The Dream Team's Winter Reading List

Christens Picks 

With another lockdown and the colder months ahead of us, I am really trying to make reading and carving out time for myself a priority as we move into 2021. I don't know about you, but I feel like I am starting to become Camron Diaz in the Holiday when she reads reviews of books, purchases them and then has a stack of books a mile long on her bedside table that she never gets a chance to read... Currently, there is a secondary stack on the floor beside my bed. Agh. Here's to a year of great reading!

I Thought it Was Just Me (But it isn't) by Brene Brown

I picked this book up on @kim_m_Fitzpatrick recommendation. I am the first to admit that I have always cared too much about what others think of me and worked hard to prove things to others- instead of focusing on myself. This book explores why we feel the need to always look like we have it together (hugely topical for this season of our lives, amidst living through a pandemic) and reminds us that "our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we're all in this together." I can't wait to dive in.


Grit by Angela Duckworth

I know I have already mentioned this book in IG stories, but I am so excited to dive into it. Angela Duckworth spoke at The Aetilier Collective a couple of months ago, and she drew me right in. I loved hearing about her research on what it means to have true "grit" and her perspective on the findings. I have always considered myself to be "gritty", but I really can't wait to learn more about the "grittiness" of successful people.



From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout

You know me. I can't complete a booklist without a little rom-com or fantasy fiction. My sister, Kira, suggested this series after falling head over heels with it on Audible. I was shocked and SO thrilled when I pulled up the first book to find it was 19 hours!!!! YES. I have just started into the Audible, and I'm hooked. "A sexy, addictive, and unexpected fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Laura Thalassa." (Google Books) Yes, please! Sign me up! Ps. If you haven't read any of Sarah J. Maas's books, I HIGHLY recommend all of them- they are my favourites!

Rachels Picks

I'll be honest, I have not done a lot of reading lately. If you remember our Fall Reading list, I made a step in the right direction by getting From the Ashes and The Vanishing Half, but I have not had a chance to read them yet. I am really hoping that 2021 is the year that I can create more of a life balance and read my Winter Reading list books by the time our Spring 2021 reading list comes out, fingers crossed. I'm hoping this mix of books will help me become motivated to start reading for the year. Ok, let's jump right in!

JUST MY TYPE | A BOOK ABOUT FONTS by SIMON GARFIELD

Starting the year with some balance or killing two birds with one stone, I've added a couple of typography books to my list. As much as I design at work and day to day, I sometimes feel like an imposter because I didn't learn as much about type in school as I wish I had. So, I'm starting my list with Just My Type - A Book about Fonts by Simone Garfield. This book talks about how fonts are used in branding in everyday life. I'm hoping that this will inspire me and help me feel more confident in the decisions I make when creating personal design work at home. Bonus and a step in the right direction - I just ordered this on Book Outlets, an online book store that sells publisher overstock. Check them out. They have amazing deals.  


THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. FINN

With my lack of reading, I have been feeling unmotivated to read, and I need a book to help kickstart the year, and I think this might be the one. The Woman in the Window follows Anna Fox, a recluse living in New York who cannot venture outside her home. She spends a lot of time spying on her neighbours when one day she sees something she shouldn't. This thriller reminds me of Girl on the Train, I've only watched the movie, but if it is as good as that, I can't wait! Plus, someone at Indigo said that this was their favourite book, so it already has a leg up.


GET A LIFE CHLOE BROWN by TALIA HIBBERT

After a rollercoaster of a year, we all need a book that is fun, easy-going and sometimes a love story so you can forget the world around you [and it doesn't focus on murder mysteries or typography]. Get a Life, Chloe Brown follows Chloe Brown, a chronically ill computer geek who has made a list of seven things to help her "get a life," and that lands her into the arms of handyman Red Morgan. The book club I am a part of has this lined up for our next book to read, which is lighter and fun. My sister recently finished this and said it was good, so I'm looking forward to this one.


Cindys Picks

I'm not going to lie, I barely made it through my last reading list during the holidays. I sometimes get overwhelmed and can't even think about winding down with a book, but I came across a great tip that I think will really help. Divide the number of pages in the book by the number of days you would like to complete it by. (400 pages / 16 days = 25 pages a day). Sticky note every 25th page throughout the book. You don't need to stick to this, but it will help you visualize your checkpoints and motivate you (or at least me) to reach them. If you have any tips for achieving your reading goals, leave a comment below!


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E Schwabs

I had found this book while scrolling through TikTok and was instantly intrigued. It takes place in 1714 France and follows a young woman by the name of Addie LaRue. Addie makes a deal to live forever but is cursed with the burden of being forever forgotten. Addie lives the most extraordinary life, trying her luck at anything that may help her leave her mark on the world. Unfortunately, she is forgotten time and time again, until 300 years later when she meets someone who somehow remembers her name even after their initial interaction. I've heard nothing but good things about this book, and I am so excited for it to come in!


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book has been on my GoodReads list for about two years now, I don't know why I keep putting it off, but the time has finally come to get lost in Evelyn Hugos' glamorous and scandalous life. This book follows the life of two women separated by generations but brought together by love, heartbreak, and all the turmoils of life. Monique, a struggling journalist, has been chosen by Evelyn herself to cover her life story. Monique, who is currently dealing with a failing marriage and a stagnated career, is astounded that she was chosen to cover this incredible and anticipated story. She jumps at the opportunity to kick start her career but finds her life intersecting with that of Evelyns in ways she would have never foreseen.


Know My Name by Chanel Miller

[Trigger warning: This book contains material about sexual and dating violence.] I found a photo of this book in my camera roll and completely forgot that I had added it to my list. Know My Name is a heavy read. I wasn't ready to pick this up a few months ago, but this is a memoir that I really have wanted to read. There is no way I can adequately explain this book without rewriting the synopsis verbatim, so be sure to check it out here.


Joes Picks

An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

At first, I thought this book was about America in the midst of a Flu Pandemic and how a plan involving time travel is hatched to help save the world! I remember thinking, what better time to pick up this novel and experience a little escapism. As I read up more about this book, I came across a quote from the author that just jumped out at me. "As humans, it's a basic facet of our understanding that everything is temporary. Everyone that we truly love will eventually, either leave us or die, and yet we continue to fall in love, sustain connections and rely on one another." Now I cannot wait to dive into this book headfirst.


The Cats Table by Michael Ondaatje

I'm am so excited to crack open this book and embark on the Journey the ship in this book takes. Especially since I have sailed the exact same course several times over my previous career. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the protagonists tumble from one adventure to another. I gather this will be a fun read that brings back memories.


The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

I've been looking forward to reading Mandel's book. Her previous book Station Eleven is also supposed to be a work of art. This is a story of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship (yes, I found another book about a ship!) off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it—excited to delve into this book.


Sabines Picks

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

This is one of the books I have been meaning to read for a while, and I am ashamed to say I haven't picked up yet. Both of my parents have now read this one (and my dad is NOT a reader, so that's saying something), and I know it is one I need to explore myself. I recognize the privilege I have in choosing when to dive into this story, rather than having to live through it myself. I have been and want to amplify Black voices through my personal experiences and consciously consume content by Black creators. I know there is still work to be done and education to be had, and reading personal stories really helps to get that across.

The first line in this description grasped me right away. "Austin Channing Brown's first encounter with a radicalized America came at age seven when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man." This story takes you through Austin's life experiences growing up in predominantly white areas and learning to love and appreciate her blackness. I know there is so much this book will explore than I can give in a description, and I am eager to read, learn and attempt to understand. Click here for a link to Black-owned bookstores you can support if you choose to purchase this book, and here for a link to Austin Channing Brown's official website!


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I am definitely late to the party on this one because I remember hearing about it a few years ago, but here we are. I picked this up at my local Value Village, along with its partner, The Rosie Effect. Now, I'm not sure if it counts to put it on my Winter Reading List because I have started it. But I only started it. It has been sitting on my nightstand for too long, alongside Untamed by Glennon Doyle, which is what I reach for most nights (when I make time for reading). I want to dive into this one, because from what I have read so far, I do enjoy it. 

This story follows Don Tillman, a, shall I say, minorly uptight professor who basically embarks on "The Wife Project" in which he sets out to find the perfect wife by his stringent standards. Through friends, he meets Rosie Jarman, who has embarked on her own project to find her biological father. Don puts his project on hold to help Rosie and essentially finds out that maybe the woman on paper he is looking for isn't truly what he needs. I have yet to explore how this love affair develops, but I am excited because they have interesting chemistry! If you want to read this story with me, you can find it here!


Atomic Habits by James Clear

This is one I heard about a while back, actually on a podcast. So, it's been on my list for quite some time. I always used to like the idea of "self-help" books but never felt motivated by them or that they were genuinely giving me any new insight. That was until I read Rachel Hollis' Girl, Stop ApologizingThat book made me feel validated but also encouraged me to reach for the life I want. Anyways, off-track a little bit. Since then, and since indulging in podcasts talking about positivity, mindset, manifestation, etc. I have found myself on this "journey" I guess you could call it, to learn more and continue to grow into the best version of myself.

This book is all about habits, developing your identity, and improving yourself every day. I'm honestly not sure how I'm going to feel about it, if I'm honest. James Clear has some exciting things to say (and you can watch a clip from him here), but with books like these, I often walk away feeling unproductive and a little down on myself. I do love to push myself, but I also have spent so much of my life beating myself up for every possible thing that I have come to terms with. Recognizing what I need most is to have patience and grace with myself, and often that productivity guilt weighs heavy. So we will see! I am keeping an open mind! I do want to dive into it, if anything, for the knowledge because I do think the concept of habits is SO interesting. Hopefully, I will have a review for you by the time the Spring Reading List rolls around and don't worry; I will be honest!

 

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