Is it just me or did January feel LOOOOOONG? The good news is this long month allowed me to read ten books.
1. Designing Your Life
I read this one for Women in Higher Education (higher education friends-click here to subscribe to our badass higher ed feminist newsletter). I've been doing career and academic coaching/advising for a decade, give or take, but this book definitely gave me some new insights. Their advice to prototype or test your career interests before making a commitment is really important. There are several activities in the book that you can complete to help you zone in on your next steps to design your ideal life. If you are unhappy at work or unclear about your future, this one's a worthwhile investment.
2. The Atlantis Gene
I'll give The Atlantis Gene the award for weirdest book of the month. First off, I want to say that this book and its sequels are all huge success stories and they are being made into movies. That being said, this is wicked out there (as we say in Massachusetts) and the storyline required a constant suspension of disbelief as I followed the plot that includes time travel, portals, Nazis, and Tibetan monks. I still tore through it in a couple of days but I don't think I'll be reading any of the sequels. Might watch the movie though.
3. Understanding the Enneagram
If you are into personal growth and development books I think you'll really love the Enneagram which is basically an ancient system of psychology. The core idea here is that people are constantly changing; it's impossible to stay the same. The question is, do you want to be evolving or devolving? Based on your answers to a short questionnaire you are assigned a number from one to nine. I'm a five. The system then outlines the ways that you typically devolve or evolve. I found this incredibly accurate, interesting, and highly motivating. I want to evolve y'all!
4. Ink & Bone
If there's a book about books or libraries I'm probably going to read it. This book was enjoyable but I didn't feel super connected to the teenage characters. It held my interest and the writing is smart. It's part of a trilogy that I don't think I'll continue but this was still a solid read.
5. The Chemist
This book started out so strong. I love technothrillers and there aren't enough written by female authors. But then Meyer became hyper-focused on a very dreary and somewhat lame romance instead of her main character's more fun and evil qualities. I finished it quickly but wish it had held the tight energy of the first few chapters.
6. The Codex
I'm on a quest for the next Michael Crichton (i.e. Sphere, Congo, The Andromeda Strain). This was a quick and light read that I finished in a few days. I don't think I could tell you the names of any of the main characters though. Fun but no emotional connection here for me.
7. Astrology and Consciousness
An astrologer that I follow online recommended this as one of the astrology books that most influenced her. Olesky does a really good job here of making astrology empowering and practical. As with any good astrology book he goes much deeper than sun signs and really approaches astrology from a spiritual and psychological perspective. Hobbyist astrologers might not want to get this intense but if you love astrology like I do, this is worth a read.
8. Lucky Boy
I have a full review on this forthcoming on a literary website so I won't say much here except that this is the rare book that contains a ferocious plot, characters you won't be able to let go, and a heartbreaking theme that will stay with you long after you're done reading. Timely and important.
9. Spiritual Astrology
Spiller's writing is very accessible and there are a lot of great sections here. I love how she weaves in past lives. I think her handling of the personal planets was a bit stronger than the social and transpersonal planets. She goes into lunar and solar eclipses which was awesome but some of the explanations on how to determine aspects was confusing. Definitely a worthwhile perspective but not my favorite astrology book.
10. The River at Night
This suspense novel is getting a lot of press and the premise is really strong: a group of middle-age women (shit, am I middle-age?) goes on a whitewater rafting trip in Northern Maine. Danger and death ensues. The setting here, a river that is mostly untouched by human hands, becomes a character in itself. You'll finish this one fast. While I definitely recommend it, I felt like the narrative arc was slightly off with the ending feeling a bit rushed. But if you're looking for a great suspense lead with strong female characters, this is one to check out.
Happy reading and happy February!
This blog is focused on exploring ideas around yoga, career, intuition, purpose, and passion. Please leave a comment. Namaste.