I read 3 books in January, which for me, is definitely solid!
The Family Firm was one I started in December, finished in January. It’s basically a parenting book, but didn’t feel like your traditional “parenting book”. It is written by economist Emily Oster and I felt like she took a fresh approach to common parenting themes and issues. It’s geared more toward “early school years”, so my family is on the upper end of some of the issues, but I still really enjoyed it. I actually ordered a copy for my sister as a gift, since her kids are very young and just starting their school-year journey.
I especially appreciated the sections focusing on kids activities/ extracurriculars and how to fit that all in and make decisions surrounding that, and the sections on kids+ phone use and technology! Both very fitting for my life right now.
I’m also not naturally the best and most decisive person when it comes to making decisions, so I liked how she spelled how methods to make practical, well thought out and data driven decisions.
They Both Die At the End I had first checked out in October, thinking I’d read it with Ethan. Well, about 1 page in and I decided this “Young Adult” category book was not “young” enough material for my kid. So we scratched that for now, but I still did want to read it. It had been on my Want to Read shelf for a long time now. And it was GREAT! I really, really liked it. I found it very deep and impactful. But yet also light and easy to read, in another way.
It’s a fiction book about 2 teenagers who received a “Death Cast” notification that they are going to die in the next 24 hours. (It’s like a slightly alternate reality- in the book, all people receive a notification the day before they are going to die. They don’t receive any details or an exact time, just that they will die in the next day, when it’s their time.)
This whole concept is crazy to think about- what if that really happened? What would you do? How would that change your life or your final day?
In the book, these two boys form a connection as “last friends”, who meet and form a very deep and very special relationship on their Last Day. It’s hard to explain, but it’s really fantastic. Makes you really want to inspect your own life, your relationships, what’s holding you back from living your best life NOW. Also very touching! Highly recommend.
21 Rituals to Change Your Life is one I received as a birthday gift. I’m on the fence about this one. I’d say that I enjoyed reading it, but I don’t think I can recommend it.
The author lays out “21 Rituals” that are small and can be done daily. She attests that if you do these 21 things every day for at least 21 days in a regimented fashion, you’ll “change your life”. They are divided up into morning, daytime and evening rituals. Some examples are things like “stretching when you wake up instead of reaching for your phone”, “light someone up each day” (i.e. do one thing to directly help or benefit someone else, like give a genuine compliment, do someone a favor, etc.), or “write down one line before bed about what you learned about yourself that day”.
I read this on the plane to Mexico/ in Mexico, so I haven’t actually tried to implement them yet. Some of the rituals are a little outside the box, which I did find intriguing.
My two big issues with the book:
1) The writing!! It felt pretty BAD to me! I kept saying to Ivan on the plane, “How did this book get published??” There were run on sentences all over the place and I felt like the author apparently had no idea how to correctly use a comma. This was a big red flag to me. The author kept referencing having published many other books, so I don’t know….it was weird. It looks like it was published in the UK, so then I got to wondering if maybe they have different grammar rules?? (lol. I don’t think so though??)
2) It seems like it would be hard to keep track of all these 21 little rituals. Some are kind of random/ vague and I’d probably end up forgetting about them by the end of the day.
It was still a fun little read, after I forced myself to focus on the ideas and not the writing! And it did inspire me to think about some things in a new light. So, not a total waste. But I don’t think I can really feel good about recommending it to others.
I am grateful for hamster Flint’s eye infection clearing up! We made the somewhat difficult choice to NOT take him back to the vet yesterday for his follow up appointment. (They were going to continue working up the little mass on his chest). Now that his eye is better, he seems okay otherwise, and in reality, he is getting old for a hamster already at 2+ years. To spend so much money testing the fluid and doing other interventions just doesn’t really make sense. We’ll just hope it’s a benign mass and that he’ll continue to live as long as possible!