Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

What I’ve Read So Far This Year

It’s true what people say about freelancing: you’re either being hit between the eyes with a Super Soaker or standing last in line at Bi-Rite Creamery. Either drowning in work or in tears. (Or, let’s be honest, both).

The start of this year was painfully slow on the work front. I had come off the high of trying to do every possible project I could get my hands in October into the blissful month I spent in New Zealand. When December rolled around I wasn’t particularly worried, a slow month here or there won’t kill anyone. But by February I was desperate.

Which was how we got here. Those brutal, hungry months can lead to some of the best stories and most exciting opportunities, or crippling self-doubt. I went from not blogging because I was constantly pitching and worried about putting my best ideas here to barely having enough mental space to remember family birthdays and the last time I brushed my teeth. I find it challenging to make the time for words that I’m not getting paid for. I have to eat, and at this point in my life—despite what freelancers tell themselves—I work for everyone else.

Which is all to say life is good now, freelancing is just as challenging as everyone forewarns, and I’ve done too much reading and writing to fully catch you up. But that doesn’t mean I wont’ try. So here it is, seven months of reading in a single blog post. Enjoy!

Books on Nightstand — What I'm Reading

What I’ve Read So Far This Year

I would break the internet—okay fine, my brain—if I tried to give you a feel review of everything I’ve read since January. Instead I’m offering the reductionist version. Here’s a quick list with a couple thoughts thrown in.

1. The Imperfect Environmentalist: 2.3-3/5 stars… although part of that could be because I want to write a book like this, but better.

2. Lotta Jansdotter’s Handmade Living: 3.5/5 stars. Scandi-living candy. Did not actually get me to start decorating two years after moving in as hoped.

3. The Heart’s Invisible Furies: 2/5 stars. Went on forever. Not a fan.

4. The Kinfolk Home: 2.5/5 stars. Depressing. How can anyone afford to live like this? Liked most of the essays.

5. Still Life with Tornado: IDK stars. I don’t remember how I felt about this YA book. So I guess that says something.

6. New Minimalism: 3/5 stars. Nothing new or surprising to me here. Still liked it. Good place to start if you haven’t already gotten rid of 75-80 percent of your stuff and moved into a 275 square foot apartment with your partner.

7. Spark: 2.5/5 stars. I liked the first chapter. Then it felt like it went on too long.

8. Wing Jones: 4/5 stars. Loved this YA novel about finding your power and voice through running.

9. Fix Your Clothes: 3?/5 stars. Helpful reference. Still can’t really fix clothes.

10. Make Yourself at Home: 3/5. Book did not magically decorate my home.

11. Urban Jungle: 3/5. Have two new plants.

12. Sing, Unburied, Sing: 4/5 stars. Cried.

13. Little Fires Everywhere: 4/5 stars. Weird. Liked it.

14. Sage Living: Decorate for the Life You Want: 3/5 stars. Still have not hung up a single photo.

15. This Will Be My Undoing: 4/5  stars. Insightful, honest read. Recommend.

16. The Last Magazine: 1/5 stars. I wanted to leave this off this list to prevent drawing any more attention to it. Came off as sexist and racist. I have complicated because the author is dead so I feel like an ass for hating it and getting so worked up about it.

17. Born a Crime: 4.5/5 stars. Cannot recommend it enough.

18. Rethink The Way You Live: 2.5/5 stars. Kind of interesting? Have not rethought.

19. Tin Can Homestead: 4/5 stars. Gorgeous small living.

20. Goodbye, Things: 2.5/5 stars. Roughly translated, concept is just not for me. Repetitive.

21. Garbology: 5/5 stars. I cannot stop talking about this book. The history and scientific analysis of our trash blew me away. Please read it. It’s way more interesting and insightful than you could ever imaging a book about physical trash could be. So good.

22. How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky: 2/5 stars. So, so weird. I don’t get the hype. Wish I hadn’t finished it.

23. Emergency Contact: 2.5/5 stars. It was okay. Would have been better if the text messages the story was built on would have had stupid typos and autocorrect nonsense like they would have in real life.

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