60 books, a resolution

This year I only made a handful of resolutions, most of them centered around an overall theme: "Nourish". Nourish my body, nourish my relationships, nourish my mind, and nourish my bank account (and yes, that is a euphemism for paying off our car).

I find I'm better able to meet my goals if I choose a theme or word to use almost as a mantra as I plan out my days and months. For example, I recently realized I wasn't eating enough vegetables so I swapped out my sweet/grainy/dairy-heavy breakfasts with leftover roasted vegetables, sauteed kale, and beans. I still can't believe the difference this small change has made. I feel like a new woman! :)

But so far my favorite resolution has been to read 60 books this year and to visit our local library every week. I'm going to do monthly updates, mostly just to keep track of what I've read and make sure I'm accountable, but also out of hope that you'll share what you're reading with me too.

Here's January's list:

-Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

If you aren't familiar with Brene Brown you should start with her Ted Talks. You can watch the one on vulnerability here and the one on shame here.

"Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.” 

"I've found what makes children happy doesn't always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.” 

“Worrying about scarcity is our culture's version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when we've been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we're angry and scared and at each other's throats.” 

-The Snow Child: A Novel by Eowen Ivey

-Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus

-The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

No one writes a short story like Eudora Welty. "The Whistle" is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read.

-Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

-Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

-Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Oh, man; I feel like I'm still geeking out on this book.  Favorite quotes:

"Achievement is talent plus preparation” 

"Do you see the consequences of the way we have chosen to think about success? Because we so profoundly personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift others onto the top rung...We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play—and by “we” I mean society—in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.” 

"To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success--the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history--with a society that provides opportunities for all.” 

-The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Such a beautiful, haunting book about people and the things they love most.  The writing is slow and careful and breaks your heart.

"This was her, Mick Kelly, walking in the daytime and by herself at night. In the hot sun and in the dark with all the plans and feelings. This music was her—the real plain her...This music did not take a long time or a short time. It did not have anything to do with time going by at all. She sat with her arms around her legs, biting her salty knee very hard. The whole world was this symphony, and there was not enough of her to listen... Now that it was over there was only her heart beating like a rabbit and this terrible hurt.” 

"How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?” 

-The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Alright, what are you reading?


Lovely Lindsay said...

i love this.
i'm going to add "read ONE of rachel's monthly books a month" to my new year's resolution.
"vulnerability sound like truth and feels like courage."
i'm gonna go sit and think on that.
love, lindsay

Rachel Swan said...


I already added "Weakness is Not Sin" to my list - I wish you were MY Relief Society teacher. :)

Haley and Lance (but probably just Haley) said...

Okay, you are making me just want to do nothing but read all day! That is okay, right? I'm excited to read some of yours - thanks for the suggestions (and keep 'em coming)! I'm just about to start Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill. It's about a girl who grew up in and escaped from a Scientology compound. I'm just about to finish Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink. This book has SO many applications, but I'm especially thinking it will be useful in parenting - figuring out what makes our kids tick, and parenting them accordingly. Before that, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A classic. Room by Emma Donoghue is a sad, yet interesting story told entirely from the perspective of a 5-year-old. Oh, and ditto to Lindsay's new goal. :)