slowly dissipated when I took a break from reading and too much screen time. So beware, readers! It was not a fun few days.

Onto the reviews. This month I read: 

This I Know by Susannah Conway 
Review: This book has been categorized as a grief memoir, and details Susannah's experience after losing her partner. But I found the book to have many more applicable takeaways. It was a beautiful book, with a natural writing style accentuated by Susannah's dreamy photos throughout. The book is a bit blog-like in its style, with chapters relating to different topics like body image, traveling alone, passion work, etc. and several self-reflective exercises for readers to do. I definitely savored reading it, but a part of me wished it hadn't felt so similar to Susannah's blog-- I think I hoped for it to be slightly deeper and more cohesive. I still loved it, though, and would recommend it to others.

My Rating: 8/10

Insurgent by Veronica Roth 
Review: This is the second book in the Divergent trilogy. I had a few reservations with the first book relating to holes in the story and questions that weren't answered, and I felt that Insurgent began to answer them. Insurgent is absolutely action packed and will leave you hanging for the completion of the trilogy. My only complaint is that you really need to have a good memory of the first book (characters/names, where the action left off, etc.) because Insurgent jumps right in to the story without any "reacquainting" to the first part of the story. 

My Rating: 8/10

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp 
Review: I've seen this book on many must-read lists for creatives, and I'd even checked it out from the library in the past for a quick read. This time I took it slow, high-lighting and making notes along the way. I absolutely agree that it's a must-read. It's full of the most valuable and practical insight for making creativity a real and productive habit, as opposed to the myth that creativity comes from an other-worldly stroke of genius. Twyla makes it seem achievable through good habits and practices. She comes from a dance background, which obviously influences her perspective, but she keeps most of the chapters and tips fairly relatable to those creatives outside of the dance world. This book will remain on my bookshelf and I'm sure I'll return to it many times.

My Rating: 10/10

Up next:
Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte (halfway through, though I'm reading it slow so I will likely not finish by the end of the pledge)
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (1/3 of the way through)
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey (just started)