Announcing the Beyond the Bookends 2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge Header

Happy new year and welcome to 2018! We are so excited for this amazing year ahead and an amazing year of reading too.  As a way to expand our reading horizons, we put together a 12-month reading challenge.

We debated a few ways to do this.  Should we pick 12 different book categories for you to tackle whenever you choose?  Ultimately decided that assigning a genre each month would be better option. It is our hope that by choosing to read similar types of books at the same time, we can read as a community. Some months may be more challenging than others (reading a new genre will be hard for me).  This way, you will have the support of the Beyond the Bookends community to help you get through the more difficult months. Save or pin the image below and come back each month to see our recommendations in each category. Or you can sign up for our bi-weekly email to stay in touch!

Looking to enhance your reading life and expand your horizons? Join us as we tackle read a new book each month!

January Challenge – Read a book that will change your life:

There is something about a new year that inspires me to revamp my life. It’s a fresh start and clean slate and I LOVE it! The book category we chose for this month is one that will make a positive impact on daily life. With your New Year Resolutions in mind, think about what you want to work on and I guarantee that a book can help. Whether it’s clean eating, redecorating your home, parenting, or health and wellness, we encourage you to pick a book that will make a meaningful impact on your year. Feel free to choose one of the books we recommend or any other book that fits within the category guidelines.

Don’t forget to comment with your choices and reviews below! Can’t wait to hear what you all are going to read!

**Note: this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through a link, we get a small commission at no cost to you.**

Our Choices

The Organically Clean Home by  Becky Rapinchuk -Kirsten’s Pick

“Forget about chemical cleaners and pricey “green” products–all you need are a few simple kitchen staples to make your whole house sparkle! The Organically Clean Home features 150 easy-to-make recipes for cleaning products filled with all-natural ingredients you can trust (and actually pronounce!). From dishwasher detergent to antibacterial wipes, America’s favorite cleaning blogger Becky Rapinchuk guides you through the steps needed to make these everyday necessities–without spending a fortune.”

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood – Jackie’s Pick

“A necessary resource for anyone interested in alternative approaches to healing and lifestyle, this new edition contains more than 800 easy-to-follow recipes for essential oil treatments. No one has provided more thorough and accurate guidance to the home practitioner or professional aromatherapist than Valerie Ann Worwood.

In her clear and positive voice, Worwood provides tools to address a huge variety of health issues, including specific advice for children, women, men, and seniors. Other sections cover self-defense against microbes and contaminants, emotional challenges, care for the home and workplace, and applications for athletes, dancers, travelers, cooks, gardeners, and animal lovers. Worwood also offers us her expertise in the use of essential oils in beauty and spa treatments, plus profiles of 125 essential oils, 37 carrier oils, and more.”

Our Recommendations

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

“Award-winning author Gretchen Rubin is back with a bang, with The Happiness Project. The author of the bestselling 40 Ways to Look at Winston Churchill has produced a work that is “a cross between the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.” (Sonya Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want) In the vein of Julie and Julia, The Happiness Project describes one person’s year-long attempt to discover what leads to true contentment. Drawing at once on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world applicability, Rubin has written an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.”

Reading People by Anne Bogel

“For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), popular blogger Anne Bogel has done the hard part–collecting, exploring, and explaining the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She explains to readers the life-changing insights that can be gained from each and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life. In her friendly, relatable style, Bogel shares engaging personal stories that show firsthand how understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.”

100 days of Real Food by Lisa Leake

“In her first cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food, Lisa Leake revealed how simple it is to think out of the box in the kitchen by replacing unhealthy prepackaged and processed foods with “real food”—mouthwatering meals made with wholesome and familiar ingredients. Now, Lisa is back with 100 quick-and-easy recipes and simple cheat sheets that will work with every family’s busy lifestyle.”


Food Rules by Michael Pollan

“Eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with clarity, concision, and wit that has become bestselling author Michael Pollan’s trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page, accompanied by a concise explanation. It’s an easy-to-use guide that draws from a variety of traditions, suggesting how different cultures through the ages have arrived at the same enduring wisdom about food. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat buffet, this is the perfect guide for anyone who ever wondered, “What should I eat?”

 

The 21-Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo

“The 21-Day Sugar Detox” is a clear-cut, effective, whole-foods-based nutrition action plan that will reset your body and your habits! Tens of thousands of people have already used this groundbreaking guide to shatter the vicious sugar stronghold. Now it’s your turn!

Use the easy-to-follow meal plans and more than 90 simple recipes in this book to bust a lifetime of sugar and carb cravings in just three weeks. Three levels of the program make it approachable for anyone, whether you’re starting from scratch or from a gluten-free, grain-free, and/or Paleo/primal lifestyle.”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

“Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).”

Young House Love by John and Sherry Petersik

“With two home renovations under their (tool) belts and millions of hits per month on their blog YoungHouseLove.com, Sherry and John Petersik are home-improvement enthusiasts primed to pass on a slew of projects, tricks, and techniques to do-it-yourselfers of all levels. Packed with 243 tips and ideas—both classic and unexpected—and more than 400 photographs and illustrations, this is a book that readers will return to again and again for the creative projects and easy-to-follow instructions in the relatable voice the Petersiks are known for. Learn to trick out a thrift-store mirror, spice up plain old roller shades, “hack” your Ikea table to create three distinct looks, and so much more.”

Styled by Emily Henderson

“It’s easy to find your own style confidence once you know this secret: While decorating can take months and tons of money, styling often takes just minutes. Even a few little tweaks can transform the way your room feels.
At the heart of Styled are Emily Henderson’s ten easy steps to styling any space. From editing out what you don’t love to repurposing what you can’t live without to arranging the most eye-catching vignettes on any surface, you’ll learn how to make your own style magic. With Emily’s insider tips and more than 1,000 unique ideas from 75 envy-inducing rooms, you’ll soon be styling like you were born to do it.”

Domino: The Book of Decorating by Deborah Needleman

“Domino: The Book of Decorating cracks the code to creating a beautiful home, bringing together inspiring rooms, how-to advice and insiders’ secrets from today’s premier tastemakers in an indispensable style manual. The editors take readers room by room, tapping the best ideas from domino magazine and culling insights from their own experiences. With an eye to making design accessible and exciting, this book demystifies the decorating process and provides the tools for making spaces that are personal, functional and fabulous.”

Men are from Mars Woman are from Venus by John Gray

“The most well-known, long-lived, and tried-and-tested relationships guide ever, the phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is now available for the first time ever as an ebook. In this classic guide to understanding the opposite sex, Dr. John Gray provides a practical and proven way for men and women to improve their communication by acknowledging the differences between their needs, desires, and behaviors. No other relationship guide on the market will give you the same level of evidence-based insight sure to help you strengthen and nurture your relationships for years to come.”

 

Our To Be Read List

The Honest Life by Jessica Alba

“As a new mom, Jessica Alba wanted to create the safest, healthiest environment for her family. But she was frustrated by the lack of trustworthy information on how to live healthier and cleaner–delivered in a way that a busy mom could act on without going to extremes. In 2012, with serial entrepreneur Brian Lee and environmental advocate Christopher Gavigan, she launched The Honest Company, a brand where parents can find reliable information and products that are safe, stylish, and affordable. The Honest Life shares the insights and strategies she gathered along the way.

The Honest Life recounts Alba’s personal journey of discovery and reveals her tips for making healthy living fun, real, and stylish, while offering a candid look inside her home and daily life. She shares strategies for maintaining a clean diet (with favorite family-friendly recipes) and embraces nontoxic choices at home and provides eco-friendly decor tips to fit any budget. Alba also discusses cultivating a daily eco beauty routine, finding one’s personal style without resorting to yoga pants, and engaging in fun, hands-on activities with kids. Her solutions are easy, chic, and down-to-earth: they’re honest. And discovering everyday ways to live naturally and authentically–true to you–could be honestly life-changing.”

The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees

“With so many style and shopping options, it can be difficult to create a streamlined closet of pieces that can be worn easily and confidently. In The Curated Closet, style writer Anuschka Rees presents a fascinatingly strategic approach to identifying, refining, and expressing personal style and building the ideal wardrobe to match it, with style and shopping strategies that women can use every day.”

 

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

“Loosely translated, Hygge—pronounced Hoo-ga—is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”

Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.

The Little Book of Hygge introduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own life.”

Parenting for the Genius by Amy Alamar

“Parenting for the GENIUS is for parents who would rather spend time with their families than read this book. It offers a no-nonsense approach to parenting that presents values you can proudly parent and live by in an accessible and enjoyable way. Parenting for the GENIUS is a guide for parents of children of all ages. It’s a how-to book that supports parents in creating clear and realistic strategies based on reflective practice.”

 

four-stars

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