My Book Love: January 2018


I’m so excited about what I accomplished in the reading category during January. I totally surprised myself but then again it was cold and dark outside so wrapping up in a blanket with a book was just the best thing to do. Please note I’m not really a book review writer but instead just sharing my thoughts and what spoke to me in each book. Hope you enjoy!

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

This book is most likely one of my favorite of all-time. Something in Gretchen’s writing style and honesty just appealed to me. I loved how dedicated she was to research happiness and share her findings. I totally enjoyed what she focused on and what allowed her change during her yearlong happiness project. Like me, she wasn’t really unhappy but rather just want to improve areas of her life that weren’t up to the place she wanted them to be. This book was the push I needed to help me organize and focus on making changes in a realistic manner that felt unthreatening and doable.

Hourglass by Dani Shapiro

I borrowed this from the local library after reading about it on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog. This memoir was just different to me. It wasn’t organized in any particular manner but the free-flowing story kept my attention. It was an easy read and yet it held moments of true rawness into Dani’s life. I adore authentic and genuineness in general, which is what made this book appealing to me. Life presents a path and struggles and you just have to walk through them.

The Sacrament of Happy by Lisa Harper

This was my only audiobook of the month. I adore that Lisa read it herself. She is funny and easy to listen to which made the book enjoyable. It challenged my biblical idea of happiness and has caused me to
do my own little research project into that topic. Happiness is not the end all to life as many believe but a deep joy and happiness help to guide the soul and face the path of life with all of its little land mines.

The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer

Oh, this book totally helped me address an area of my life where I get paralyzed. I neglect the little steps to conquer big things therefore I fail to make the changes I desired to make. I get hung up on accomplishing
the big thing which should be tackled in small increments. This book was short and an easy read. My takeaway was simply to not neglect the small things and take the first small step to get the big things done.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

I saw this book around Christmastime and so wanted to read it. It wasn’t a book I was willing to purchase so I had to wait until it became available at the local library. It was the first novel written by
I liked it but didn’t love it. It was good but at several points I was ready for it to be over. I’m not that much of a fiction girl and so it can be a struggle to find a book I actually enjoy. Having said that, I would say this is a fun little read.

The Capsule Wardrobe by Wendy Mak

The Capsule Wardrobe concept has eaten my lunch long enough. I enjoyed this book’s layout and outfit ideas but I’ve finally allowed myself to say it’s just not for me. Having so few clothing items makes me anxious and kinda bores me. This book was so helpful to me because it made me officially break with the minimalist capsule idea. Although I love the concept at this point in my life, it is just a no-go for me. Having said that I believe this book is excellent if you want to establish your own capsule. In that regard, I do recommend this book.

The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse

The title totally captivated me after seeing it recommended by a friend on Facebook. I am concerned about this issue and most likely because how people adult today is very different from what was expected of
me as grew up. I was unpleasantly surprised to even see myself in a few of the concepts and knew that those things were most certainly not how I was raised in my meat and potatoes Mid-West culture. The
powers of influence have seeped into my life and heart and this is cause for a wake-up call in my own life.

Home Is Where My People Are by Sophie Hudson

I think as I read this book I had Lisa Harper’s voice in my head. I think Sophie Hudson is hilarious and I think this would a great audiobook if she was reading it. This is my first book that I’ve read of hers but I
was not disappointed at all. I loved her humor and gentle reminders of what really matters in life. Her love of home (Mississippi) reminded me how much Iowa impacted me during my growing up year. I’m
thankful for my people back there and this book helped to remind me of that for sure.

Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

I was drawn to finally finish this book after the Sophie Hudson book. Why? Because of home and my people. Little Heathens was like reading my own family memoir. Mildred could just as well been my
grandma or my mom in many ways. I truly appreciate and miss the simplicity of what life once was not so long ago. That doesn’t mean it was easy because it was most certainly not. I’m beginning to see
simple as a blessing rather than ease. Our ease has given us much time for self-indulgence and I’m not thinking that is the best for my heart, spirit or attitude.


I was reminded to not have a hard heart toward the Lord.

So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness… Hebrews 3:7-8

As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.” ~ Hebrews 3:15

“Today, if you hear this voice, do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7

I’m working on listening and remember these verses because when the Lord repeats something, it is extremely important to take notice.

Thanks for reading! I hope if you pick up any of these books, you’ll enjoy them.

Be blessed~ Carrie

Linking up with Taz & Belly {} and Rachel Dawson {} for their monthly Book by Book.

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  • Yep, January is definitely a good month for getting a lot of reading done :) Bonus for me is that even when I wasn't in a cold area where I wanted to be all wrapped up on the couch with a book, I was on vacation, where the pool side was also a perfect place for it! Love The Happiness Project, and I'm intrigued by the capsule wardrobe one! Looks like you have a lot of great memoir selections too - I rarely read those, but these look like some good ideas for helping me branch out!
    • It's so funny that memoirs wound up on my list because it wasn't intentional. I was going off of recommendations. Good stretch for me.
  • i still need to revisit the Happiness Project... haven't read any of the others
    • I haven't read any of her other books but I plan to this year. I love her writing style and voice.
  • shootingstarsmag
    Oh, I LOVE The Happiness Project. I still need to read her newest one, The Four Tendencies. I love seeing what people are reading, so thanks for sharing. -Lauren
    • I want to read that one too!
  • Do you think The happiness Project would translate well to audiobook? I have it queued up on my Overdrive. And I am right there with you on the capsule wardrobe; not for me!
    • I think it would be great on audio. I read the e-book but I'm thinking I'd like a paper copy to mark up a bit.
  • Have you listened to Sophie's podcast with Melanie Shankle? It's so funny! You can find it on her website or wherever you listen to podcasts.
    • Thanks for the tip. I'm adding her to my podcast list.