Books I've Read & Places I've Loved: October 2018

Before we get to this month’s summary, I feel the need to let you know that tomorrow is my 19th birthday and I’m really excited about it. In other news, this was a really good month for me. I continued the process of adjusting to college and have settled into new routines. I picked up some new hobbies (swing dancing is one of my new favorite things), and still had time to read some new books and go to a couple of new places.

BOOKS I’VE READ

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Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
Last month, during the week of the Kavenough hearings, I posted something on my Instagram story about believing survivors. My cousin saw it and mentioned that I’d probably like this book. I bought the audiobook right away, and I listened to it everyday for a week while working. This book made me think about my own childhood, and maybe even gave me an insight into what some of the people around me were thinking and going through ten years ago.

I’d recommend this for: Fans of Brené Brown. Even though both women have their own distinct voice and they don’t talk about the same ideas, there is something that feels familiar.
I wouldn’t recommend this for: People who aren’t in the right place in their lives to listen to someone else’s vulnerability and see if any of it is applicable to them. And that’s okay! This book is pretty darn honest, and if you can’t appreciate it I’d wait a little bit. I also wouldn’t recommend this if topics like alcohol, infidelity, or eating disorders are triggering for you.

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Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
My mom has been talking about this book for forever, and when I was a Freshman in high school she used to read me parts of it when I’d be having a particularly bad day. After reading Love Warrior, I decided to give this one a try for myself. Whenever my mom would read me sections, they were always about perfectionists and perfectionism (shocking, I know). Because of this, I expected the majority of the book to also be like this, but boy oh boy was I wrong. Apparently, most of the book is about shame, and this became a book I didn’t know I needed.

I’d recommend this for: Anyone who, like me, needs a book about how shame affects our daily lives and how we can overcome it.
I wouldn’t recommend this for:
People who aren’t fans of Brené Brown. I still think everyone should read this book, but if you don’t like the author then you won’t be able to hear what she has to say.

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A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
I have become the girl who really only reads books recommended to her by her mother and her cousin, and I am very much okay with that. My cousin sent me this book as a graduation gift, and for whatever reason I kept putting it to the side to read something else. I am so, so, so glad I finally picked it up. When I started it, I wasn’t so sure since it seemed pretty slow, but it quickly picked up speed. Every chapter brings you deeper into the minds of the main character, and every chapter brings you deeper into the world of the other characters. This book made me cry (and when you’re cleaning bathrooms that’s not helpful). This book made me understand a lot of things a little bit more. This is definitely one of my favorite books that I read this year, and I’m happy it’s the last book I read while being eighteen.

I’d recommend this for: Everyone. E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e.
I wouldn’t recommend this for:
See above.

PLACES I’VE LOVED

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The Barn Party (Adventist Halloween party)
One of things I’ve always found humorous about SDA culture is the universal agreement that if a gathering of more than, hmm, fifteen people should occur in the month of October it must be called a “Barn Party” (barn optional). This particular barn party was held in the middle of October, and I almost didn’t go. I was snuggled up in my bed when Annaliese asked me if she could draw some whiskers on my face with eyeliner. I rolled my eyes, but it was actually a really good night.

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Howard Tietan Park
One Friday morning, I got up at 6:30 to go watch a hot air balloon stampede with my roommate and another friend from high school who also ended up in college with me. It was very cold, very colorful, and very fun. I’ve always wanted to go see hot air balloons, and I have on more than one occasion googled flights to Albuquerque to see the giant hot air balloon festival in New Mexico. I’d still love to do that someday, but this stampede, with these people, in that park was one of the best ways I’ve spent an early morning.

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A Little Hotel Near My School/Downtown Walla Walla
As I’ve mentioned before, Family Weekend happened to fall the weekend before my birthday. My momma came up for the weekend (and is also staying for tomorrow too! Yay!!), and I left school for a few days to stay in a hotel with her. We ordered food and watched Gilmore Girls and I was able to fully relax for the first time since leaving home. It was the perfect way for me to spend my last weekend of being eighteen, and I’m really going to miss her when she goes back home tomorrow.


This month was a beautiful one. It was really weird not being around my family all the time, and at times the lack of familiar faces was overwhelming. But there were so many mornings where I woke up happy, and there were many, many nights where I went to bed smiling. I’m so thankful to be in this place, with all these new people, doing all these new things. This month felt like a really good start for the rest of 2018 and the rest of the school year. I hope all of you had a good October as well. If not, here’s to a wonderful November.