#FridayReads: What’s in My Bookbag

One of my favorite days of the week, Friday. Not just because we are approaching the weekend, but because of #FridayReads. People from around the globe sharing what they are currently reading with like-minded (or not) book lovers galore and I love to read.

One of the things that I am known for is reading multiple books at one time. There is this infamous scene from the television series “Gilmore Girls” where character Rory is trying to leave for school, but all of her books won’t fit in her bag. I relate too much to this scene:

Clip from Gilmore Girls Season 02 — Episode 07

I generally carry around 4–5 books in my book bag. Most recently I have been seen carrying:

  1. Emma — Jane Austen

I loved reading this book so much, I dragged out reading it because I just didn’t want it to end. I love Jane Austen, she is so witty, relatable, and timeless. Following reading this novel, I binge-watched every version of “Pride and Prejudice” that I could get my hands on. Colin Firth is my favorite Mr. Darcy, by the way.

You may be wondering why I didn’t watch adaptions of Emma. Well, I didn’t want to “taint” my new found love for the novel, yet I wasn’t ready to leave the world Jane Austen created (and obviously couldn’t bring myself to read another book quite yet), thus I chose one of her most popularly adapted books to watch.

2. Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems — Edited by James Gibson

Poetry is a good supplementary read to any book as you get a complete thought that you can mull over for hours with an almost immediacy, without the need to get a few chapters deep into another story.

I chose Thomas Hardy due to scene, this time, from a movie. A movie I ask you to take with a grain of salt, “50 Shades of Grey,” (a single, friend of mine was upset about being single for Valentine’s Day this year and wanted to see this film, thus I went along — please note that in preparation I read every Twilight and 50 Shades novel…it was dark times…); but back to the the reason I chose Thomas Hardy; a quote from the scene where Grey meets Steele for the first time:

Christian Grey: You said you’re an English major. Tell me, was it Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, or Thomas Hardy who first made you fall in love with literature?

Anastasia Steele: Hardy.

50 Shades of Grey: Interview Scene

I wanted to choose a collection of poems that I would fall in love with. He also mentions Jane Austen. Thank you for the recommendation, Miss Steele.

3. Abhorsen — Garth Nix

A re-read. I love to carry a book I have already read with me. This kind of novel, especially one of fantasy, gives me a break from the stress of the “real world” while also not requiring as much focus as a book I am reading for the first time.

I chose this series, as I am preparing to read one of my latest purchases, “Clariel,” a prequel, 20-or-so years in the making to one of my most beloved series by Nix.

4. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High — Kerry Patterson, et. al.

You may have guessed it, this one’s for work. I attended a book discussion for “Crucial Conversations,” but never finished it and have been trying to ever since. I have re-read the first few chapters and do find that the content is decent in an advisory capacity, but I think that it is also very important to take into account the perspective from whom the advice is being given. This book is written by four, middle-aged+ white men. Keeping that in mind, there are some good tips in here, buried beneath some cheesy lingo, that can be applied not just to work, but also personal, difficult, but necessary conversations.

5. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity — David Allen

I have not yet started reading this book. It is next on my list for work reads once I tackle, “Crucial Conversations.” This book was not so much recommended to me as the training that was being taught featured this literature. “Getting Things Done® . . . Doing what Matters,” a management training offered by NERCOMP, is a hands-on seminar teaching the fundamentals devised in Allen’s book. Before signing up, I thought it best to read the book first.

6. The Night Circus — Erin Morgenstern

This book felt like it was coming at me from all directions. Like any 20-somethings, the “Harry Potter” series was what made me fall in love with reading. Pin after pin on Pinterest of things like “Love Stories That Don’t Suck: 12 Romance Books For People Who Hate Romance Novels”, apps like “What Should I Read Next,” and recommendations for Harry Potter fans to check this book out, I couldn’t help myself.

I am enjoying reading this book. The jury is still out on how it stacks up to other novels/series that boast similar recommendations like “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman.

Enter a book you like and the site will analyze based on their huge database of real readers’ favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next.

Separately, on my bedside stand can be found:

  1. The Catcher and the Rye — J.D. Salinger

A classic to be sure, I have never read this one. Not sure how I made it through high school and college without being assigned “The Catcher and the Rye,” one of my friend’s, girlfriends recommended I read this one now as we are approaching the holidays. She says that she reads it every Christmas.

  1. Stardust — Neil Gaiman

A friend recommended the film and I prefer to read the book before watching the movie. A little adventure and a little romance, mixed in with some futuristic fantasy, I haven’t yet started this one yet either; but I’m looking forward to it.

  1. Hirkani’s Daughters: Women Who Scale Modern Mountains to Combine Breastfeeding and Working — Jennifer Hicks

A great read that I would recommend for any parent, especially a woman thinking about how to balance a career with having children. This book is made up of personal stories of moms who chose to continue to breastfeed and return to their careers.

Separated by location and field, you don’t have to read the book straight through to find people who you can relate to and learn how they did it. An inspiring read even if you aren’t considering having children yourself, but perhaps one of your friends or co-workers is and you want to be supportive or an ally for them.

Share what you are reading with me @tayloradulting using the hashtag #FridayReads.