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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Books I Read in September (And Whether or Not You Should Read Them).

Let's just get this out of the way: I've never read the Harry Potter books. 

I know, I know. Please don't unfollow me. 

Last year, Helene read all of them for the first time, and I decided that I was going to read them this fall. So here we are. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Plot: "Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined." -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: 

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” 

My thoughts: I'll be honest, I was a little worried this book was going to feel very young. I mean, at the end of the day, it's a book about an eleven-year-old wizard. But it was, as everyone has been telling me for the last two decades, magical. The best books fully transport you to another life, another land, and that's what this one does. Even though I'd never read it, it somehow felt nostalgic. I can't wait to read the next one. 

Should you read it? I mean, I'm guessing you already have. But if you haven't, yes, it's worth it. Even as an adult. 

Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno 

Plot: "Lottie Reeves has always struggled with anxiety, and when her beloved Aunt Helen dies, Lottie begins to fear that her own unexpected death might be waiting around every corner.

Aunt Helen wasn’t a typical aunt. She was the author of the best–selling Alvin Hatter series, about siblings who discover the elixir of immortality. Her writing inspired a generation of readers. 

In her will, she leaves one last writing project—just for Lottie. It’s a series of letters, each containing mysterious instructions designed to push Lottie out of her comfort zone. Soon, Lottie’s trying some writing of her own, leaping off cliffs, and even falling for a boy she’s only just met. Then the letters reveal an extraordinary secret about the inspiration for the Alvin Hatter series. Lottie finds herself faced with an impossible choice, one that will force her to confront her greatest fear once and for all." -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: "I'm fine," I said quickly, because we are taught as children that automatic response: I'm fine, when we are not. I'm fine, when we are anything but. I'm fine, when we can't stop thinking about death, about dying, about ceasing to be."

My thoughts: This book was adorable. It was magical and relatable and left me feeling so happy. If you're a bookworm (or a writer!) you'll love this one. It does read a little young in parts, and is a smidge predictable, but I didn't mind. Bonus points: It had a really good representation of anxiety, which I always appreciate. All in all, a lovely little read. I loved it. 

Should you read it? Yes!
You Are a Bada**: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

Plot: "In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you're ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Bada** will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them - it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it NOW.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you'll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can't change, how to change what you don't love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious a**." -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: 
“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.” 

My thoughts: Guys. GUYS. I don't know why it took me so long to read this book. For some reason, I just assumed it was an overrated self-help book. But I FREAKING LOVED IT. It had the same effect on me that Big Magic did, and if you know me at all, you know that's about the highest praise I can give a book. 

I am so happy I read this. I feel like I can confidently say it changed my life. It was like having coffee with a friend who sees the best in you and isn't going to let you settle for anything less. I already know I will be re-reading this book many, many times. 

Should you read it? I'm probably going to buy everyone I love copies of this book and send them weekly quizzes to make sure they read it, so there's your answer. 

What did you read this month?
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