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  • (downbeat music)

  • - Hey everyone, it's your girl Jenn.

  • And I thought that we would do a little midyear checkup

  • on the books that I've read.

  • And also books I'm about to read.

  • Reading has become my favorite way to pass the time,

  • unwind, to go to new worlds.

  • One of my big reading goals this year

  • was to diversify the books that I read,

  • because I tend to stay in my comfort zone.

  • This is why I am so stoked to be partnering with

  • Book of the Month.

  • They are a book service that is rapidly growing

  • and it's super popular and they want to unify

  • new and emerging authors with readers like us.

  • So the service gives out five banging book options

  • that were already sifted by a team

  • who go through 100s of books.

  • They give the best choices from a curated selection

  • of new and early release titles.

  • So that way, you can spend more time reading

  • and less time researching.

  • They also have the best price for new release fiction books,

  • which is awesome because

  • who doesn't love a great deal.

  • So out of the five books that they recommended,

  • I chose Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close.

  • I chose this book because

  • I have always loved and valued my friends.

  • They can be complex,

  • but they are so nourishing and so rewarding.

  • So I'm always trying to find ways

  • on how I can be a better friend.

  • Now, this book is about two friends

  • and it chronicles their 10 year friendship

  • and they share their pitfalls and their joys.

  • And I love reading about other people's relationships

  • because it makes me really reflect on mine.

  • I am so excited to read this

  • and I never would have heard about this,

  • unless I was a part of Book of the Month.

  • If you guys would like to start today,

  • you can get your first book for 9.99

  • with my July code JENNIM.

  • You can skip a month anytime

  • and you won't be charged.

  • So it's completely risk-free.

  • I will also leave all the info in the description box.

  • So make sure you check that out.

  • So my first book is The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz.

  • He is one of my favorite authors.

  • If you guys haven't read The Four Agreements,

  • you gotta read it right now.

  • It should be like mandatory reading for everybody in life.

  • And honestly, Mastery of Love is now

  • on that mandatory to read list.

  • So Mastery of Love talks about

  • how we can heal our emotional wounds.

  • I really love how clear he writes.

  • Like it's not just fluffy words

  • about like endless descriptions.

  • It's just straight to the point.

  • Anyone can read it and understand.

  • A chapter that really resonated with me,

  • was the one about our relationship with our bodies.

  • So my job is to film and make videos

  • and I'm always on camera.

  • And so this is categorized as a display profession.

  • So I find myself nitpicking a lot

  • about the way I look, about different changes in my body.

  • And during this quarantine, I have been extra.

  • There was a phase where I was just extra harsh on my body.

  • And he explains that once we have a kind and loving

  • and compassionate relationship with our bodies,

  • we can have fulfilling and nourished relationships

  • with the people around us.

  • And it makes complete sense.

  • The way we treat ourselves,

  • is how we treat the closest people in our lives.

  • If we are treating ourselves with patience and kindness,

  • then we're probably gonna treat everyone else the same way.

  • It really starts from within.

  • And this book has given me some extra clarity

  • on how I can be more kind to myself.

  • And it's making me closer to being the more reassured

  • and confident person that I want to become.

  • So my second book is Atomic Habits by James Clear.

  • Now as a double Virgo, this book is music to my ears.

  • It is the manifesto for motivation and productivity.

  • This is actually my second time reading this,

  • because I really needed something to light a fire of my ass.

  • And this book did just the trick.

  • So this book explains how

  • small incremental changes every day

  • can build into something great and remarkable.

  • So he explains that a habit is a routine

  • that just happens automatically.

  • And we spend 50 to 60% of our lives just through habits.

  • So if we're able to habit stack

  • and just build up good habits,

  • then you can live your life on autopilot

  • and still be so productive.

  • So one practice that I immediately implemented in my life

  • is called priming your environment.

  • Which is basically like a fancy way to say,

  • keep your space clean.

  • When you are doing something that you don't want to do.

  • Having an environment that is clean and tidy

  • is so motivating, it makes it attractive.

  • So now before I leave a room,

  • I make sure I prime it a little bit.

  • So I'll like fold up the clothes,

  • I'll push the chairs in, I'll wipe down the tables.

  • It literally just takes a couple of minutes.

  • So that way when I come back into the room,

  • it releases a feel good chemical out of my brain

  • and it makes me feel more motivated.

  • So my third book is called

  • Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport.

  • I picked up this book because

  • I am deeply disturbed about the amount of people

  • that are addicted to their phones.

  • Now this is actually an addiction because

  • the tycoons of tech have purposely,

  • have intentionally made it addicting.

  • Cal Newport calls our phones, slot machines.

  • And it makes complete sense.

  • When we check our phone,

  • we're all secretly thinking the same thing.

  • We're thinking like oh my gosh, like, what did my post get?

  • Did I get likes?

  • Did I get comments?

  • Did I get a text back?

  • There's always something that we are hoping for.

  • And most of the time that number,

  • isn't the number that we were hoping for.

  • However, when it does, and you do get those likes,

  • you do get those comments.

  • It releases this huge rush of dopamine to your brain.

  • And when rewards like that are unpredictable,

  • it's more dopamine in your brain.

  • It makes it more addicting.

  • So it creates this cycle and this toxic relationship

  • that we have with our phones.

  • I've learned from this book that we are actually

  • in a solitude deprivation.

  • Solitude doesn't mean like being alone by yourself.

  • Like you can technically be in a room full of people,

  • but still find solitude.

  • Solitude is a subjective state of mind

  • where you don't let anything external input your mind.

  • It's like basically feeling your own frequency.

  • So, meditation is a form of solitude.

  • Writing is a form of solitude.

  • Even like walking outside.

  • This is something that so many people aren't aware of.

  • Like when was the last time you didn't have a podcast on,

  • or the TV on or a YouTube video?

  • Like when was the last time you just like sat

  • in your own stillness.

  • There is a direct correlation on why anxiety

  • and depression are at an all time high,

  • and how it parallels with the rise of

  • social media and technology.

  • It's just crazy.

  • Now I do realize that it may come off a little hypocritical

  • that someone who makes their living off social media

  • is telling you like that it's toxic.

  • But I find it quite opposite.

  • I feel like it's my duty to let you know

  • that you should probably have some limitations with it.

  • So now I wanna talk about Circe,

  • which was by far my favorite summer fiction book I've read.

  • I did not want it to end

  • because I have always been a freak for Greek mythology.

  • When I was growing up,

  • I loved learning about the gods

  • and I loved how they all had

  • their own little thing going on.

  • Now, this book is about Circe.

  • And Circe is the daughter of Helios, the god of the sun.

  • And within the gods and deities

  • there's like a huge hierarchy.

  • And Circe is at the bottom of the totem pole.

  • She's just the nymph, diamond doesn't.

  • She's truly an underdog like her mom doesn't like her,

  • her brothers and sisters don't like her.

  • Like, you're just rooting for her the entire time.

  • And she's just like always in the background at the feasts.

  • Like she's just, like she's very lonely.

  • I found myself identifying to Circe a lot because

  • I feel like a lot of us have felt like an outcast

  • or like you didn't fit in.

  • And that was pretty much Circe's life.

  • And this book is just,

  • it's very long because god's don't die.

  • And it's just so crazy to see the life

  • of an immortal creature.

  • This is also the book of the month

  • for my book club, curlupclub.

  • So if you'd like to read it,

  • there's going to be a discussion about it in July.

  • So make sure you check it out if you're interested.

  • For my thriller selection,

  • I have Woman in the Window.

  • Now, if you like Girl on the Train,

  • you're gonna love Woman in the Window.

  • It's definitely similar vibes in the sense that,

  • the main character is an alcoholic woman.

  • So she makes for an unreliable narrator.

  • Like you don't know if she's telling the truth or not.

  • It makes the plot thicken.

  • So the story follows a woman named Anna Fox

  • who has agoraphobia.

  • Which means that she is terrified to leave her own house.

  • Which I find it very fitting with the times again.

  • But she is also an online therapist.

  • So she spends all of her time

  • just chatting with her clients.

  • She also slams back bottles of Merlot,

  • and she also loves to spy on her neighbors.

  • So this just makes this book a recipe for drama.

  • And one night she sees something super sus

  • and I'll just leave it at that.

  • If you love thrillers,

  • you're gonna love this book.

  • I feel like thrillers are what made me hooked onto reading,

  • especially as an adult.

  • Because thrillers have the ability to make you just

  • wanna turn one more page.

  • And this book definitely does that.

  • So my next book is called

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-nehisi Coates.

  • I talked about this book in a previous vlog,

  • but I just wanted to talk about it again because

  • I finished it and I found it very, very poignant.

  • I think with the whole resurgence of

  • the black lives matter movement,

  • I wanted to make sure that I had more black perspectives

  • that could give me a better understanding

  • of how I can support and how I can be a better ally.

  • So Between the World and Me is,

  • in the form of a letter to his 15 year old son.

  • Coates describes his perspective on growing up

  • as a black man in America.

  • And how fear and violence were ingrained in him

  • at such a young age.

  • And these two aspects have been passed down

  • from generation after generation after generation.

  • If you think about it,

  • slavery wasn't abolished that long ago.