What I Read: July

This month, while I started many books, I only finished a few. I tend to devour fiction in a few days, but try to pace myself through works of non-fiction. I read for enjoyment, but I also read to learn and I find that if I don’t pace myself, I have a hard time applying the lessons learned to my actual life. This month, you’ll see only a few new additions to August’s reading list as I wrap up the books I began in July.

The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman

Rating: four stars

Thoughts: This is a beautifully written book. If you struggle with decision making, this is a must read. Every chapter concludes with a prayer and practice. I related to so many of the stories the author shared throughout the book as a person who is often faced with decision fatigue. Ultimately, my biggest takeaway was this: don’t let decision making be a big deal. Make a decision and move forward the best way you know how in the moment. Then continue to do that over and over again. Thinking of decision making in this way simplified it for me and–as she so eloquently states–”creates room for [my] soul to breathe.”

Breathe Again: How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart by Niki Hardy

Rating: five stars

Thoughts: The book beautifully captures how to thrive instead of simply survive when life throws you the unexpected. As a chemo patient, I could very much relate to both the struggles and triumphs mentioned throughout the book. One page I would be laughing and the next crying. The book is beautifully written–like having a conversation with a very close friend. From the relatable stories shared, to the beautiful prayers you can make your own, to the challenges that will push you to grow, this book is a must read for anyone who desires to thrive instead of just survive through whatever life throws their way. I plan to come back to it again and again.

This book captures so much of what I’ve felt in my heart through my health journey. We can all use this message. It’s my hope that people read it before they need its truth.

Note: The book officially launches on August 6th. It is currently available for pre-order. While you wait, you can download the first chapter for free! I was provided an advanced reader copy in return for an honest review. If you pre-order, make sure to grab your pre-order bonuses!

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

Rating: three stars

Thoughts: I love the title/concept of this book: better than before. The book details how to approach habits to make life better than before. While I found the content engaging, I struggled to connect with the author. If you have a similar personality as the author (you’ll know in the first few chapters), this book shares many tips you can likely apply to your own life. I found her approach to habits insightful and am interested in applying a few of the strategies mentioned throughout the book to my own life. I just found the book to lean too heavily on her own thoughts/opinions instead of being backed by research.

August Reading List

  • Preach to Yourself by Haley Morgan
  • The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life by Julia Cameron
  • This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Sept. book club pick)

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