This post is part of the #What’sonyourBookshelfchallenge
It’s a universal truth that life always gets in the way!
There will always be events or challenges that will get in the way of your goals and habits.
The event that got in my way in January was moving house. To be fair, it is a pretty big event and totally consumed my life for the whole of the month. Which meant blogging and reading were pretty non existent!
Now life is settling back into some sort of routine I am trying to reclaim my habits. I’m getting back into my meal planning, baking and recipe testing and eating healthier.
If you feel like the challenges of life are stopping you from getting on with your goals and healthy habits then try these 4 steps:
1. Be kind to yourself. You will get there. Your motivation will go up and down but the main thing is to keep trying.
2. Do get started – just take some action, even if it is imperfect and small. Action builds motivation.
3. Focus on one habit/goal at a time and break it down into little bite size steps. For example: you want to get fit but have limited time – just fit in five squats whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, a 10 minute walk at lunch time, five press ups before you brush your teeth in the morning. Attach your new habit to a pre-existing habit to help you remember to do it.
4. Remember small consistent steps compound, just like a dripping tap can eventually fill a basin. You may think your small changes aren’t having an effect but over time they really do.
My reading time is still quite limited but I always read for about half an hour before bed. This is my slow, dripping tap – eventually I do get to the end of the book!
I have three book reviews for you this month.
Night Music by Jojo Moyes (fiction)
I love reading Jojo Moyes’ books. She is exceptional at describing emotions in her characters which makes the reader feel totally connected to them. I was in bits (i.e. physically crying) after reading Me Before You (which is also now a film).
Night Music is about Isabel Delancey, a gifted musician who takes her life for granted, relying on her husband to care for the children and enable her to focus on her career.
When her husband dies suddenly, leaving her with piles of debt she is forced to sell her home in London and move to the country.
Naturally Isabel’s focus is on dealing with the upheaval of moving house and the huge changes in their lifestyle. She is unaware of the dark forces of obsession and jealousy raging in her neighbours, over the property she is now living in.
Moyes’ writing is fluid and emersive, making page turning easy. I found myself reading much later into the night than my usual half hour. Her characters are deep and relatable, which helps draw you into the story line. As I was just moving house whilst reading this, I did find the idea that people can become obsessed with a house slightly disconcerting. I’m hoping my new neighbours won’t be wishing me ill!
Overall five stars.
The Taste of Ginger by Mansi Shah (fiction)
I’m sticking with the Kindle books (even though it’s not my favourite way to read a novel) as my Amazon Prime account gifts me a free selection each month. This book was one of the ones I received for January.
The story follows an Indian family. The main character, Preeti is a female lawyer in a high powered firm in America. Her parent’s were immigrants who bought their children to America to better themselves.
Preeti and her brother find themselves caught in the middle of two cultures. In order to fit into America, they feel they have to adopt as many American attitudes as possible but this comes into conflict with the traditional customs and cultures that their parents expect them to abide by.
The conflicts come to a head when the family return to India to attend a family wedding but tragedy strikes. Preeti and her brother have to discover where their priorities lay – do they want to continue fighting to be American or submit to the expectations of Indian culture.
I found this book really interesting and insightful. Immigrant families moving to a new country leave families, and years of traditions and culture behind. They then have to adapt to a new culture and find ways to assimulate and fit in. Often their lifestyle can actually be down graded as the careers they held in their home country are no longer recognised in their new country. The book also delves into the caste system in India and compares it to the social hierachy evident in American society.
The book also touches on how we often pursue a career that our parents want or need us to follow, at the expense of our own dreams and aspirations. Morally should we do what will help the family the most but make us personally unhappy or do we follow our dreams but disappoint our families?
Overall I really enjoyed this book. 4*
Into the Sound – Cara Reinard (fiction)
This was another kindle read. The story sets itself up as a mystery/thriller set in America.
The book opens with Holly receiving a terrified call from her sister Vivian, during a violent storm. Holly rushes off to help her sister but when she arrives at the marina where Vivian said she was, all she finds is Vivian’s abandoned car. The book then follows Holly’s attempts to find her missing sister.
There are a few twists and turns to keep you guessing, a background story of abusive parents, infidilities and controlling husbands and a rather unbelievable mafia/mob connection. I have to say that I didn’t really warm to any of the characters. Holly (the main character) kept making choices and decisions that make you inwardly groan, but I felt this gave me an insight into how other people think when faced with a crisis. Whilst it could be argued the story is rather unbelievable it was still engaging and entertaining. The writing was a little repetitive and clunky in places but it makes for an enjoyable and relaxing holiday read.
Overall I enjoyed this book but would only rate it 3*.
Drop me a comment below, and let me know what you have been reading this month. I love hearing about a good book.
Don’t forget to check out all the other great book reviews in the link party here
This blog post is in colloboration with four wonderful Midlife bloggers who are helping to inspire me to get motivated with my blogging again. This is my second post for the #What’s on your bookshelf Challenge. You can check out their reviews on the links below.
Donna from Retirement Reflections
Sue from Women Living Well after 50
6 thoughts on “What’s on your bookshelf – January 2022 reviews”
Hi Janine, it’s great to have you join us and your reading for the month sounds very interesting. I love seeing what everyone else is reading and some months are bigger than others in terms of what gets read. I also appreciate your tips on getting your focus back. Currently I’m enjoying The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams, it’s about an Indian widower who gets back into life by reading and visiting the local library – it’s very sweet! Thanks for linking up with us 🙂
Hi Debbie, thank you for your kind words. Your current read sounds very interesting. I shall definitely be adding that one to my book wish list too! X
Hi, Janine – Thank you for joining us at What’s On Your Bookshelf. I love your four tips about taking small steps towards your goals when life has thrown you curve balls.
You read three full novels while moving house?! I am very impressed.
I haven’t yet read any of the titles that you have shared here. Like Jo, I would definitely pick up ‘The Taste of Ginger.’ Beautiful cover (insert me blushing here) and who doesn’t love the taste of ginger! 😀
Thank you for your kind comments. I feel my three novels don’t match up to some of the prolific readers who share through this link up. Thank you for letting me join in
The thing I love about this link-up is the different books people post about. I would pick up The Taste of Ginger just because of the cover and the lyrical title. Night music, however, could just make it onto my TBR pile… Thanks for linking up.
Hi Jo, thank you for reading my review. I love the cover of The Taste of Ginger too. Whilst I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, I think we all do!