Another snow day here today… I haven’t taught for a full week is a loooong time. I’m not complaining – especially since the make-up days they are taking from our spring break will be while I’m out on maternity leave – but it is getting a little ridiculous. 🙂 Anyway, I thought I’d use some of my “bonus time” this morning to blog and share a couple of books I’ve read lately.
First up… Make It Happen by Lara Casey –
I’ve been a fan of Lara Casey’s blog and shop for a while now (she’s my internet favorite Emily Ley’s BFF), so I was really excited to read this book. I even mentioned it on my “Favorite Finds” post back at the end of January when I had just started; but, unfortunately, it took me a little while to get through it…
The premise behind the book is SO good. Basically, Lara shares her own story (which is not without lots of hard roads and sharp turns) of giving up fear and perfectionism in exchange for a life of purpose and intention. I could relate to SO many things she said and definitely found it inspiring and motivational. That said, I think this book is really more of a “study” than a just a simple read, which I wasn’t really prepared for and didn’t (honestly) have the time or energy to devote to right now. There are lots of places for self reflection and encouragement to make changes in your own life, and I often felt like it was something I should be sitting down with my journal to really DIG into and FEEl for an hour or more – not something I could easily pick up and read for ten minutes before bed or while sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room.
Overall, I think the message of the book is powerful and VERY valuable. Lara’s heart bleeds all over the pages, and you can clearly see how passionate she is about freeing women from all the things that hold us back from “making it happen.” Reading this book made me want to be her friend in real life. I hate to even “rank” this one because it feels like such a personal and intimate work, but I will say that I wish I had read it during a different season of life (maybe I’ll go back to it one day) when I had more time to really process all it had to say. *I also strongly recommend you buy the hard copy instead of the Kindle version like I did. There are SO many places I wanted to highlight or mark in the margins!
After MIH, I was looking for something lighter and simpler, so I finally started Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell –
This was just what the doctor ordered… I LOVED it.
The story is about two “misfit” teenagers in the eighties (lots of references to cassette tapes, Walkmen, etc.) that fall in love over the course of one school year. It is told from the alternating perspective of both characters and – as the Amazon summary promises – takes you RIGHT back to the intense emotions of your own first love. I don’t know how she did it, but I feel like Rowell captured adolescent love PERFECTLY. Truth be told, I didn’t even care about the “conflict” of the story that much, I just loved the character development and the normalcy of their developing relationship… I totally was on the roller coaster right there with them (and definitely shed A LOT of tears).
I’d guess that I have a slightly skewed perspective when it comes to this one since I a.) married my own high school love and b.) work with teenagers every day; but, really, I’d strongly recommend this book to anyone. I read is really quickly (thanks to LOTS of snow days) and was sad when it was over. I’m a tough critic, but I give this one a 9/10 and will definitely be reading more from this author.
So, that’s what I’ve been reading lately… What about you? Have you read either of these? What did you think?
Next on my list — The Fringe Hours and The Good Girl.
I’m off to soak up some time with my boy. Have a great Thursday!
I loved loved Eleanor & Park. I’m constantly telling people to read it!
I’m so grateful you were encouraged! : )
Love your posts on books! I read “The Husband’s Secret” based on one of your posts…and devoured it. Such a fast-paced read…although I didn’t love the ending, felt a bit cheesy to me. That being said, I plan to read more of her books. A great break from teaching and more literary novels…I am starting to read “All the Light You Cannot See”. It is so good so far. Beautiful writing and suspenseful. Happy Friday!
I’m adding Eleanor and Park to my list! I love a light read about teenage love 😉 …love that you’ve gotten so many snow days leading up to meeting your sweet baby girl!!
I think I’m one of the few who didn’t really like Eleanor and Park, I’m not sure what it was but it just didn’t thrill me. I’m currently reading Big Little Lies by Laine Moriarty and I can’t put it down. SO GOOD>
Eleanor and Park IS great – I recommend all of Rainbow Rowell’s books except for the most recent one, Landline (it was just a little too strange and predictable for me).
I really enjoy your blog, by the way – this is the first time I’ve commented, I think, but I found it a a few years ago for the English teacher resources on your other site (I borrowed your Yellow (missing work) Sheet idea when I was teaching high school, though it does not really work for sixth graders, sadly), and ended up staying for all the other fun bits. 🙂