Sometimes I read.

Let’s be honest. I should really change the title of this post to, “I’ve read a few things.” As a child, I was a big reader. I loved Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew mysteries, and even RL Stine books. (My fellow almost-thirty-somethings are probably nodding in nostalgia to these book titles.) My mom would take me to the library where I’d check out several books at once, often finishing at least one by the end of that day. Somewhere along the line though, I decided that I “didn’t like to read” and avoided it at all costs for several years.

I think what happened though, was that I had changed. Rather than not liking to read anymore, my tastes were just different. At some point during the last two years when I’ve learned so much, I also learned that it’s not that I don’t like to read. Instead, I just have different preferences now. For example, I’ve learned that at this particular time, I’m not really a fiction kind of gal. As fabulously written as the Hunger Games or Harry Potter stories might have been, I don’t really enjoy having to follow along with a story that I know in the back of my mind is fake. (I completely understand that most will disagree with me here. No problem. As my friend, Amy Poehler says, “Good for you. Not for me.” — See what I did there??)

I realized that I did actually like to read biographies and self-help type books. At first I couldn’t understand this. I “don’t like to read,” remember? Finally, I noticed the issue. I don’t mind reading someone’s story. I also don’t mind reading something that gives me strategies for living a better life or makes me more self-aware. Those things interest me, and I can get behind them. It’s not that I no longer like to read…I just had to focus on reading things that interested me instead of reading mainstream fiction.

Since I’m back on the reading bandwagon, I’ve read a few books. Go ahead…you can clap for me if you’d like. A few of these books have been great ones, so I thought I’d share. I posted about finishing The Nesting Place, my first book to actually finish since I could remember. Here’s a quick look at the other books I’ve read lately. (That even feels weird typing it out.)

Yes Please by Amy PoehlerYes Please by Amy Poehler

If it’s not obvious by the joke above, I’m a pretty big fan of Amy Poehler. When I heard that my dear friend, Amy, was coming out with a book, I knew that I’d have to get back on the reading bandwagon. This is actually what clued me in to the fact that I like biographies. To say that I loved this book, would be an understatement. Maybe it’s because I secretly think Amy and I are friends. Maybe it’s because I laughed out loud while reading on my couch. Maybe it’s because funny is my love language. Whatever the reason, I’ll likely read this one again at some point. If you even remotely like Amy, comedy, or laughing, you should read it.

I highlighted several parts of the book and came away with several “life lessons.” As mentioned above, I’ve taken on “Good for you. Not for me.” as a bit of a personal mantra. When feeling like I “should” do something or be better at something, I think about this line. It’s what prompted some of my thoughts in this post. We don’t have to do everything. Instead, let’s just do what we want to and what we’re good at.

I was also thoroughly impressed with the amount of grace and professionalism with which Amy spoke of her divorce. It wasn’t sugarcoated or romanticized. It was straightforward and honest, yet respectful. Two thumbs up from me for handling an undoubtedly sensitive topic with such poise.

Seriously, go read this book. You’ll thank me later. And if you don’t like it, then you and I probably can’t be friends.

Bossypants by Tina FeyBossypants by Tina Fey

Even though Tina’s book came out before Amy’s, I hadn’t read it. Amy referred to Bossypants throughout her book, so after successfully finishing it, I moved on to this one. It was actually a gift from my sweet cousin. I wouldn’t say that I was quite as engaged as I was through Yes Please, yet it was still an enjoyable read.

My friend Amanda and I have decided that we’re a Tina/Amy duo. She’s Tina and I’m Amy. I’m more likely to burst into a crowd and do something outrageous to get a laugh. I’m going to air on the obnoxious side and demand a bit more attention, much like Amy. Amanda on the other hand, will subtly make a hilarious joke that you didn’t see coming. She’s going to be a bit more reserved and quiet, yet will surprise you with her wit and confidence, much like Tina. I believe this is the reason that she preferred Bossypants and I preferred Yes Please. I also think that this is the reason that the four of us should hang out soon. Call me, Amy!

Regardless of which comedic heroin you prefer, I’d recommend both books. I learned a lot about the comedy industry and the behind-the-scenes of both Tina and Amy’s lives, and I loved that.

#GirlBoss by Sophia AmorusoGirl Boss by Sophia Amoruso

This book wins all of the awards in my book. (“In my book”….in a blog post about books…) It’s possible that I loved this book so much because of my own experience in the retail world. I loved Sophia’s no-nonsense writing style and her make-it-happen approach to business. I also felt a connection to her desire to be different and defy the odds. Probably because I love a good from-the-ground-up story, I really enjoyed reading about how she built her business from a small, garage operation to the huge success that it is today. I started this one on the flight to Alaska and finished it before heading back. The timing for this one was perfect, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s business minded or relates to powerful, determined women.

“Being mean won’t make you cool, being rich won’t make you cool, and having the right clothes, while it may help, won’t make you cool. It’s cool to be kind. It’s cool to be weird. It’s cool to be honest and to be secure with yourself. Cool is the girl at the party who strikes up a conversation with you when she notices you don’t seem to know many people there.” -Sophia Amoruso

There have been a few more books that I’ve started and not finished. I think it’s safe to say that you have to get me invested early on, or I’ll likely not pick it back up once I’ve put it down. I also have to relate somewhat. If I don’t feel somewhat of a connection to the writer, it’s hard for me to keep going. Nonetheless, I’m happy to be back on the book-reading circuit, and I’m thrilled to have learned something else about myself.

What sort of books do you like to read? If you have any biography/documentary types or personal growth options to recommend, I’m all ears! Right now I’m working on Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Wish me luck!

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