I thought I would do a short, informal blog post about some books I have been reading recently and some Podcasts I have been listening to. I often find myself in “reading ruts,” as I like to call them, where I am bored of every single book I own and I cannot decide what to read next. Usually when that happens I scrounge blogs, GoodReads, or book reviews to see what everyone else in the world is reading. Sometimes that can help point me in a new direction or spark my interest in some way. So here is my list!
The Year of Less by Cait Flanders: This is a book that I have read, re-read, highlighted, underlined, and thought about for hours…all within the last three days (I only bought it on Tuesday). It is a non-fiction book chronicling the journey of Cait Flanders as she institutes a “shopping ban” into her life for an entire year. Basically, she only shops for others and buys things like groceries and toiletries. She also allowed herself to replace things, but only if she discarded the original item and truly needed to replace it (her example, a new pair of jeans after her previous pair ripped). Not only does this book talk about her Shopping Ban, but her journey of repaying $28,000 of debt and recovering as an alcoholic. Most importantly, it talks about the lessons that these things have taught her and the way it has changed her mindset about life as a whole. It is conversationally written, intimate, and enjoyable to read. I felt like I was curled up on Cait’s couch with a cup of coffee, just listening to her tell her story. It has given me a lot to think about, which will probably result in another blog post about mindfulness and my personal convictions soon.
Miss Match by Erynn Mangum: I have loved Erynn’s books since I was about fourteen years old. I try to read her entire body of work once a year, and I always start with this series. There are five books in this series (Miss Match, Rematch, Match Point, Match Made, and Bake me a Match), but the first one is my favorite. These are what I call “fluff books,” meaning they are not difficult to read and they feel like old friends. Her books make me laugh, cry, and crave allll the coffee and chocolate. Written with strong Christian themes and undertones, they chronicle the life of Lauren Holbrook and her misadventures in love, friendship, and match-making. (Wow I really went into full book-reviewer mode in that last sentence). Her books make me feel so warm, happy, and safe. I highly recommend. After I finish this series, I will be going on to the Maya Davis series, which is also fabulous. I never tire of these books, even if I can quote them verbatim.
Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer M.D.: Have any of you watched the NBC show “New Amsterdam”? If so, this is the book that the show is based on! Based in New York City and written by the Medical Director of one of the oldest public hospitals in the country, Bellevue, it chronicles the true stories of twelve patients who have left a lasting impression on Dr. Manheimer. This was such an eye-opening book. Because of the insanely diverse and metropolitan location, New York City, this hospital sees people from countries that I have never even heard of and from life situations that I cannot even imagine. Dr. Manheimer talks explicitly about the horrors that these patients have faced and how that both effects their physical ailments and the way that the hospital can treat them. Though sometimes the organization is a bit difficult to follow, Dr. Manheimer does a great job of combining ethos, pathos, and logos with every patient he describes. He speaks openly about the personal struggle concerning how to treat a Rikers inmate with the same ethical and unbiased treatment as you would an innocent child. He gives raw and emotional accounts of patient’s stories, stories that no human being should have ever lived, and he does it all in a healthily detached way that gives reader’s the full truth and allows them to receive the information as they will. I highly recommend this, just be ready for some stories that can make you sob in bed at three in the morning (not that I personally did that…)
The SHE Podcast by Jordan Lee Dooley: I have followed Jordan and her various projects for years, and her fairly-new podcast is amazing. It deals with topics such as faith, relationships, marriage, entrepreneurship, and how to adult. They are usually between twenty-five and forty-five minutes, so the perfect length for a commute home or walk. One of my favorite aspects of her podcast is all the guest stars she has on the show. I have been led to soooo many other encouraging books and resources through her show, and it always leads to interesting discussions. I especially love her episodes on marriage, they are always Biblically sound, encouraging, and inspiring.
Medical School for the Public by UCSF: This is a compilation of medical lectures from classes, conferences, and specials produced by the University of California. They’re pretty dense and lengthy, but I have a little notebook that I take notes in as I listen, just as if it was a lecture in a class. They also have videos where you can watch them online, and this is great! You can see the lecturers PowerPoint, visuals, and formulas. I usually listen to part of it and if it sparks my interest, I go online and watch the video. Because I am a researcher, this usually leads me down the rabbit hole of medical research. I find it insanely interesting, like watching a live ankle replacement? Heck yes.
Girls Night by Stephanie May Wilson: This is one that I discovered through SHE, and the two have a lot of similarities. This podcast has longer episodes, between forty-five and ninety minutes, but the topics are about the same. It feels like the title, like you are having a girls night with some of your closest friends. These episodes have gotten me through many road trips this summer. Everything is from a Christian perspective, and I always laugh a lot and leave feeling very encouraged.
So there you have it! A few things that I have been reading and listening to lately. Do you have any recommendations for me? I am always looking for something new. One thing I love about reading and listening to podcasts is that I usually feel like I have learned something. It may not be about anything earth-shattering or life-changing, but I always finish feeling a little bit fuller than before.
Thanks for stopping by! “All the world is my school and all humanity is my teacher.” ~