Books I Read – January 2015

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In 2015, I will be sharing monthly the books I’ve read in the past month as well as the books I’m planning to read in the current month. My goal is to read or listen to 100 books in 2015. In 2014, I listened to and read approximately 60 books, so this is a stretch goal!

Books I've Read - January 2015

I finished only four books in January 2015, and I read two of those on vacation. Part of the slow going was due to the fact that I spent a couple weeks re-reading a good portion of The Primal Blueprint, which I won’t count since I’ve already read it, and I haven’t finished re-reading it.

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

I initially read The Primal Blueprint, authored by Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple, at the beginning of 2011, which lead me to immediately give up all grains and seriously cut back on sugar, dairy, legumes and alcohol. Recently, I’d fallen pretty heavily off the bandwagon (holidays, vacation, etc) and wanted a reminder of why I’d made the switch in the first place as well as inspiration to start moving more

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

I read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown late in 2013. It was the first book I chose to kick off my brand new habit of reading a little non-fiction every morning instead of watching The Today Show. I’d been meaning to read Daring Greatly ever since and finally got around to it while we were on vacation in Cozumel right after New Years. This book resonated with me more deeply than any I can remember in recent history. It provided so much insight into myself, and my relationships, even my teaching. After I finished it, I immediately started thinking about how long I should wait before reading it again. I can’t recommend it enough.

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.” – Brene Brown, Daring Greatly

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
During the last week of January, I finished another book that had been on my list for a long while – The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande. Gawande is a surgeon, and the arc of the story centers on his efforts to develop a surgical checklist that would decrease the number of complications and fatalities as a result of surgery. The catch is that the checklist would need to be implemented in hospitals worldwide, regardless of income level, technology or number of patients. Throughout the book, Gawande explores how checklists have been used in the construction industry and aviation and describes how he used his research to help in devising the surgical checklist.

The book was thought provoking and interesting and had me wondering how I could use checklists effectively both in teaching and in business. And, how I could get my students to use checklists to make designing their studio projects easier and more efficient. We already use checklists in many ways, but rarely do we actually design them intentionally.

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

Finally, I chose Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim as my fiction indulgence while we were on vacation. I read it on the day everyone else went deep sea fishing (not my thing…at all), and finished it in about three hours of complete, focused reading. I chose it because it reminded me somewhat of The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, and because I nearly always default historical fiction as my genre of choice. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed it, though maybe not as much as The Invention of Wings. There was a little twist at the end, which I always enjoy in fiction books. It’s light, easy reading, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed The Kitchen House or Orphan Train.

Book List for February

This list is a work in progress.

Total books read so far in 2015: 4.

Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you click on them and buy something, I may earn a very tiny bit of money.

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Jillian Lare is a Des Moines based interior designer. She blogs about her current projects, interior design tips and tricks, and her life in Iowa with her young son, husband, and lovable Labrador.

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