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Where did January go? 🙂 Did you set any resolutions this year? I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but many people do, and some people want to read more in the coming year.
So I have some reading suggestions for 2024!
If you do have reading on your list of resolutions, I think it helps to be specific rather than just saying “I want to read more this year,” it helps to set a tangible goal. Instead try, “I want to read 15 books this year.” Or whatever that number is for you.
My daughter set a goal of reading 25 books last year. I think that is a very reachable goal, and she met hers.
I read a lot so I don’t really have reading more as a goal. I just do it. 🙂
So here’s what I have read so far this year or am currently reading that I want to share with you. Disclaimer as always with my lists: I don’t really read much fiction other than historical, so if you hope to find some beach reads on the list, I can’t help with that. 🙂
I just finished House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.
I chose this because we watched The Gilded Age on HBO, a lush series by Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey. It recently wrapped up its second season and I was reading an interview with the cast.
The interviewer must work for Buzzfeed 🙂 because they asked if the series was realistic in its portrayal of women and the focus on marrying well.
Christine Baranski, who has the BEST lines in the show, explained that it absolutely is realistic, and if you have read The House of Mirth you know how these things play out.
I thought to myself, no, I have NOT read The House of Mirth, or any Edith Wharton novels, to my everlasting shame. Maybe it was the era in which I was in high school or my literature teacher wasn’t very good, 🙂 but we didn’t read any classic literature. We read all the Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, and To Kill A Mockingbird kind of stuff.
If you want to find out just how meager your vocabulary is, read some Edith Wharton. 🙂 Oh. My. Goodness. I had to look up SO many words that were apparently just part of the parlance of the day during Edith’s time.
It’s a shame, really, that we have lost the ability to speak so eloquently. But when people walk into a room these days and say, “Sup?” we probably aren’t on course to reclaim it. 🙂
I like to read physical books but if I continue on a path of classic literature, I might consider a Kindle so that I could instantly look up the meaning of words right there in the text.
So if you like classic literature or want to find out if you do, I can heartily recommend Edith Wharton.
In keeping with the Gilded Age theme, I’m also reading Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune, the latest book by Anderson Cooper, the journalist. I may have misjudged this one a bit.
I was interested to read this book written by him because these are his “people.” You may or may not be aware that Anderson’s mother is Gloria Vanderbilt, of denim fashion fame, and one of THE Vanderbilts.
So I thought reading about the Astors from Anderson’s perspective would be insightful. It is, but it became clear from the FIRST page that he has contempt for the Astors.
I hate to tell him but his family story reads much the same, in the way the fortune was acquired and how subsequent generations squandered it. So I’m not yet sure where the animosity is coming from.
It really reads like a Vanderbilts vs. the Astors, which is disappointing. I thought as a journalist the account of the Astors would be more objective. But I forgot journalists are rarely objective these days. They can’t just tell us stuff, they also feel comfortable telling us how to feel about it. 🙂
So the story is definitely interesting but I know I have to read between the lines of all his personal vitriol to ascertain the facts of the story of the Astors. I’ll report back. 🙂
After giving my brain such a workout with Edith Wharton, I moved on to Wake Up With Purpose! What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years by Sister Jean Schmidt.
I mentioned on my reading list from last year that I was going to preorder this one. I did and am reading it now. What a joy Sister Jean is.
If you aren’t familiar with her, she is a 104-year-old religious sister who is the Chaplain for the men’s basketball team at Loyola University. She also keeps regular office hours and interacts with students regularly.
I think that’s why she is 104! She has a purpose and she lives it every day. She felt called to religious service at an early age and never waivered. I admire people who find their singularity of purpose and run with it. That is a gift I have yet to receive, as I still am not quite sure what I want to be when I grow up. 🙂
The book tells the story of her amazing life, starting with her childhood and follows her career as a Sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her eventual placement at Loyola.
She has a wonderful outlook on life, uses an iPad every day, regularly reads and sends emails, and embraces change. She is truly a light and I’m kind of jealous of the students at Loyola who have the privilege of interacting with her.
So I highly recommend this one for leading us to think about our purpose in life and being grateful for what we have.
The next one on the list is Welcome Home by Najwa Zebian. My daughter recommended this one to me, as she recently finished reading it and found it extremely insightful.
The premise of the book is building a “home” for yourself within yourself. It is about healing by constructing “rooms” within yourself. The “rooms” are as follows:
• Self-Love: Learn how to build an individualized self-care routine to reflect your daily needs.
• Forgiveness: Learn how to allow yourself time, reflection, and space to accept and let go of painful events.
• Compassion: Discover the three different types of compassion and learn how you can let people in while maintaining boundaries.
• Clarity: Learn how to remove the walls you put up around your authentic self.
• Surrender: Learn how to lower your defenses and give yourself space to feel and process your emotions.
• The Dream Garden: Learn how to nurture your dreams and create an authentic, original path.
This book is helpful to any of us who have at times been hurt or betrayed (so all of us!) and who have perhaps built a “home” in other people to the detriment of ourselves.
The last book on my current reading list is 10x is Easier than 2x by Dan Sullivan.
This book is primarily for entrepreneurs but it outlines a valuable concept that is applicable to other areas of our lives. It would seem as though 10x of anything requires 10x more from us than striving for 2x. But the author’s position is that this is not the case, but rather that you must focus on expanding your four most important freedoms—time, money, relationships, and purpose.
As your time becomes 10X more valuable, you increasingly multiply the money you earn both in terms of amount and the satisfaction you derive from it.
As both your professional and personal life fills up with 10X more unique and collaborative relationships, you will realize that your most powerful purposes in all areas become 10X more lasting and positive.
Going for 10x requires letting go of 80 percent of your current life and focus and going all-in on the crucial 20 percent that’s relevant and high-impact. So go into this book knowing you may feel compelled to make some changes in your life that others may not understand. 🙂
10X is fundamentally about quality vs quantity, and the quality of your freedoms determines the results you achieve.
I have a free bookmark for all you book lovers! You can print it out and write the names of the books you’ve read on the little books. Just enter your email address below and it will come straight to your inbox!
And if you want a Reading Journal to keep track of all your books, I have one of those too! It’s available in paperback or hardcover formats.
So those are my Reading Suggestions for 2024. So far. 🙂 If I come across other books that I find impactful, I will certainly let you know. And I hope you’ll do the same for me!
And I’d love for you to follow me on Pinterest!