Book Club Suggestions

A few girlfriends and I are thinking about starting a book club after the holiday season. Because let’s face it, things are going to get busy here really quickly.

I’d love to hear what you girls do for book club. This will be my first book club I’ve ever been a part of. (Hard to believe since I love to read so much, but with moving the last few years it’s been hard to join one.)

Currently I’m reading a few books. I’m still finishing The Lost Girls (I got really far into it then we moved, and I am not picking it back up) Giliuana Rancic’s Going Off Script, The Kennedy Wives by Amber Hunt and David Batcher, and Molly Sims’ Everyday SuperModel.

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What books recently have you girls been reading that I should suggest to our book club?

How often do you girls meet up?

How do you pick the books you read?

How do you decide on a genre to read?

 

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Megan Guest Post!

Megan and I just recently became blog friends and I’m so glad. She is a Midwest girl like me and she’s been super supportive and friendly. By far my favorite part of blogging has been the community that it offers. Being able to connect with other ladies in other states and countries is just so cool!

Hi everyone!   A big thanks to Julie for allowing me to guest post today.  I actually found her blog through the link up that she co-hosts with Mattie each month & have enjoyed reading about her travel adventures!

carselfieI blog over at Megan Marie where I mostly jibber jabber about life, fitness, & the occasional wedding plans (eek!).  I started my current blog a few years ago & consider it a hobby.  Before that, I always had some type of online “journal” going way back to 7th grade— shout out to anyone that has ever heard of Kiwibox!  I enjoy having a place where I can record & recap life events to look back on someday.  And also meeting some really amazing people along the way!

Julie has talked about some books recently so I thought I’d share one of my favorites!

girlswhowentawayI have read this book at least ten times (maybe more).  I’m usually a fan of fiction books but this one just never gets old.  The author discusses society from the 1940s-1970s & how these girls were basically “sent away” by their families when they got pregnant.  She talks a lot about the culture during that era & also includes stories of the women who went through it.  I really enjoy reading the stories from the women, as they are telling it years & years after their experience.  A lot of the women say that they didn’t have a choice & that they had to give the baby up for adoption.  So, that’s what they did– signed the papers & returned back home to their normal routine.  Some of the women never talked about the baby until they were interviewed for the book.  Overall, I find it really interesting to read about how society looked at women who had gotten pregnant outside of marriage.  I guess that’s kind of the psychology nerd in me too, haha.

Thanks again Julie for letting me take over today!  Have a great day everyone!

One of my favorite thing about blog-land is hearing people’s book recommendations. I’ve never heard of this one but will have to add it to my list. Thanks again so much Megan!

5 Books That Impacted My Life

Happy Monday blogging friends! Hope you all had nice weekends. I did a lot of catching up with errands and celebrated a friend’s birthday at the Huntington dog beach and a maze room (which was really fun!)

I’m picking and choosing blog prompts from the Blog-tember Challenge with Brave Love Blog and today’s topic is:

 The 5 books that have impacted your life the most.

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I am a total book nerd and love curling up with a good book, so this blog prompt is so perfect! I like that it’s about the 5 books that impacted your life and not just book recommendations (even though I love those too!) But it’s fun to have a spin on it. I think it’s so cool that authors have the power to impact people’s lives with their words, such a powerful thing.

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  1. I don’t know how many times I’ve talked about Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I read it a few months ago and fell in love with her story. She is such a great writer and I loved getting to hear her thoughts while she hiked 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Talk about women empowerment and getting things done! It’s also super inspiring that she wasn’t an expert hiker and makes me feel like I could strap on some hiking boots and hit the trail just like she did. 😉jfk jr
  2. JFK Jr, George, and Me by Matt BermanI am a big fan of the Kennedys. I’ve read a lot of books about them and seen a lot of documentaries. As many amazing accomplishment as they have, they also have endured a lot of tragedies. The fate of JFK Jr breaks my heart. This book reminded me how precious life and friendship is. You never know when your last adventure is going to be and you have to appreciate every moment. This paragraph made me so sad:

    How could thing turn so quickly? In one minute, John was nothing. Just as nothing had turned into everything when I met him, everything turned into nothing when he died So many things turned out to be the opposite of what they initially seemed. The first cover of Georgewas actually a woman; the Prince and the Vampire (me) were very much alike; John’s icy wife turned out to be warm and funny. The job I wasn’t sure I could handled helped me come into my own. When their plane crashed into the sea, pure water turned into a brick wall.”
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  3. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche. Making friends as an adult can be hard. Life can take you in different directions and you find that no longer surrounded by your friends you grew up, your sorority sisters, etc. So you have to really put yourself out there and make new friends.  This book really opened my eyes that there are so many different avenues to find adult friends and that a lot of people want to make friends too! eleanor
  4. My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock was a fantastic read. Noelle took a year off and focused on things that scared her and conquered her fears one by one. She did lots of epic things, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro! It shows that we build up things in our head and that things aren’t always as bad as think they will be. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Right? 🙂
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    The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen took all her goals and broke them down by months to make them more manageable. Because we all know how new year’s resolutions go. We start out the year optimistic and motivated and by the end of the month we are already back to our old habits. This book taught me that focusing on just a few things at a time is much more realistic and you’re more likely to be successful at accomplishing your goals that way.

    I can’t wait to browse through the link up and see which life changing books I should be reading next! See you guys here tomorrow.

 

Bookworm Wednesday Link Up

I’m linking up today with my blogging friends, Molly and Katie for Book Worm Wednesday!

bookwormwednesday1I’ve been pretty busy lately so this post is going to be short and sweet. Can’t wait to see what you are all reading!

My blogging friend Carrie recently brought to my attention a book called the Kindness Diaries, by Leon Logotethis. Here was her review:

Leon is a very successful guy who’s really paved his own way following his passion, but still in him he felt something was unfulfilled. so he concocted up the plan to travel around the world relying on nothing but the kindness of strangers. he literally left home with nothing but a yellow motor bike he named Kindness One. the journey he had truly was amazing, and the connections he made with people along the way were touching to say the least. this is the kind of book that carries such a strong and important message. a must read for everyone.

I am eagerly waiting to get my hands on a copy of this book, it sounds right up my alley!

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And currently I just started reading The Lost Girls by 3 friends who took a year out of their lives from New York to travel the world for a year.

I love books about travel, adventures and friendship. I’m loving this book so far and am just about ready to pack my bags and travel too! 😉 (sounds so nice right about now as I’m typing in my office at my desk.) Haha that feeling of wanderlust never leaves me.  Highly recommend reading this one.

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Monthly Book Chat: August

Today I’m linking up with these ladies for:bookbuttonlinkup_zps01365b43Tuesday+Talk+Button

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I don’t think that I’ve ever cried reading a book but this was the one that did it. It is a heartbreaking story about love, loss and friendship and I really recommend it.

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This is by far one of my favorite books in the history of ever 🙂 haha I adore Mindy Kaling and her humor and her show. I just mentioned her last Friday. Her book was so relate-able and honest.I need to reread this before her next book comes out. I’m so excited for September and her new season on Hulu.

51gy7i5fscl-_sy344_bo1204203200_This is my favorite book that I’ve read this year for sure. It really opened my eyes to meeting people in new and different ways. And how finding new friends can be just like dating, hah! (I hope she had as much fun as I did. Should I call her or wait for her to call me?)

It can be hard making friends as a adult when you’re not in school, you really have to make an effort. I will be moving in the fall and will have to be proactive in this department but luckily we already have some friends up there so that will be a great starting point.

1398805716000-JFK-Jr-GEORGE-ME-coverI’ve read a lot of books on the Kennedys and this one was so good. The author Matt worked at JFK’s magazine George and they became good friends and it was so interesting to hear his perspective on their relationship both at work and personally.

9780061875038This book was so inspirational. The author took a year of her life and conquered so many of her fears.  It was really eye opening to see her being fearless and really growing as a person. I really enjoyed it and it’s an awesome read.

Can’t wait to see what books you are all reading!

Eat Pray Love By Elizabeth Gilbert

eat-pray-love-book-coverI had seen the movie when it came out years ago, and had always wanted to read the book. Better late than never, right?

I recently saw Elizabeth Gilbert’s interview with Oprah on her show, Super Soul Sunday. She speaks so eloquently and makes so many good points about so many different topics, about honoring our needs as women, women being the central character in the hero’s journey, and soulmates. It was a great interview that I really enjoyed.

I just love her adventurous spirit!

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I wish I had the time to devote 4 months at a time in one place as she did (in Italy, India, and Bali) and really soak up the culture. (Not to say that I won’t or wouldn’t love to, I just haven’t yet.) But that’s part of her story is telling women it’s okay to focus on ourselves and to put our needs in the forefront of our minds and not always putting other people’s needs as the top priority. It’s a very empowering story she has to tell.

It was fun to see how she finds different friends in different parts of the world and how we are all the same, with similar wants and needs. The people that came into her life were from all over the world and she learned different outlooks on life.

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I think that’s one of the amazing things about traveling. It takes you out of your comfort zone, forces you to reevaluate your life and priorities, and you enjoy things more deeply.

It’s a really beautiful story about finding peace, finding herself and happiness, through food, prayer, and love.

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My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock

9780061875038I don’t remember how I found out about this book. It was probably recommended to me by Amazon when I was looking up other books such as Eat, Pray, Love (which I’m currently in the middle of), The Happiness Project, or MWF Seeking BFF (both books which I loved and blogged about on the book club page.)

The gist of the story is Noelle loses her big time, high paying job in NYC and is at a loss for what to do with her life now. She gets inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt who was a famously strong woman (and first lady!), who lived fearlessly into her old age. She has so many amazing quotes throughout the book that start each chapter, and she lead a very courageous life.

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f18936fc44f4e8ef400d90e8a62d5af3Noelle is inspired by Eleanor and decides to dedicate an entire year to facing her fears. She does all sorts of fun and crazy things, like doing a trapeze class, going cage diving with sharks, sky diving, and even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Some seriously awesome adventures! It is so much fun following along on her journey and seeing her conquer her fears left and right.

It’s a great lesson to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and stare fear in the face and not let it win. I loved reading this book and am totally inspired to do things that I fear and have built up in my head.

We can’t all take a year off and face our fears but we can do things daily that make us uncomfortable, and prove that we really are stronger than we think.

7f03dd2b5a7134ee091a21d30db3dd55And if you enjoy reading her book, here’s a fun update on her life from an article she wrote in April 2015 for Cosmopolitan.

True Love by Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez’s book, “True Love” is a book about her Dance Again tour as well as the lessons she’s learned about loving yourself. She gives you a real look into her life, behind all the hair, makeup, and fancy outfits.

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She chronicles her journey leading up to the tour, shares her set list, pictures from the world tour, and how she grew as a person. She shares a lot of intimate photos of her with her children, twins Max and Emme.

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She learned a lot about herself and examines her past relationships. She realizes that she had low self esteem and sought approval from other people for many years.

Through having her children and getting divorced for the third time she was forced to examine her past habits and improve herself.

Jennifer really puts herself out there in this book and is honest and vulnerable. It’s a book many women can relate to and empathize with. Good for her for loving herself and becoming a stronger, resilient women!

The Men We Became by Rob Littell

In this book, The Men We Became, by Rob Littell paints an intimate and honest portrait of who JFK Jr. was. Rob and John met as freshmen at Brown University and were friends for 20 years. They grew up together, lived together, went on numerous adventures (such as Europe, helicopter skiing, kayaking) and attended each other’s weddings, etc.

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Rob is very honest about everything that they went through. He talks about how John dealt with being a celebrity and everything that went with it, including an incident with a stalker in college who showed up at their door. Rob saw how the legend of John’s famous father JFK affected him and his and other people’s expectations of him. He also addresses a lot of the rumors about John, John and Carolyn’s relationship, mentions of them wanting to have kids, John’s talk of running for president, and his dynamic with his famous mother Jackie.

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I love reading books from people who knew him well because they paint him in such a positive light. JFK Jr. seemed like a stand up guy, who was so loyal, adventurous, charismatic, and down to earth. The hardest thing about reading books about him is how it always has to end with his untimely death, leaving those closest to him reeling from the enormous loss.

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It is easy to see how much they loved and respected one another. They had a true ‘bromance’ and supported each other through the varying stages of their lives. It’s a book about true friendship, growing up, and loss.

Jenny McCarthy’s Life Laughs

Life-LaughsI had previously read Jenny McCarthy’s book, Stirring the Pot and wanted to read another one of her books. So I chose this one called Life Laughs. And it was equally as real and funny. I’m a big fan of the way she writes. She writes like she is talking to her girlfriends.

She is so honest about universal women topics: sex, marriage, motherhood, cooking, and divorce. Yes she’s a celebrity but she doesn’t have a nanny, and she barely cooks (her ex got food poisoning when she tried to cook a meal with the slow cooker.) She shares a bunch of short stories so it makes it a super quick and easy read.

I laughed out loud twice within the first 20 pages of the book.

I think women relate to her because she doesn’t take herself too seriously and isn’t afraid to talk about subjects that other people shy away from, including lady parts and manscaping. If you’re looking for a laugh, I’d definitely recommend this book.