Quick Lit March 2019
An Unconditional Freedom

An Unconditional Freedom

This is the third book in Cole's popular Loyal League series, but my first of her novels, and I found this a great place to jump in—which I did at the urging of friends with disparate tastes who all agreed Cole's writing is top-notch. This thoroughly researched historical romance is set during the Civil War, and pairs well-written history with an engrossing story of two broken people whose lives have been ruined by slavery—but are surprised to find a glimmer of hope when they find each other. (There's only one bedroom scene, right near the end, and you can skip it without missing the point of the story.) More info →
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Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

In his new release, Newport makes a strong device that we are way too connected to our devices. (His statistics on the kids and young adults coming of age in the era of commonplace smart phones and constant internet connectivity were particularly sobering.) He makes a strong case that it's not good for our brain, our relationships, or our society. Much of the information in the book is not new, and I enjoyed Newport’s call backs to work I've previously read and enjoyed, by authors like Winifred Gallagher and Sherry Turkle. More info →
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Juliet’s School of Possibilities: A Little Story About the Power of Priorities

Juliet’s School of Possibilities: A Little Story About the Power of Priorities

I've been eagerly anticipating this beautiful little book from Laura Vanderkam, just out March 12. Her 2018 release Off the Clock was one of my favorite books of the year; this fable reads as a lightly fictionalized version of the same concepts. In the book, Riley is a hot-shot young consultant who's making herself and her clients crazy by trying to fulfill their every want and need. But when she ends up at a mysterious retreat called Juliet's School of Possibilities, she's introduced to an entirely new way of approaching her life and her work. You can read this short book about the difference between busyness and true success in an afternoon, and put the core lesson to work in your own life for all the days to come: "Expectations are infinite. Time is finite. You are always choosing. Choose well." More info →
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The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

This book has been repeatedly recommended to me over the past year, and despite purchasing my own copy on fall book tour, I postponed reading it. I expected it to be hard and heavy—it does have "trauma" in the title, after all—but while van der Kolk certainly addresses difficult subjects, the main descriptor I'd use is fascinating. Burying our traumatic experiences comes at a great cost, because they can't truly be ignored—those experiences manifest themselves in our very bodies. Van der Kolk explores what that looks like, and what to do about it. Some of the treatment options were so unexpected (and effective) that I couldn't resist reading paragraphs out loud to my husband. More info →
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