Booking It is an online book club where we discuss what we’ve read over the past month as well as review a monthly assigned book. January’s book was One Bite at a Time by Tsh Oxenreider.
I love to read. I always have. I was an early reader, starting at about age 4. I don’t remember my parents reading to me. (Sorry, Mom.) But, I do remember my mom taking us to the library often, of my bringing home a dozen books at a time, of my reading through that dozen in no time flat. I remember staying up late at night reading in bed. And Dad popping his head in every few minutes to tell me to turn off the light.
Just one more chapter, Dad.
I’m just going to finish the chapter, Dad.
Just one more page.
I lied. I admit. I totally wasn’t going to stop. No way, no how.
I still love to read. And there have been occasions during my tenure as a mother that I have pulled an all-nighter (or almost) reading an engrossing book. I usually paid for it the next day by being extra tired and cranky. But, in the moment of reading and exploring a different world besides my own, it was totally worth it.
Over the past month, I’ve read a fair amount. I was really sick in December, meaning all I wanted to do was lie around. I treated myself to a handful of books at Christmas time. We went out of town with limited internet.
All of those circumstances have contributed to this wonderful list of books I’ve read over the last month, without pulling an allnighter.
Here’s the latest from my nightstand:
A Million Miles in a Thousand Year
I told you a little about this book at the beginning of the month. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller is a fabulous book. Fabulous. It is the “assigned reading” for March. But hubs grabbed it off my shelf and started reading. And then he coerced me into reading it before it was “time.”
This is a great read, especially if you’re looking for a deeper something to sink your teeth — and your life — into. It is laugh-out-loud funny as well as you-better-have-a-kleenex moving. I was so amazingly surprised.
The 100 Thing Challenge
I also picked up The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul by Dave Bruno, thanks to Patti’s comment during last month’s Booking It. I’d never heard of the book or the blog before. Or if I had, then I forgot. It’s been a hugely thought-provoking book.
Don’t judge a book by its cover, though. A friend looked at it and said, “I don’t want another person lecturing about what to do with my life.” I guess he was under the impression that it was a How-to book. And I guess when you look at the cover, it might make you think that. But really, it’s not about that.
It’s basically one man’s journey to wean himself from stuff. He doesn’t have hard and fast rules about one hundred things. That’s not the point. The point is that life is more than the sum of our stuff. And so, he sets on a journey to whittle down his personal possessions to the bare minimum and see what life is like without stuff.
I have laughed. I have gone, “hmmm….” and I’ve found myself nodding about the stuff that weighs me down in life. It’s helped me see my stuff in a whole new light. I really have been inspired by this book in many ways. Thanks for the rec, Patti!
(There’s a little “language” in the book and some very honest discussion about life experiences, so be forewarned. It didn’t dignificantly detract from the book, but I know that it makes some uncomfortable.)
One Bite at a Time
Our “assigned reading” this month was One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider. I started the book several months back and have slowly been digesting it. You can read my initial impressions here. Let me just say that Tsh drips with wisdom. I wish that when my kids had been 7, 4, and 2, that I would have known all that Tsh has presented in this book. It’s really that good.
Currently, I’m in the 40s, out of 52 Bites. But the beauty of this book is that it isn’t really meant to be read in one sitting. It really is a book to scan and take a bite out of. The projects are practical, yet very doable. And you could totally do one chapter at a time.
Of course, it’s so like me that my brain races ahead and wants to do everything at once.
Oh! A garden! That would be great!
Hey, I might try that no shampoo thing on the kids
Oh, yes, I definitely want to….
Obviously, 52 bites at one time would send me to the loony bin. So, I’m narrowing in on a few, or at least being mindful of them as I go through my day. I already do several of the projects anyway. Like # 39 Create a Daily To Do List. But, it’s still helpful to read what others say about a project, even if it’s one you think you already know. I’m freshly inspired by Tsh’s words and that puts some spring back in my step.
Back in November when I shared this book the first time, I was working on these three:
#3 – Establish a morning routine
#4 – Establish an evening routine
#18 – Get more sleep
Thankfully, I’ve been successful in working on #3 and #18. While I don’t have them down pat, they are getting easier to pull off on a regular basis. In the coming weeks I’m going to continue working on #4 and adding:
#34 — Drink more water. The suggestions in this chapter, provided by Simple Mom contributor, Lisa Byrne, are brilliant!
#38 — Carve out intentional downtime.
Tsh says to just take one bite at a time, but I’m taking three. I do, after all, have a big mouth.
Have you been Booking It?
Apparently, I’ve got a thing for books with numbers: a million, 100, one, 52. Tune in next month when I review 92 Ways to Skin a Cat.
In the meantime, tell us about the books you’ve read! If you read One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler be sure to tell us what you thought of it and what projects you’re using to simplify your life.
Tell us in the comments about your recent reads or link up your book review post.