What I Read: January

I love reading and learning.  But, I just don’t have the time for it like I used to.  I find myself beginning twice as many books as I actually finish.  It’s sad but true.  I just don’t have the attention span, or time, to work through a book that isn’t relate-able or inspirational.  Because of this, I’m always on the hunt for a good book review.  And this year, I’ve decided to share with all of you the books that I am reading and enjoying!

I began my year with a book to help control my stress and anxiety.  In Addicted to Stress, I learned what I already knew – that I am a stress addict.  But, I also learned that I don’t HAVE to be.  Mandel lists keys to rebuilding your self-esteem, giving you confidence to be who you are free of fear from what others think.  I’m hoping to drill these three keys into my mind forever:

1. I do NOT have to be perfect!
2. Stop criticizing others
3. Stop pretending and trying to please others

A large part of my stress problem comes from worrying about what other people think of me, which I blogged about this month while reading through the book.  Lesson learned – We have a choice.  We can choose whether or not we care about how others think, feel, see us.  It’s not an easy choice, but it’s our choice to make.  We have to be true to ourselves, regardless of what the world says about us.  One final quote from the book that I found inspiring:

Don’t force yourself to become something you’re not, just because it is chic to take the road not taken

My next read was a bit more lighthearted.  The Animal Planet did a wonderful job with Pugs.  As of this month, we now have two pugs in our family.  I’m sure you’ve noticed due to the constant stream of Istagram photos.  If you want to see the girls’ latest fashion shoot you can view A Day at Paws Park.   I’m always interested in learning new things, and pugs are simply adorable.  One look at that cover photo and you can’t put the book back on the shelf.

But, seriously, pugs are high-maintenance dogs.  They take extra care and attention.  I grew up having kittens as pets, and let me tell you, dogs, particularly pugs, are an entirely different animal!  I welcome anything I can learn to take care of my puggies for efficiently.

For your entertainment, I’ll leave you with a few random/quirky facts about pugs:

  • Our fawn pug snorts like a pig.  We call her pig-dog sometimes because of her snorting and curly tail.  She will occasionally drink her water too quickly and have a reverse-sneeze attack.  It’s almost like a pug-panic-attack.  But, it’s completely natural (for her).
  • Suruchi also gets bacterial infections in her ears at times.  The best cure is feeding her yogurt for breakfast.
  • Pugs eyes are very sensitive as they stick out.  If the dogs are squeezed, shaken or dropped too forcefully, their eyes can physically pop out of their heads.  I have not seen this, thankfully, but it is possible!
  • Our girls are some of the most lovable creatures!  They always want to cuddle and their favorite spot is in your lap, always.  Even as I write.

Click was a brilliantly compiled work of short stories from women and men sharing the moment they knew they had become feminists.  I love feminist literature because it is so raw and full of emotion.  It contains a level of honesty that isn’t found elsewhere, which is why I am drawn to it.  With each turn of a page, I could relate to the experiences of these women and men, I could see myself standing in their shoes aching for equality.

The stories in this book bring to light life experiences that impact men and women, society and culture, including gender stereotypes, sexuality, women in the workplace, contraception, cultural expectations – things that we face each and every day!  With each turn of the page, I found myself connecting to the stories, nodding my head and even agreeing out loud.  Not all of these writers have the same backgrounds as I do, but we all share similar life experiences, because we have all grown up in the same culture, a culture that to an extent still holds women as second class citizens.

You may think feminism is an ugly word and being a feminist makes you a hairy-legged liberal man-hater, but that’s not the case.  Lay your own stereotypes aside and pick up this book!  It’s just short stories about living life in our current culture.  And I’m sure you can relate to at least one of them!

In reading through the Bible, I also read the book of Job, you can find my thoughts here, and the book of Genesis, which I wrote about here!

Happy reading!!

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