Books Read in February

Normally I include my list of books-read in my monthly goals post. But let's be honest, sometimes it gets a little out of control. So I thought I'd put them in a quick post by themselves! By the way, if you're on Goodreads, I'd love to be your friend. Check out my account here!

In January, I explained my reading priorities - why I read what I read - and ten books I hope to read in 2014. Ok, so none of these came off that list. But I've also been inspired by an article on Book Riot about throwing away your TBR {to-be-read} list. And I've decided to not be ruled by my TBRs and read what I want to read! And work those ten books into my reading schedule whenever I feel like it. {By the way, Book Riot has a really fun podcast for book nerds, so check it out if you're looking for something new to listen to!}

Here are the three books I read in February.

Funny story - I didn't even buy this book on purpose. My Kindle's battery had dropped to dangerously low levels, then went wacko on me - screens opening and closing, text size changing, and doing all sorts of crazy stuff. Including purchasing this book from the sample I'd downloaded after hearing about it on Kat Lee's podcast.

But it looked funny, so I kept it - and I am so glad I did.

You know how in pregnancy, you can't handle anything too heavy or serious? Is it just me? This was exactly what I needed - one woman's hilarious retelling of her years of marriage to a man as different from her as Cabella's is from Saks Fifth Avenue. I was literally snorting with laughter from her stories of her husband's hunting trips, her cooking disasters, and miscommunications leading to home demolition renovation stories. But she also has serious reflections mixed in, about the purpose of grace and forgiveness in marriage and how God can make one life out of two very different people.

Soukup has written a great introductory e-book for new bloggers on writing awesome content, taking and using photos, and jumping into the different arenas of using your blogging skills to bring in income. The first half of the book is all about becoming a skilled writer, designer, and photographer - because those are the building blocks of how your blog will eventually turn a profit.

I honestly bought her book after reading the sample because her chapters on creating content were so helpful. There are a lot of areas in monetizing blogs that I'm not ready to jump into {such as working with brands and sponsored content}, but I know I'll reference this book later when I do.

This has been my favorite book to read while preparing for the birth of our first child. Some books tend to swing to the end of either spectrum, but Gabriel manages to empower you to know what to ask for and to expect in a hospital that may not be 100% natural-birth-friendly. I feel very fortunate that our hospital is renowned for being very natural-birth-friendly. I hope I won't have to deal with doctors pushing drugs on me or nurses degrading my birth plan, like some of the families had to deal with in her book.

The most useful chapter in the book for me was her section on how to write a birth plan. There are a lot of websites that give you a list of things to refuse or ask for. But she takes you through a process of exploring what birth means to you personally, how you've celebrated important rites of passage in the past, who and what empowers you to push through pain and difficulty, etc. And after going through that, I felt I had a vision for our birth, instead of just a checklist.

I also feel encouraged to hold our birth plan with an open hand. There will be so many unexpected things that will happen to my body and emotions, there's no way I can prepare for everything. But writing out a birth plan helped prepare me how to react when things do happen. And I also think it's been extremely useful for Andrew to know how I need him to support and encourage me throughout labor.

Of course, we'll let you know how it goes after the baby actually comes!

What books did you read in February?
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