The Stories from a Backpack Monthly Online Book Club
Last week someone asked me what I’d been reading recently, I went blank. The piles of books that fill my desk, my bedside table, my bookcase and every other available surface in the house, flashed through my mind as I frantically tried to recall the name of any book. Anything that I’d read last month. The books I’d ordered from the library blurred with the long list of things in my amazon wish list. Which books did I start and not finish this month? And which ones did I read?
We always think we will remember; we think in the heat of an adrenaline-filled moment, in the depths of a conversation or discussion, the images, the words we need, the ideas we hope to remember, we think they will be there at the tips of our fingers and tongues. But if you’re anything like me, life and love and people filter in and out of my thoughts at breakneck speed and I can’t seem to remember what day of the week it is, let alone which books I read in the last month. I’m so glad I write these things down.
Friend, I hope your memory is better than mine, I hope you read books that bleed you’re your soul and stain your eyes. I hope they never leave you, but if you’ve had a busy week, month or year, I hope you write down the names of the books you read and the quotes you love. I hope you write down the stories they taught you. It’s so much easier to remember them this way.
February. The month of rain and storms and lighter nights and longer days. We are inching towards spring and I like it. Log fires still and long weekends. Tuesday’s which turn into Thursdays in the blink of a chapter. Daffodils and hot cross buns. Pancakes and the threat of snow. February was a good month for books.
As usual, I’ve got a wonderfully random mix of books for you this month.
Here’s the February round-up:
Total books read: 4
Total pages: 1,302
*click on the pictures for links to Amazon
Book #1 – Watermelon – Marian Keyes
Fiction: This was a slog. At 528 pages long it was almost half the total number of pages I read all month. I’ve never read any Keyes before, but this is classic and classy chit lit right here. It felt unnecessarily long in places, but the characters have stuck with me, and that’s what makes a book great! Marian Keyes also did the most amazing interview with Elizabeth day on her reasons to fail podcast. That interview is enough to make you love any Marian Keyes book forever.
Read this book if: If you’re looking for a mega holiday read, one that will keep you going all week, this could be up there on the list.
Book #2 – The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod
Non- Fiction: If there has ever been a book written, a blog post posted, a tip shared, about the morning routine. I’ve read. I’m determined to crack the formula. The book is the holy grail of morning routines and I love it. You could probably pick up most of the info by reading Hal’s website or joining the Facebook group, but this book’s worth a read if you are looking to shake up your mornings.
Read this book if: you want to change your life by getting up earlier.
Quotes I think you’ll love:
“You are just as worthy as any other person, start living in alignment with that truth.”
“Dedicate time each morning to become the person you need to be.”
“Who you are becoming is the single most important determining factor in your quality of life, now and for your future.”
“Which actions will you need to make on a consistent basis to make your vision for your ideal life a reality.”
Book #3 – Find a Way – Diana Nyad
Non- Fiction: This book was incredible. It was hard to read but worth it. If you haven’t heard about Diana Nyad and her attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida, you need to. If this isn’t the most perfect living example of what never giving up looks like, don’t know what is. Check out her TED talk here.
*Trigger warning, this book contains themes of sexual abuse.*
Read this book if: You feel like being inspired. Like sports autobiographies, or fancy reading something different.
Quotes I think you’ll love:
“I failed and faltered many times but I can look back without regret because I was never burdened with the paralysis of fear and inaction.”
“I refuse to take a place among timid souls.”
“Accept and rise to whatever circumstances presents itself. Be in it full tilt. Your best self. Summon your courage, your true grit. When the body fades, don’t let negative edges of despair creep in.”
Non- Fiction: Yes to this book! Filled with beautiful essays, life advice and inspiring stories, this book was really made by and for, remarkable women.
Read this book if: You fancy buying a book for a female friend. Or if you are trying to get back into reading and just want short sharp stories and chapters to devour before bed. Or if you want to give non-fiction books a try but you’re not sure where to start.
Quotes I think you’ll love:
“Say no so your yes means something.”
“Sure it’s risky to upend your life and start over again – but if you don’t take a chance then you’ll never know. “
“People might not understand why you are doing it, but you’ve got to carry on regardless.”
Reminder: how the book club works
Stories from a book club #4I read and review some books each month, trawling through the millions of billions of books in the world, to find some I think you’ll enjoy. You pick one you like from the list and read it. We then get to chat on Instagram about all the things you loved and thought about when you read the book. No time pressures. No completed questions. Just two friends reading the same book and chatting through how it made us feel. Sound good?