On my nightstand: February edition

Here's a look at what I've been reading this month. To see more of what I've been reading or to trade book recommendations, follow me on Goodreads. I'd love to hear about any recent literary gems you've found (or books that I shouldn't waste my time reading)!




  • Manage Your Day-to-Day

This book includes tips from successful entrepreneurs and creatives for establishing effective work habits.  I had high hopes but was underwhelmed, which I am starting to think is partly because I scored the book for free (there really is something to the idea that paying for something increases value).  I may try to read it again in a few months to see if I feel differently.  I expected more concrete, memorable takeaways, but I am coming up short.



  • The Millionaire Next Door

I picked up this book based on my husband's co-workers recommendation, and I would agree that it is worth a look.  The chapters continue to make the same point using different data, which can be summed up as: Millionaires don't spend tons of money.  Perhaps not jaw dropping or mind blowing, but a good reality check nonetheless.  If nothing else, it will make you think about your spending habits.




  • Lizzy and Jane

This was a sweet, fun read.  Although I am not a member of the Jane Austen fan club (I like her but don't love her), I enjoyed this story of two sisters' reunion.  The book will probably touch you in some way: between its references to food, cancer, New York, Seattle, and loss, the novel finds a way to connect with every reader.  The topics addressed are heavy, but the tone manages to stay light, fresh, and hopeful.





  • Do the Work

When I need inspiration, oftentimes I read.  Productivity books give me the kick in the pants I need to get going again.  The attitude is no-nonsense but encouraging.  Read not so much to learn something new but to reaffirm your commitments.



  • Footprints of a Dream

I knew I would love this book before I even cracked up its cover because so many people I love and by whom I am inspired have followed in Thurman's footsteps.  This book is more a chronological sketch or ethnography than a finished work; I see it as meant to spark the imagination more than provide all of the answers.  If you wonder what race and religion have to do with one another or simply need a message of hope, seek out this book.




  • Faith Unraveled

(Or, Evolving in Monkey Town) Rachel Held Evans makes me want to be an evangelical.  Her voice strengthens as she matures, so I would recommend her other works over this one, but I am glad she shared her story.  While I didn't identify with all parts of her conservative southern Christian culture, I saw pieces of my Alabama childhood in her humorous but insightful tales of coming to, losing, and coming to again faith.  I imagine her words hit home for many others as well.





Emily Rowell Brown