August Reads

Had to bring an old favorite with me to Paris!
Had to bring an old favorite with me to Paris!

I’m was a little behind on reading last month…I actually didn’t crack open a single book when I was in Paris (!) but did get through a few on the plane and toward the end of the month. A few were work/life-related and not necessarily interesting for the blog, but there are a couple that I’ll still share here because I think they’re generalizable for everyone.

10% Happier, by Dan Harris: For work, we had to read two books this summer, and this was one. A few of my coworkers started it earlier on and were raving about it (one even passed it along to her boyfriend!), plus, Dan Harris is a Colby alum, so I knew I’d like his work. 😉 In short, this book chronicles Dan’s experience discovering meditation (which he first couldn’t wrap his around but grew to love). I considered taking a meditation class last fall and think I’d enjoy trying it at some point, so it was interesting reading about someone else’s experience and also examining how other people manage stress as a whole.

Careergasm: Find Your Way to Feel-Good Work, by Sarah Vermunt: Shelby gave me this book for my birthday after having bought her own copy, and from the cover (and hilarious title) I knew it would be a good one, and I was right—I felt super pumped up and ready to #GSD when I was finished. The book is truly for people of all ages—whether you’re halfway through your career or just starting out. It encourages you to step back and take a look at what makes you happy—in the workplace and life in general—and also evaluate what makes you stressed and irritated (and to consider your physical reaction, too, as you do this evaluation). The overall takeaways are: Don’t hold back from pursuing that passion/dream, don’t waste time doing something that you don’t love, don’t be afraid of what others think (easier said than done!), and don’t not try something just because you’re afraid you’ll fail. Sarah shares her own ups and downs while giving professional advice (she works as a career coach), and the book overall kind of reminds me of The Big Life, which I reviewed in last month’s roundup.

Stories I’d Tell in Bars, by Jen Lancaster: I didn’t know much about Jen Lancaster but picked up this book because of its amazing reviews on Amazon (I always read the reviews, and when one commenter noted Jen’s clever take on the Lilly Pulitzer for Target sale, I was sold!). This comedic memoir is full of stories and anecdotes that will leave you nodding your head in agreement (she makes some great observations on millennial culture but makes it very clear that she feels bad for us, hah). I’m now excited to read her other work (I think I actually have a copy of one of her other books, Bitter is the New Black, which I’ve been meaning to start forever!).

How to Pack, by Hitha Palepu: I was silly and actually didn’t pick this up until after I’d come back from Paris, but hey, I suppose the tips are always going to be useful! This book has been mentioned many times throughout the blogsphere and while I feel like I’ve gotten to be a much better packer, who couldn’t use some helpful hints? I liked how Hitha began her book classifying the different types of packers–although I’m pretty sure I kind of fall into all of the categories–I’m either over-prepared, under-prepared, or sometimes, a little impractical, so her tips were very useful!

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