Hi guys! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may remember that I took on a reading challenge at the beginning of this year. I’ve never really been in a book club before, and I’ve never been told, ‘hey, you need to read more’, or anything like that. But it was something that I wanted to accomplish for myself. I completed a leadership program in 2019, and there was a lot of reading involved, more than I’d done in a long time. But surprisingly, I enjoyed it. I was almost looking forward to hearing what the next selection was. It was also then that I learned the type of genres and writing styles that I really liked to read. So, I started buying more books and got more as gifts over the next year and half, but as it tends to do, life happened and I didn’t make time to read. So, at the start of 2021, I made it a goal to start reading at least one book per month.
Now, I’m going to let you know upfront: I have not kept up with that goal. I know, I know! You’re shocked! I was a little disappointed too, but if I’ve learned nothing else over the past year, it’s that I need to do a better job at just going with the flow. Be adaptable to life and flexible to the changes it brings (also helps with stress management). So, if I needed to put more attention to my family, or my work, reading took a backseat. I am happy to report though that I have been able to read (or finish reading) three books so far this year and am in the middle of reading two more right now.
Here’s a look at what I’ve read so far, in order of completion (titles are linked):
I was really surprised by this one. I was introduced to Marilee Adams and her book through a workshop that my senior leadership at work asked me to attend last fall. There was a group of ten of us in total that attended from our company. Marilee is the founder of the Inquiry Institute, and she and another facilitator taught the workshop that was based on the concept of Question Thinking. The book follows a character that has been hired into an executive position that requires him to lead a team and essentially save the future of a company on the brink, but is dealing with his own personal problems at the same time. So, his new boss puts him in contact with a coach that challenges him to change his assumptions and the questions he’s asking himself – to question things from more of a ‘Learner’ than ‘Judger’ standpoint – and see how that changes his home life, his relationship with the team he leads, and his overall perspective on life in general. I really enjoyed it. It was entertaining, but also taught me useful skills that I regularly implement today in both my personal and professional life.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Y’all! This one by far has been my FAVORITE. I loved reading this book! It is, of course, an autobiography of the life of Michelle Obama. It details her story from young childhood to her college education and graduation from both Princeton and Harvard, her courtship and marriage to Barack Obama, becoming the first African American First Lady of the United States, and a little of her life since her husband left the office of the presidency. She has an amazing life story. I’d like to read this one again before the end of the year.
Relationship Goals by Michael Todd
I was first introduced to Mike Todd, lead pastor of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after my brother discovered his messages on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. We later found him on YouTube and soon began devouring his sermon series. He presents the gospel is such an amazing way. So, my first introduction to Relationship Goals was actually through YouTube. I didn’t purchase the book until a few months later. Pastor Todd detailed how in the church, the only thing you’re really taught as far as relationships is don’t have sex until after you’re marriage – but just that, nothing else. In this sermon series and in the book, he delves into the beauty of being single, honesty vs transparency, courtship, and marriage. His goal was to make a guidebook for doing relationships the right way. I have to say that I got more out of watching the series than I did from reading the book, but it was still a good read.
The two books I’m reading right now are Get Good With Money: Ten Simple Steps to Becoming Financially Whole by Tiffany Aliche and The Blessed Life: Unlocking the Rewards of Generous Giving by Robert Morris. Maybe I’ll do a little recap of these here once I’m finished and let you guys know what I think, but they’re both very good so far.
So, what have you been reading this year? I have a few more books sitting on my bookshelf that I haven’t read yet and want to get through, but I also want to have a few lined up on deck after that. What do you recommend?
Let me know!