I’ve always loved a great book. There is something magical about words written on paper that tell a story and leave you inspired. As much as I love to read, though, I could never find the time to finish a book. I would join different clubs, talk about reading this and that book but never really get to it. So, in 2019 I set out to do what seemed like the impossible. I promised myself that I would read 12 books at a minimum- 1 book for each month. I was determined and put a plan in a place that would definitely have me finishing my goal before the year was over. Well, by December of 2019, I ended up reading 15 books instead of 12, and while I am proud of accomplishing that goal, I noticed that a lot of what I was reading was not being retained, solely because I wasn’t reading to take in the information, instead I was reading to simply finish the book.
That’s when the idea of creating a book club came to life. I wanted to create a space where women could grow together. A place where we can openly talk about the issues we face daily and do it in a way that relates to the different books we read together. One of the biggest things I noticed was that when I read books with other women and talked about it, we all retained the information so much better. Every month, we get together and compare notes, discuss what lessons we learned from each book and how we will implement those lessons into our lives going forward. We count on each other, learn from each other and laugh together.
This year, I’m on track to finish 25 books by the end of 2020 and I can proudly say that I remember each and every one. I’m often asked what my favorite books are and how I stay on track month after month. I’ll share it all with you today! Let me start with how I stay on track:
- A great trick that helped me was dividing the number of pages in each book by the number of days the particular month had and reading that number of pages daily. For example, if a book had 300 pages and I was reading it in April, I would divide 300 by 30 and end with ten pages a day; therefore, I would need to read a minimum of 10 pages daily to get to my goal.
- Another great trick was dedicating time each day that no matter what happened, I would sit and read. I made it a priority, like waking up and brushing my teeth or eating breakfast.
- Have you ever tried audible? An app that typically has the author or someone else, reading the story to you. Kind of like when we used to put our CDs in the car to listen to books. LOL (I’m aging myself here.) This has really helped me read more books every month while driving or doing chores.
- Lastly and more importantly, the best way I stay on track of finishing at least one book a month is that I do it with other women. Find yourself a tribe of like-minded women that will hold you accountable and be there for you when you need that extra reinforcement for your goals.
These four simple tricks helped me immensely, and I know they will do the same for you! Now that you have my methods on hand, here are my top 3 favorite books from 2020, even though we still have over a month left for the year!
Fear is my Homeboy
I loved this book for so many reasons but on top was the fact that Judi Holler, seriously made fear her homeboy and taught us (her readers) how to do the same. The problem with fear as Judi put it was that we all tried to run away from it instead of embracing it for what it really was- a pathway to the next season of our lives. You see, whenever something big is happening for you, that’s when fear strikes. Often when that happens, we all tend to run away or hide somewhere letting our dreams hide right along with us. We want to be writers, singers, doctors, etc, and fear somehow always stops us from going to school, taking lessons, or moving sometimes even an inch toward our dreams. If you are nodding yes to anything I just wrote, please oh please read this book as soon as you can. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
Girl Stop Apologizing
Okay, 1) I love Rachel Hollis (yes, even with all her scandals and the divorce) and although it took me a while to warm up to her style of empowering women, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her book. 2) It’s such an easy read, and 3) her personal stories are funny as hell and so inspiring. This is that one book that left me feeling unstoppable. She had me facing my fears and pushing through them one by one and doing it all WHILE NOT APOLOGIZING TO THE WORLD FOR MY ACTIONS! Reading her book really gave me the feeling that she was in the room with me, walking me through every fear I wrote down. By the end of the book, I felt stronger and proud of all I had achieved (instead of feeling down for the things I did not complete yet).
Think Like A Monk
How can you not love Jay Shetty, with his sexy accent and blue eyes! Enough said right. LOL! Seriously though there is so much wisdom passed those blue eyes that the fact he is in his early 30s always seems to amaze me. Think Like A Monk is literally about just that…thinking like a monk. Why? Because they are the happiest people and have mastered the mind. I love how Jay breaks it down into three categories – Let Go, Grow, and Give and give you practical things you can try in your life so that as the reader you can get an understanding as to how to not only break free of the stress and anxiety that weighs on us daily but also, free our minds of all thoughts, let go of negativity, leave hate behind and even the people that cause us pain and bring negativity into our space. This may be a good way to start 2021.
If you are looking to start reading more books and want to do it with a tribe of women that also love to read, feel free to join our private group on Facebook called Bottomless Books and Brunch! We read one book a month and hopefully, in the near future, we can start to meet on Facebook live.
I hope this blog helps you or someone you know. As always, I’d love to hear from you. What will you be reading in 2021?