Thoughts By Natalie » books honest talk about beauty, style, wellness and life Wed, 25 Jun 2014 15:01:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Summer Reading List Mon, 09 Jun 2014 17:44:51 +0000 Lately I’ve been more and more interested in fiction—which is surprising, but also really fun. I think summer is a natural time to dive into novels and dare to enter the imagination of an author. It’s beautiful how the mind can float away to another world of characters and plots just by reading words on a page. As I eagerly await the sweetest arrival at the end of the summer (baby Jack), I’ll be distracting and entertaining myself with all kinds of tasks and activities, but especially reading. These are six of the books on my list this summer. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I admittedly have already finished this one thanks to all of the free time I had to lounge and read on our babymoon. A love story about two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group, this sad-sounding book is, yes, a tear-jerker, but also guaranteed to make you laugh. It’s beautiful and tragic, and possibly the best novel I’ve ever read. I loved every bit of it, and can’t wait to see the movie this week! Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. I stumbled upon this book through BookBub a month or two ...]]> 11 Gift Idea: Christmas Book Exchange Thu, 05 Dec 2013 13:00:03 +0000 Some girlfriends and I started a tradition last year that is really fun and simple for Christmas: a book exchange. No fussy gifts, no trinkets, no gift cards—just a simple secret santa sort of deal where each of us is assigned to one person, and we have to send that girlfriend a book we loved and think she would enjoy. So, in lieu of a book club pick, I thought I’d invite you to try out this little tradition yourself. I personally am still catching up on the books from October and November, and I don’t want to get even more behind—plus, I have a new book coming my way and I want to be sure I have time to read it :) What do you think? Will you try a book exchange with your friends this year? Photo by Alpha Smoot for]]> 0 Nonfiction Book Club: November Pick Mon, 04 Nov 2013 03:53:23 +0000 Due to the heavy nature of our October book, I’m admittedly still working my way through it slowly. There’s so much detail, I don’t want to miss any of it! That being said, I figured that following a memoir it might be nice to choose a book that helped us all be more introspective, especially as we enter into the holidays and a new year in just a couple of months. The book we’ll be reading in November is The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing by Jeff Goins. I don’t know about you, but I personally struggle quite a bit with that “in-between” feeling. I always want to be in the next phase doing the next thing—but of course we can’t always control the pace of life, and that’s where the tension lies. I hope to soak up every single word of this book and apply it to my impatient heart. Perhaps you feel the same? As always, feel free to join the Facebook group and get chatty about anything that you’re learning over the course of the month. It’s so fun to chat with each other, even though we’re far away! Will you ...]]> 4 Non-Fiction Book Club: October Pick Wed, 25 Sep 2013 22:18:51 +0000 I have to admit, I’m a little sad that September is nearly over. Daring Greatly has been such an inspiring and thought-provoking read, and I’m still soaking in every single word of it, not letting myself plow through it a moment before the month ends. That being said, I’m also very eager to finally dig into our October book, A House In The Sky by Amanda Lindhout. I first discovered the book while reading the September issue of Vogue, and as I learned more about the memoir, I knew it was something I needed to read. Amazon describes this book as, “…the dramatic and redemptive memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most beautiful and remote places, its most imperiled and perilous countries, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity—an exquisitely written story of courage, resilience, and grace….Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity.” As always, I’ve created a Facebook group for us to engage in conversation throughout the reading process. No doubt, this book will be ...]]> 0 Non-Fiction Book Club: September Pick Tue, 27 Aug 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Is it just me, or do you love the books we’ve been reading? Out With It by Katherine Preston has been so good (I’m working on finishing it up this week), and I’m so eager to dive into next month’s book, which is one I’ve had my eye on for a while. So, with just a few days left in the month of August, it’s time to announce the book club pick for September… This coming month, we’ll be reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. It’s a book that is all about vulnerability—something I strive for in my own life, but am admittedly super afraid of. Here’s a bit more about the book, courtesy of Amazon: Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts. In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our ...]]> 2 Non-Fiction Book Club: August Pick Wed, 24 Jul 2013 12:00:00 +0000 July is coming to a close next week and that means it’s time to finish up reading What Remains, and start diving into a brand new book club pick for August. While watching the Today Show at the gym earlier this month, I saw a compelling interview with an author named Katherine Preston who had a very interesting story to tell. Her book, Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice, is our pick for the month of August, and a story I’m eager to read now that I’ve gotten a sense of her charming personality thanks to the Today Show interview. From Amazon… A vividly powerful memoir of a young woman who fought for years to change who she was until she finally found her voice and learned to embrace her imperfection. Imagine waking up one day to find your words trapped inside your head, leaving you unable to say what you feel, think, want, or need. At the age of seven that happened to Katherine Preston. From that moment, she began battling her stutter and hiding her shame by denying there was anything wrong. Seventeen years later, exhausted and humiliated, she made a life-changing decision: to ...]]> 0 Non-Fiction Book Club: September Pick Mon, 24 Jun 2013 12:00:00 +0000 0 Non-Fiction Book Club: July Pick Mon, 24 Jun 2013 12:00:00 +0000 0 Non-Fiction Book Club: June Pick Wed, 29 May 2013 12:00:00 +0000 0 Non-Fiction Book Club: May Pick Wed, 01 May 2013 12:00:00 +0000 0