What I’m Reading {February 2016}

I can’t believe we’re only 6 weeks into the year and I’m already a quarter of the way to my 2016 Reading Challenge! I’m going to try to branch out to some new topics, which you’ll see a variety of this week. As always, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for this month’s Quick Lit book reviews.

The Polygamous Wives Writing Club: From the Diaries of Mormon Pioneer Women

The author of this book used the autobiographies and personal journals of polygamist wives from the 1800’s and early 1900’s to allow readers a peak into this rarely discussed former tradition of the Mormon church. The way that she patched the stories together was a little strange and hard to follow, creating fictitious relationships between the women, imagining them sitting on the porch talking about their struggles. It was hard to keep all the different wives and families separate, and honestly my favorite parts were the “interludes” that gave the background to the movement, manifesto, and Mormonism in general.

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story

This is the memoir of ABC newscaster Dan Harris, who had a panic attack on air after becoming addicted to drugs. He then goes on a search for “something more” which leads him to the practice of mindfulness. I think people like this book because he comes at it with as much skepticism as most people feel, and yet he discovers that it makes him feel “10% happier”, thus the desire to write the book and encourage others to pursue the path. It was an interesting story, but there wasn’t anything that really grabbed and moved the story along, so it felt like a long read.

Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? when My Lab Tests Are Normal: a Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

This was an EXCELLENT book. Even though he focused on hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, I still learned a lot about what I would need to be sure my doctors were taking into consideration when treating me for hyperthyroidism. Dr. Kharrazian offered some of the best explanations I’ve heard in Functional Medicine and once again stressed the importance of finding the ROOT cause of thyroid problems (or any problem) instead of just treating symptoms (whether naturally or conventionally).


The Everything Health Guide To Thyroid Disease: Professional Advice on Getting the Right Diagnosis, Managing Your Symptoms, And Feeling Great

This book was written from the conventional medicine perspective, which means the method of treatment for hyperthyroidism that it focused on was taking medicine (or radiation) to kill the thyroid and then being put on lifelong medicine for hypothyroidism. I knew going into it that was not MY preferred method of treatment, so I didn’t get much out of this book—other than knowing what to expect my conventional endocrinologist would recommend. If you’re looking for a book on the thyroid, check out Dr. Kharazzian’s work first.


Into the Wild

This falls into the category of “a book you’ve had for a long time but haven’t read.” This was the first book I’ve read by Krakauer, and it was a little different than I had anticipated. I liked it, although there were a few times where Krakauer went off and lost me a little bit. Overall, a very interesting way to retell the story of Christopher McCandles, who left everything behind to wander America and was later found dead in the Alaskan wilderness.

The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases

It makes me laugh (and also kind of angry) when I read reviews of books like this where people get upset about the diet that she recommends because they think it is too restrictive. I want to say “obviously you don’t feel bad enough to want to get better” but I don’t. ANYWAY, I really liked the way that Dr. Amy explained autoimmune diseases and how important it is to manage them with diet and lifestyle. She includes recipes and menu plans for those who are new to elimination diets, and shares lots of success stories. Deifnitely a good one that I would recommend!


The Art of Memoir

This one was really hard for me. I suppose it was helpful, but after reading Big Magic it just didn’t inspire me the way I would’ve hoped. She referenced a lot of other memoir writers, most of whom I was not familiar. I guess I need to expand my reading repertoire a bit.

Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book lately, but I just could.not.get.into.it. I ALMOST abandoned it, but it was so short that I kept thinking “oh I’ll just keep going. It won’t take me that long.” But I think it took close to a week to read 100 pages! In this memoir Doerr recounts his time spent in Rome, while trying to write his famous novel “All The Light You Cannot See.” Most of the book is him describing his surroundings in this foreign city, which I get would appeal to people who have been to Rome. I think if I had been to Rome or had read his other book I would’ve been a lot more engaged.


Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

I LOVED Big Magic. I was warned that it was a little “woo woo” going into it, which was helpful. I was very inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s descriptions of creativity and encouragement to make our art. I also discovered the Big Magic podcast, which was a great 10 part series where Liz coached creatives who were stuck in their ventures and then talked to successful artists to get their feedback on the situations.

Up Next: Daring Greatly, The Art of X-Ray Reading, Bel Canto, Help, Thanks, Wow.

Any book recommendations you want to share?


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