Reviews

February Reads: Business, YA Fiction + More

March 9, 2015
february reads

Well, somehow I read just as many books in February as I did in January. I’m not sure whether I should be embarrassed or grateful. I have some great ones to share, at least!

Nonfiction

Rework by Jason Fried + David Heinemeier Hansson

rework book coverBook Description:

“Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf. Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you’ll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses. 

What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. This book shows you the way. You’ll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counter-intuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you.”

My Take:

Rework has been on my to-read list for so long, and I’m so glad I picked it up this month. It was a quick + inspiring read, confirming my general views on entrepreneurship. It reminded me a little of $100 Start-Up, in that it describes working efficiently, getting out of your own way, and scaling your business to your own comfort level.

Interesting Quotes:

“Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is home because she figured out a faster way”

“If circumstances change, your decisions can change. Decisions are temporary.”

“Working without a plan may seem scary. But blindly following a plan that has no relationship with reality is even scarier.”


10% Happier by Dan Harris

10% Happier by Dan Harris

I loved this book so much I did a full review on it here.

Interesting Quotes:

“The final step- “non-identification”- meant seeing that just because I was feeling angry or jealous or fearful, that did not render me a permanently angry or jealous person. These were just passing states of mind.”

“Even if we were handed everything we wanted, would it really make us sustainably happy? … There’s actually a term for this- “hedonic adaptation.” When good things happen, we bake them very quickly into our baseline expectations, and yet the primordial void goes unfulfilled.”


Fiction

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

to all the boys I've loved beforeBook Description:

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.”

My Take:

This came highly recommended, and I have a weakness for young adult fiction, but I didn’t love this book. It was cute and a relaxing, easy read, but I guess I was hoping for more. When I say I like young adult fiction, it’s more along the lines of John Green. Still, I would recommend checking it out as a beach read or something because a lot of people do love it.

Interesting Quotes:

“Plenty of people are good-looking. That doesn’t make them interesting or intriguing or cool.”

“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit.”


Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

flat out celesteBook Description:

“For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation. But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him. Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.”

My Take:

I love the Flat-Out Love series! They’re hilarious, quirky, witty and often insightful. Plus, if you have Amazon Prime, you can borrow them for free!

Interesting Quotes:

“Sometimes love is not enough, and it doesn’t matter how much you want it. Want him. And even if nobody else compares to that person, it doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to be with him.”

“You know the expression that love makes the world go ‘round? That might be true, but love comes from the way differences interact. How personalities interact. How we bounce off of each other, challenge each other, and how we push and pull. It’s through those tensions that we connect with others and with ourselves. And it’s how we fall in love. Because there is magic in diversity.”

“I had expected the turnip metaphor to go over better, but it seems not everyone appreciates a clever philosophically grounded root vegetable reference.”


The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

last anniversaryBook Description:

“Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one she let get away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie’s house on Scribbly Gum Island — home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby Mystery.

Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it’s about time she started making her own decisions.

As Sophie’s life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around — and come up with your own fairy-tale ending.”

My Take:

I’ve been on a Liane Moriarty kick the past few months. Her books are chic-lit mixed with mystery. I didn’t like The Last Anniversary as much as the other books I’ve read from her, but it was still entertaining.

Interesting Quotes:

“But Grace quite likes the fact that you can think something is one way all your life, and it turns out you’re wrong, it can be something else entirely. It makes her feel free. Nothing is rigid. Things change. You can change your mind. You can change your thinking.”


The Help by Kathryn Stockett

the helpBook Description:

“Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town…”

My Take:

I’m a little late to the game on this one, but I have to say it lived up to the hype! I think having moved to the South a few years ago made it even more interesting.

Interesting Quotes:

“Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else.”

“Truth. It feels cool, like water washing over my sticky-hot body. Cooling a heat that’s been burning me up all my life. Truth, I say inside my head again, just for that feeling.”

“We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.”


What did you read in February? What’s on your list next?

*I’m an Amazon Associate, so if you purchase any of these books through the links provided, I will earn a [very small] commission.

 

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  • Marisa Hendrickson March 9, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I’ve been meaning to read some of these books. Thanks to your recommendations, they may come up higher on my list. Lately I’ve been reading the Mara Dyer trilogy, which is absolutely amazing.

    Marisa

    • Dzeigler March 9, 2015 at 9:51 am

      I hadn’t heard of that series so I looked it up. Definitely added it to my list! Thank you!! I love when books are in a series.

  • Rachel March 11, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I am SO jealous of all the books you read this month and last!! I wish I had enough time to read like this. At least I know where to come when I need to stock up on books for one of my trips 🙂 The Help is one of my favorite books – so glad you liked it!

    • Dzeigler March 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Yes! Definitely read 10% Happier if you haven’t. I got it from my library as an ebook. (Love the library haha)