Before I tell you the simple secret of how I got myself to read a book a week, let me tell you about my awesome new morning routine.
On March 2, I started the “millionaire morning routine,” where I wake up “early” (around 7:15…that’s early for me), recall my dreams, meditate, jumpstart my energy by working out for just a couple of minutes, journal, and make to-do lists.
I have to say that it was all very successful. I felt great, my productivity was off the charts, I received more material manifestations, and my mind was at ease. I felt like a new person.
Another thing that I decided to do was: read a book a week. And with all the extra time I have at home because of the COVID-19 lockdown, I found that it was super fun and easy to get some good reading done. I’ve gone from bingeing on Investigation Discovery TV shows to curling up under the Snuggie with a good book. New person.
So here is the secret to read a book a week: commit to just 45 minutes of reading a day. That’s it. With average reading speed and average word count of an average novel, you will on average read a book a week…if you just commit to reading 45 minutes a day.
And just to share, here are the books I read in March:
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
I got this book after Jenni Many recommended it to me. It was the best book that I read this past month. The author is a master of using similes and I felt like each character was vivid and realistic (down to her Lanvin flats).
The plot is interesting. Supernatural theme, which is a theme that I just recently started gravitating toward. The characters relive the same day in a Neverworld realm, which ends up being kind of like Groundhog Day, but not as hilarious. They use their brains to navigate through the Neverworld to try to solve the mystery of one of their friend’s death. Love a good book about brainy rich kids.
I also liked the underlying theme where the main character has drifted apart from the group of friends and doesn’t feel like she fits in with them anymore. Sounds familiar.
I would recommend this book. And Jenni says the author’s first book (Special Topics in Calamity Physics) is even better. I will check that one out too.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
I got this book because it was in the “Hot and New” section of my local library branch. I typically read a lot of classic literature, but I figured I should start reading some hot and new fiction. This one is written by an NPR host and is about a lady who is about to leave her lame husband, but then the husband dies in an accident. And then she falls in love with a washed-up professional baseball player.
After reading Marisha Pessl’s rich and intricate writing, the writing in this book felt cliché. I didn’t like the main character, Evvie, at all (I liked that she drinks bourbon, but there is a part where she secretly follows Dean, the baseball player, at 2AM and it made me think she is crazy and weird). And I didn’t understand why the baseball player fell in love with her in the first place.
BUT, the book does a great job of painting a scene. I loved the family scenes, like how the family and friends gathered on Thanksgiving (even though Evvie got lame again when her sweet dad made a toast), and I love how she described the seaside town and culture.
Not an awful book, but not a book I would recommend. But people on Amazon seem to love it, so what do I know?
Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday
Dave gave Eddie this book, and I decided to read it too. It discusses the benefits of some Stoic and Buddhist principles…mainly how slowing down in life can be beneficial to everything in life—your work, relationships, health, etc.
The book goes into some interesting stories about artists, leaders, and athletes, like JFK and Tiger Woods. And one particularly interesting story that Dave liked too…about Michael Jordan giving a speech where he called out all the people who he felt had wronged him early in his career. Haha.
This is a good book. But I already practice most of the things the book was encouraging, so I did not really learn anything new. But it’d be good for someone who is anxious and high-strung, and wants to read about an alternate way of being.
Buy here on Amazon.
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
Hmm. I have read a few other MG books, eg, Blink, Outliers, Tipping Point, and loved them all. I was happy to see Talking to Strangers in the Hot and New section at the library. But it has ended up being my least favorite one of his books.
The writing style is all the same and I love that part. MG explains psychological studies and findings so you don’t get bored or overwhelmed. But the topic of talking to people we don’t really know and the idea that they might be lying to us just isn’t that interesting to me.
What’s interesting is the acknowledgement that humans default to truth. It is our default setting to believe that others are telling us the truth. And that is largely why we wouldn’t expect our sibling to be a Cuban spy, our colleague to be a pedophile. If you thought I was acting shady and called me out on it, and I said “I was tired,” or “I was just joking around,” you would probably believe me. (As you should. I am not shady.) But you probably shouldn’t believe everyone.
I think every MG book is worth reading. I’m just saying the topic of this one just isn’t as interesting to me as the others I’ve read.
Available here on Amazon.
And now it’s April. But the library is closed. I’m planning on reading a book about marketing (currently taking a copywriting course), and maybe some random books that I find in Eddie’s book pile. We shall see. E-books are still available from the library, which is great.
Hope you all are staying safe and healthy during this weird time!
Do you read a book a week or do you prefer to lounge with Netflix? Let me know if you’ve read anything good. Or if you’ve watched anything good!
Sounds awesome! I’m lucky enough to be working from home so can’t do much reading during the week but I have started reading at weekends. Super excites! Plus I’m steeping up my fitness routine! xx
STAY HOME, STAY GRATEFUL, STAY SAFE xx
Thank you for the book recommendations Jennifer! I read a lot too during lockdown and generally. Switching off TV and reading more books is one of the best life-decisions I have ever made!
I hope you and your loved ones are well and safe.