All These Wonders: Book Review

I love stories. Real and fiction, I love learning about different experiences and seeing the world through someone else’s eye. That’s probably one of the reasons why I enjoy reading so much. And, it’s on of the reasons I enjoyed reading The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown.

Story after story of different life experiences about living life and facing the unknown. All These Wonders is a fantastic read. Normally, I read books like a novel, but this one had me jumping around. There are seven different sections each with 6-7 short life stories about that section. Plus the forward is by Neil Gaiman so…. Do I really need to say anything else?

I learn so much from reading the stories of other people. I get such a thrill from sharing my own story. We truly do learn so much from each other. This book made my heart sing and I plan to come back again and again to re-read my favorite stories.

Telling your story, as honestly as you can, and leaving out the things you don’t need, that’s vital.  – Neil Gaiman

I’d never heard of The Moth before I saw this book on Blogging For Books. I’m a story collector and when I read about this book I knew I had to add it to my collection. Real, honest stories are the best. There’s something about the rawness and the vulnerability of the author that engages my spirit. I want to be like that, honest and raw about my life, which is why I love reading books like these.

Do you love stories? If so, this book is for you. I promise you’ll find at least one story that will hit home and make you feel all of the feelings. All These Wonders will inspire you, enlighten you, and make you laugh. This is one you don’t want to miss!

Full Goodreads Summary:

From storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages
Carefully selected by the creative minds at The Moth, and adapted to the page to preserve the raw energy of live storytelling, All These Wonders features voices both familiar and new. Alongside Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro, and Meg Wolitzer, readers will encounter: an astronomer gazing at the surface of Pluto for the first time, an Afghan refugee learning how much her father sacrificed to save their family, a hip-hop star coming to terms with being a one-hit wonder, a young female spy risking everything as part of Churchill’s secret army during World War II, and more.
High-school student and neuroscientist alike, the storytellers share their ventures into uncharted territory and how their lives were changed indelibly by what they discovered there. With passion, and humor, they encourage us all to be more open, vulnerable, and alive.”

I’ve made it a goal to read one fiction novel and then one non-fiction novel to add more variety to my reading. What books would you recommend?

 

* I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
** This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase using these links I will receive a small commission. All proceeds help grow My Hopeful Story.

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Coping with Anxiety: Reading

A few months ago I wrote started this blog series, coping with anxiety and I wrote about yoga and how beneficial it has been in helping my anxiety. But then I never wrote another post in that series, but I’m getting back to that now, now that I have a plan to blog more regularly. Today I wanted to talk about something that’s a passion and a deep love of mine, reading.

Where the love affair began.

I think I’ve always been an anxious person, like it’s always been inside of me and then after going through something traumatic it finally hit me full force. It hasn’t been easy living with anxiety, but finding different things that help me cope is HUGE. And reading has always been one of those things, I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. And unfortunately for me, I only started keeping track of what books I was reading last year, which is a bummer cause there’s 20 years of books I’ve read that I don’t have a record of. But thank goodness for Goodreads now!

My mom loves to tell the story of when I was 2 or 3 and my dad came home from work and my mom said “Look, Tay can read,” as I opened up The Very Hungry Catepillar and followed along with my little finger and ‘read’ the book word for word (I had it memorized) But obviously, my love for books has been around for longer than I can even remember.

Reading calms my soul

I don’t know when reading became my escape, but at some point it did. Books became my escape from the stress and drama of life in high school. Nearly every night I would stay up until 2 a.m. reading, which probably explains my emotional state from that time, since I wasn’t sleeping much. But I had/have a great love of entering a story that wasn’t my own. I was able to disappear for awhile and I loved that.

I know (or hope) that I’m not the only one that feels this way. True, I use reading as an escape, but even more than that, I use it because for me it is a form of meditation. I am able to be in the moment, even if that moment is fiction. When I get lost in a book, I am calm. Reading makes my soul steady. I have found that reading every day isn’t just a want, but it is an actual need. But, when life changes or my anxiety goes up, reading is the first thing to go! But I’m working on this.

Why reading is good for my anxiety.

I love stories. Love them. Just this morning I was thinking about how I am a collector of stories, fiction and non-fiction. I love learning about people and where they came from, and I love doing that same thing when I read. Life is tough and if I get caught up in my anxious or worried thoughts I only spiral faster. But reading someone else’s story grounds me to reality,  and helps me see between my rational fears and the irrational thoughts.

Reading is my saving grace. Books are my life line when I’m having a bad day. Which is why, if you find me buried in a book, know that I’m enjoying it and that I just needed to escape reality for a little while. I read for fun. I read when I’m stressed. Basically, I just read all the time.

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository
I don’t know if there is any scientific study about this (hmmm maybe I’ll look into it) but for now, I’ll just keep on reading. (Which is by far my favorite coping skill) What is your favorite coping skill??

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April Reads & Shows

Guys… This month was sooo crazy. I had so many plans to read so many books (plus I got a bunch this month mainly because of the $1 book sale a few weeks ago and because a few authors sent me their books to read) My TBR pile is growing like crazy and then we got a puppy so basically my 2 books a week average has dropped drastically. But, here’s what I read and watched this month.

 

READING

 A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 4/5 stars.

I re-read the first two books in this series since the third book comes out on May 2nd. I loved these books even more the second time! This book is Fantasy and follows Feyre as she leaves the mortal realm and heads to the faerie realm because she killed a faerie. Loosely based off of the story of Beauty and the Beast this book will have you swooning, crying, and laughing.  And *swoon* Rhysand (You’ll love him even more after you read ACOMAF) but these are on my must read list for everyone!
Buy it here.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sara J. Maas 5/5 stars.

I love this book even more than ACOTAR. Here’s my review from when I read ACOMAF the first time. I DIED…. dang… This book broke my heart, and even though I KNEW what happened, I was still in a reading slump by the time I finished it… And I’ve started 7 other books since then and haven’t been able to finish them… YET! I cannot even begin to describe the love I have for these books (and I’m not even that big of a fantasy fan… but I could not put these books down.. Trust me, you need to buy them) Also, you can pre-order A Court of Wings and Ruin I cannot wait to read the 3rd book. It’s currently on hold at the library but I am number 9 so I’m gonna have to wait a few weeks until I actually read it… But saving money… We’ll see if I can actually wait or not.
Buy it here (for only $8.00)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 4/5 stars.

I received Caraval in my February Owlcrate. So far, every single book I’ve received in my Owlcrate boxes I have simply adored! Caraval was the exact escape I needed this past week as my anxiety has been high and when the puppy is awake, that makes me more anxious. But we’re getting there, slowly but surely. In Caraval you enter an entirely new world. One where everything is not always what it seems. Will Scarlett be able to make it out and find her sister? If she doesn’t win the game, she’s sure to lose everything. This was a fast paced read, and while I didn’t love the main character, Scarlett, I really enjoyed this story, it was fun and different from anything I’ve ever read before.

I just started reading this one. I borrowed it from a coworker and it seemed right up my alley of motivational, self help books. I’m hoping to finish this one soon. (As of right now I’ve only read about 10 pages, but it’s good so far!)
Buy it here.

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli — Currently Reading.

I received this box in my April Owlcrate which I received for free as one of their reps (Get your first box 10% off using my code “APRILFUN”) This box was probably one of my favorites, and I am STOKED for the May box (the theme is Comic Explosion) anyway. I’ve read about 100 pages in The Upside of Unrequited and I think it’s a cute and fun YA contemporary so far! This one, as well as Caraval were on the list for the most anticipated YA reads of 2017, so that means they must be good, right? Anyway, I’m excited to finish this one as well.

Buy it here.

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

I read the Book of Mormon alongside the Bible. I try to read from at least one every single day. I love being in the Word of God and learning of Him and Jesus Christ. Studying the scriptures brings great peace to my anxious soul. If you’re interested in a copy of this book, let me know at taylor@myhopefulstory.com and I’ll send one as a gift from me to you! I love this book so much, it helps me learn more of Christ and His teachings. I definitely feel closer to God as I read it.

WATCHING

13 Reasons Why 3.5-4/5 stars.

Okay okay.. So this is one book I haven’t actually read yet (also on hold at the library) but since I didn’t read that much this month, I wanted to share some of the shows I’ve been watching. I started watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. I’ve only watched 3 episodes, and I’m sure I’ll finish it at some point. But I also know that it could be triggering (since they deal with suicide and sexual assault) I have heard so many mixed feelings about this show, but so far I’ve liked it. I don’t have depression and I know that you can’t blame your mental health on anyone else (or even yourself really) but I feel like this show has done a good job in raising awareness about these issues and I think that’s important.

Buy the book here

Death in Paradise 3.5/5 stars.

We’ve taken a break from Bones (we’re on season 11, but want to wait until season 12 is coming to Netflix so we can actually finish it…) so we’ve been trying different shows like NCIS and Death in Paradise. We LOVE British crime drama shows and this one was a fun one. Even though the episodes are all about an hour long, we made it through pretty quickly. We’ve finished now, and in need of more shows… Any recommendations? I liked this one, but I know that Griffin liked it more than I did. It was funny though and interesting. So if you’re into crime tv and like British shows, I recommend this one!
That’s it for this month! I bought/received 11 or 12 books this month and I cannot wait to read those! What are you reading and watching??
Love Always,
Taylor
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