I hate to brag, but I have been on a reading BENDER this year. At least for me.
I’ve read over 20 books, a mix of fiction and non-fiction, and I’m trying to get as many books under my belt until you-know-who comes around this fall.
Lately, I have been reading two books at once which is a little out of character for me. I have been trying to read either fiction or a more practical nonfiction at night, and then in the morning I have been reading something more spiritual–or uplifting, if you will–for 20 minutes or so before I get out of bed. I also have been really diligent about journaling every morning the past few months, but that’s another blog post for another day.
Tyler has been reading quite a bit too, on his iPad every night.
Do people still read once they have kids? Maybe don’t answer that.
Anyway, it’s time for our quarterly “In-Flight Reading” list, wherein Tyler and I both share our favorite reads of the season.
I actually read this for the first time late last year but kept forgetting to put it on our reading list. I frequently go back and reference different chapters and recipes, though, so I think it still counts.
I have always had the hang of how to diet or lose a few pounds in a pinch if I need to, ever since my Freshman 15 Saga of 2010. However, it’s always felt like so much WORK to lose weight, what with the pre-prepared carrot sticks, rice cakes, and overwhelming amount of hummus cups. It’s frustrating and hard to stay on track when you are eating bird food all day every day. Not fun and certainly not efficient.
A couple of years ago, I came across Kelly LeVeque, otherwise known as the angel behind Be Well By Kelly. Her approach to food is simple, straightforward, and realistic. The best part is that it truly is a lifestyle change. For example, when my unborn child forces me to scarf a pizza (classic Charlotte), I can easily course-correct without feeling like I have to throw in the towel.
Kelly’s focus is on balancing blood sugar by including four key components in each meal, or what she calls the “Fab Four”: protein, fiber, greens, and a healthy fat. This way, you can get in control of your hunger hormones and be “full and calm” between each meal. Her philosophy inspired our green smoothie breakfast habit that we’ve kept up for years and keeps us on track when everything else in our life is in shambles.
Full disclosure: I am no shining star right now. (Read more about the woes of my pregnancy here). I have not been very responsible in a lot of my dietary choices this pregnancy. Thanks to Kelly’s simple approach, however, I can maintain healthy habits on a day-to-day basis (most of the time).
Needless to say, Kelly’s book Body Love is a staple in my household. She backs everything up with science (she was in cancer research for years before shifting to nutrition), and her book has TONS of easy recipes and practical tips that are a breeze to implement.
CANNOT recommend it enough.
I’ll never forget the first time that Tyler and I noticed how well behaved the children in Europe are. We were in Vienna at Christmas time–I know, swoon. We were walking around one of the Christmas markets and getting ready to rent ice skates to skate beneath the Rathausplatz (a truly magical experience, by the way, read more here).
I can’t remember which one of us noticed it first, but we looked out at the mass of kids getting ready to jump on the ice and laughed because it was like a movie. These kids were all totally calm, listening to their parents, and quietly laughing amongst each other. A similar scene in the U.S. would undoubtedly have been filled with shrieking, complaining, and bickering. From then on, I couldn’t help but observe how the kids in Europe seem so much better behaved than those in the U.S.
For anyone ready to jump down my throat, don’t worry. I just KNOW that even putting this in writing is going to result in Charlotte being the most ill-behaved child on the block. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Anyway, a friend told me about Bringing Up Bébé after I got pregnant, and I knew I needed to read it immediately. The author Pamela Druckerman, an American woman living in Paris, goes on a quest to figure why her French mother peers were so much more put together than she was and why their children seemed to totally have a grip on sleeping, eating, and behaving.
I really loved this book and the way Pamela maps out the knowledge she gained from her research interviewing French parents and experts. I know every kid is different, but I am definitely excited to at least try and implement some of her philosophy and tips and tricks with Charlotte and any future Nuss babies. (Will report back on how that goes).
The book follows the story of two families living in suburban Ohio and the chaos that ensues when a local couple adopts a Chinese baby abandoned at fire station. The author tackles the complicated family dynamics and social/racial tension at play with a nuanced voice. I was hooked from the first page and read it in just a couple of couple of days.
I don’t want to give away anything else, but this is a gripping must-read for any last long weekend getaways before the summer comes to a close.
This has been my favorite book of the year, hands down. One of my biggest goals in life is to quit the corporate life and start my own business where I can have a great balance of flexibility and income. Of course, isn’t this everyone’s goal? To do something like that requires a lot of work and likely some luck.
Elaine Pofeldt uses her book to highlight million-dollar one-person businesses, which are businesses which reach an annual revenue of a million dollars with a single employee. I finished this book in a few days and was so inspired. There’s a dozen unique examples of people building this type of business. She structures the book in a very strategic way that you can easily apply to your business and ideas.
You catching a theme here? This blog was Ruth and my first side hustle. Ever since, I have fallen in love with the idea of building a business while maintaining my full-time day job. Side Hustle goes through all of the basics of building a side hustle–from idea to income–in 27 days.
Chris walks through a step-by-step process for what you need to start a side hustle. Obviously 27 days is incredibly fast, but it’s helpful to see the path laid out. Side hustles are the way to go if you have the entrepreneurial itch and Side Hustle will get you started.
This book, no doubt, is the book that inspired both of the above books. It is one of the best-selling business books of all time. I read it a while ago, but thought it would be perfect to include in this list.
I actually get a little emotional (shocking, I know) thinking about The 4-Hour Workweek. I read it in late 2016 and it really ignited a shift in mindset for me. You’ll have to get past the salesy title, but it’s worth it. Tim Ferriss shares the secret about how to ditch the corporate climb, build a business, use your time more efficiently, and travel the world.
I shared it with Ruth immediately after reading it and it was definitely a big reason we started prioritizing travel and thinking about how we can build the life we want.
Honestly, read this book and then let’s go grab a coffee and discuss. Cheers.