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February Mini Book Reviews

February flew by!  I managed to read through 2 books, and finish two audio books that I had started in January, but that's about it. I'm giving them all a mini review, and hopefully it inspires you to pick a few up at the library or the bookstore next time you're searching for something new!  Even though it was a pretty short list this month- these books were all solid winners for me.  I really thoroughly enjoyed my way through each of these.

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 I've Got Your Number  by Sophie Kinsella

This one is listed later in the year I believe as part of the Everyday Reading book club.  When I saw her mention it on Instagram, and describe it as laugh-out-loud funny, I immediately added a used copy to my Amazon cart, and when it arrived a few days later, I couldn't put it down.  Janssen is right on this one (per usual!), it is laugh out loud funny!  I was laying in bed reading it, and giggling out loud repeatedly!  I felt like I was in the mood for something funny and it delivered.  It was just a joy to read and light and fun.  It's easy to bust through it in two or three days for sure.  The basic premise of this one-without giving too much away- a gal is engaged, loses her ring, loses her phone, finds another and decides she is just going to keep it and use it for the time being.  Super hilarious and fun.

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne 

I listened to this one on Audible, and started it in January, but finished it this month.  It really was amazing.  The most powerful, impactful parenting book I've read.  I literally called a friend of mine after every chapter to try and relay all of the important details to her, and then again to my husband!  I believe, without a doubt, that every parent would benefit from this one in one way or another!  Like with all parenting books, it's obviously best to make use of the tidbits that feel right and coexist with your values and ideals as a parent, and that match up with your unique children and family- BUT, there is so much good in here, everyone would find something.  The author talks about simplifying your life, and your kids life, in 4 basic principles, with plenty of examples of how to execute these changes and stories of how it has impacted families he has worked with.  Like many other parents, I have found myself asking the question, "How did we get here?"  He specifically addressed that common wonder among parents struggling with "too much" and gently reminds us that we all had hopes and ideals for how our family life would look, and allowing ourselves to imagine that again is the best way to work towards it.  And of course, simplifying our belongings, our schedules, etc.  This book has been SO, SO impactful for my husband and I, and I can't stop telling everyone I see to read it.  This is another one that I will re-listen to, because there is so much good information, and I want it all to really soak in and be remembered.  I cannot recommend another book more than this one for any parent of any aged children.

If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name by Heather Lende

I ordered this one on a whim, after reading another of her books a few years ago and really enjoying it.  It is a nonfiction book, and the author is a small town obituary writer in Alaska. This book is about the stories of some of the people in her town, the obituaries she has written, the process in which she writes them, and all the other aspects of small town Alaska living.  I loved it.  I loved the other book of hers as well- maybe more than this one.  Regardless, the effect was the same.  The stories are sweet, and she begins each chapter with a snippet of the "Duly Noted" section of the town's newspaper, which she also writes.  These were very entertaining, and included things like, " The next time you fire up the hot tub, give Elsie Mellot a call.  The octogenarian was honored with a gift of a bathing suit at last week's Chilkat Valley Historical Society meeting. Members gave Elsie the aquamarine one-piece suit after she used the old "no bathing suit" excuse when begging off a soak at a previous historical society meeting." Ha! My favorite part about both of these books was the descriptions of life in small town Alaska.  The ins and outs of daily life, the ways it differs from my own life, and also the comfort of reading it during winter in Minnesota- it made me feel like I should stop complaining and go out and tackle it like they do in Alaska.  Maybe it's because Alaska is number 1 on my list of places I'd love to visit, maybe it's because life there sounds so simple (in a "lots of hard work" kind of way) and that's something I long for as well, but I'm in the market for more reads that involve small town Alaska as the place setting!  My husband commented, when I read him a snippet of it, that it sounds like the setting of a Hallmark movie, so maybe that's why it speaks to me - Hallmark movies are my jam!  It's a fun read, and stands apart from the types of books I think I typically read, which is fun as well!

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I listened to this one on Audible, and loved it that way more than I would in print I believe.  The author, Rachel Hollis, reads it aloud on the audio version, and she is just super fun to listen to.  This book was a good kick in the pants, at a time when I needed a good kick in the pants.  It's been super motivating- and as with most non-fiction, I took the info that was helpful for me personally, and left the rest.  I actually think she mentions something along those lines in the book?  I personally feel that certain types of non-fic, like parenting books, motivational/self help, or anything along those lines... you need to just take away the things that make sense to you, and this will be very different for each person.  I pre-ordered her next book, Girl Stop Apologizing, and can't wait to listen to that as well!  Some of the lines and concepts in this books continue to replay in my mind, and I remind myself of them daily to keep the motivation going!  I will probably go back and listen to it repeatedly as time goes on, and I need a fresh kick in the pants!  I definitely recommend this one.

Now to pick up all my library holds and get reading for March!  What did you read in February? Any recommendations for what I should add to my list for March?  I hope you give a few of these ones a try, it was a good month for books over here!

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