In My Library Tote: Nonfiction Addiction (or Something Like That)

I like to have a lot of variety in my reading life. Typically though I take that to mean I like to read a variety of novels. Admittedly even my variety isn't very varied. This year though I challenged myself to read more nonfiction, and as it turns out, the genre has grown on me. I always associated nonfiction with "dry" and "boring" and while there certainly are such texts (ahem, all the business texts I read in college) I found numerous engrossing pieces of nonfiction that I actually looked forward to reading. 

Here are 5 recent nonfiction reads, most of which belong in the "thoroughly enjoyed" category. 

{in my library tote: recent nonfiction reads}

{At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider} I went into this one with a bit of a fangirl mentality. I've been listening to Tsh's podcast The Simple Show for the past year or so, and I really enjoy her perspective on travel, parenting, and intentional living. I liked that this is not your typical travel memoir. Sure, Tsh and her husband went on exotic-sounding around the world trip, but it was with their 3 kids, age 10 and under, in tow. I enjoyed seeing life across the globe through her eyes, and also identified with her musings on what it means to long for a place to call home. I'm not sure I would have picked this up had I not been familiar with Tsh already, but I'm glad I did. My rating: 3.5/5 stars. 

{The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine} I picked this up thanks to Alexandra's recommendation. When I read her description, I thought, "Yes, that's me!" and she was so right about the book containing useful advice and practical activities. (I love practical advice in my non-fiction. Tell me something I can do RIGHT NOW to implement this advice.) Lobenstine's premise is that some people are what she calls "renaissance souls", or people who have a desire to pursue multiple, often vastly different, interests or careers. I've always been a little embarrassed about my struggle to commit to a career path (and even a college during my undergrad days!). I was jealous of people, like my husband, who choose a career path, stick with it, and feel fulfilled. Reading this book made me feel validated, and it also gave me some ideas for helping me feel fulfilled without the pressure of choosing that one, perfect thing to do with my life. I read the version I linked to above, but there is an updated edition found here. I recommend this book for anyone who sees herself as a renaissance soul too, and wants to feel motivated and uplifted. My rating: 4/5 stars. 

{Hourglass by Dani Shapiro} Memoirs are hit or miss for me. Generally I prefer a fictional portrayal of a life to a "real" one. What does that say about me? Anyway, despite hearing quite a bit of praise for Hourglass, I found it hard to get through. As I mentioned when I posted about it on Instagram, I felt like I wasn't in the right season of life to appreciate Shapiro's reflection on her marriage and life as a mother. I'm introspective by nature, but being in the thick of raising two young kids, my reflections look a lot different than hers do. I appreciate her talent, but I felt like this one just wasn't for me, not at the moment at least. My rating, 3/5 stars.

{Essentialism by Greg McKeown} In a society that prides itself on busyness, efficiency, and getting more done, Greg McKeown offers something pleasingly different in Essentialism. He encourages the reader to become an "essentialist" by focusing only on what matters and eliminating what doesn't. I checked this one out from the library, but wish I had bought a copy, as I took copious screenshots that will likely just get lost in the abyss of digital photos. In the same vein as The Renaissance Soul, I appreciated McKeown's practical, real-life advice. This is one I'd like to go back and read again to really soak it in. My rating: 3.5/5 stars.

{The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell} When Helen Russell's husband is offered his dream job in Denmark, they uproot their lives in London and move to a rural Danish sea town. Upon learning that Denmark is the happiest country in the world, Russell makes it her goal to understand why, and to try to live more Danishly herself. I've mentioned before that one of the main reasons I read is to see the world from new perspectives, so I loved learning more about day-to-day life in a country I've spent very little time thinking about until now. With the current hygge craze especially, it was fascinating to learn more about the country famous for its cozy winters. My rating: 3.5/5.

Have you read anything good lately?

Linking up (late!) to Show Us Your Books.   

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