The Book Project: A Challenge for Myself in 2017

The Book Project: A Challenge for Myself in 2017

At the beginning of 2017, I began what I like to call The Book Project. I challenged myself to reading a book a week for the entire year. You see, I’d grown pretty lazy when it came to reading. (Plopping down at the end of a long day to watch a Friend’s episode was so much easier…)

But I’m loving this challenge so much, and I thought that some of you would be interested in hearing some of the books I’ve been reading. Plus, I’d love your suggestions of additional books I should put on my list.

The Book Project

My list of books will be a jumble. There will be some writing and business books, and I’m leaning heavily on memoir at the moment. Some of the books I’m reading haven’t been released yet, and I’ve read those in order to offer endorsements for them. I’ll tell you more about those as the release dates get closer.

The ones in bold are the ones I’ve completed reading. Those not in bold I’m in the process of reading.

Just because the book is on the list, doesn’t mean that I recommend it. (I would love to get back the way too many hours I spend on The Cookbook Collector. Others loved it. Me? Not so much.) Rather, this is a list of what I’m reading and the challenge I am taking on.

Hillbilly Elegy is just stunning. An Invisible Thread was tremendous and touching, and Kitchen Confidential was a riot.

But the book I’m recommending right now is Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. This is possibly the best memoir I’ve read in my life. Trevor is the late-night host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Born in South Africa to a white dad and a black mom during the time of Apartheid, Trevor spends his formative years learning how to lie about who he was and who his parents were in order to stay on the right side of the law. An amazingly funny, touching and personal book. Loved it.

My current list of books

So here is where I’m at so far for my 2017 book challenge.

  1. Making Love Last: Divorce-Proofing Your Young Marriage Laura Taggart (Releasing July 4th, 2017)
  2. Hillbilly Elegy By J.D. Vance
  3. Doing Busy Better Glynnis Whitwer (Releasing July 4th, 2017)
  4. EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches Dave Ramsey
  5. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  6. An Invisible Thread Laura Schroff and Alex Trusniowski
  7. Kitchen Confidential By Anthony Bourdain
  8. How to Listen So People Will Talk Becky Harling (Releasing August 1, 2017)
  9. The Cookbook Collector Allegra Goodman
  10. Loving My Actual Christmas Alex Kuykendal (Releases Sept 5th, 2017)
  11. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  12. Disrupted Dan Lyons
  13. Drinking: A Love Story Caroline Knapp

I’ll update you as I add more titles to the list on my year challenge, The Book Project.

So please, tell me what other books I should add to the list. Great memoirs, stunning fiction, helpful non-fiction? I want it all.3

Two books I read this week (and two that I’m planning to read next week!)

Two books I read this week (and two that I’m planning to read next week!)

I’ve been in a book reading slump. Between working on my own book, (101 Simple Ways to Show Your Husband You Love Him) and some other projects I am working on, reading felt like an unobtainable luxury. But then I discovered something…

I’m a grump when I don’t read.

As in – I’m not very nice to be around. Which, if one of my goals is to have a great marriage, then I’m missing the mark.

So I’m reading. For the sake of my marriage.

Here are the two books I read this week: 

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

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I know that many of you read this years ago when it first came out, but sometimes I’m slow to the doing what the cool kids are doing.

If you are half the fan of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice that I am – this is a must read. What a rare treat – to get to extend the life of your favorite characters and see what they would do under different circumstances. James is such an excellent mystery writer that my friend Sue, who had no interest in the love story of P&P (Yep. I’m wondering how we could be friends as well…) absolutely loved the mystery aspect of the book and the characters.

 

 

Keep It Shut What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All by Karen Ehman

kis.book_Here is the endorsement I did for the book when it first was published, “As a graduate of the Speak-First-Think-Later-School of Communication, I can relate to every word written in Keep It Shut. But instead of telling me to go into a corner and just stop talking, Karen comes alongside and shows us how we can powerfully use our works for God and others’ good.” The first time I read it, it was to see if I could recommend it to others, and this week, I reread it so that I could use a highlighter. If you’ve lived with the regret of words that have hurt, stop the pattern now and get this book. Loved it. (And it proves that there is hope for us talkers and the ones that we love.)

Now what do I plan to read next?

 

Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence by Erica Dhawan

big thingsAbout the book: Connectional Intelligence unlocks the 21st-century secret to getting “big things done,” regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you do. We typically associate success and leadership with smarts, passion and luck. But in today’s hypercompetitive world, even those gifts aren’t enough. Get Big Things Done argues that the game changer is a thoroughly modern skill called Connectional Intelligence. Virtually anyone can maximize his or her potential, and achieve breakthrough performance, by developing this crucial ability.

So, what is it? Put simply, Connectional Intelligence is the ability to combine knowledge, ambition and human capital, forging connections on a global scale that create unprecedented value and meaning. Can a small-town pumpkin grower affect the global food crisis? A Fortune 500 executive change her company’s outdated culture through video storytelling? A hip-hop artist launch an international happiness movement? Or a scientist use virtual reality games to lower pain for burn victims? The answer, you’ll read, is a resounding yes. Each of these individuals is using Connectional Intelligence to become a power player to get big things done.

Erica Dhawan and Saj-nicole Joni’s Get Big Things Done unlocks the secrets of how the world’s movers and shakers use Connectional Intelligence to achieve their personal and professional goals–no matter how ambitious.

Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures by Lara Spencer

flea market fabulousFocusing on nine different rooms (including her own recently purchased Manhattan apartment), Lara Spencer shows readers that all it takes is planning, shopping know-how, and a little imagination to create beautiful and comfortable homes that reflect their personal style. She takes readers through the step-by-step process of overcoming the challenges of the room, offering helpful tips and lessons along the way. She identi­fies the design dilemma; comes up with a decorat­ing plan; makes a mood board for inspiration; compiles a shopping list; scours flea markets for furniture and accessories that fit the bill; restores, repurposes, and reinvents the pieces she finds, giving them new life; and brings all the elements together in the gorgeous, finished space. With illuminating before, during, and after photographs of her DIY projects and the room installations, Lara demystifies the decorating process and allows readers to envision endless possibilities for what they can do in their own homes.

Stay tuned for next week’s post where I give my thoughts on these two books and tell you what I plan to read next!