Book Review: Chasing Slow

Hi!

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Last year, I attempted to make a dent in my To-Be-Read (TBR) pile during the #100daysproject challenge. If you’ve been around a while, you know how that turned out.

Every year I try to set a resolution to read more and every year it just doesn’t happen.

So, once again, for 2018 I set a resolution goal to read more. But, this year, I am holding myself accountable by writing book reviews. I love a good assignment. #booknerd

In January I DID read my first book:

Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner

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Amazon Description: In Chasing Slow, Erin turns away from fast and fame and frenzy. Follow along as she blazes the trail toward a new-fashioned lifestyle—one that will refresh your perspective, renew your priorities, and shift your focus to the journey that matters most. Through a series of steep climbs—her husband’s brain tumor, bankruptcy, family loss, and public criticism—Erin learns just how much strength it takes to surrender it all, and to veer right into grace. 

Perfect. Vague, with no possible spoilers.

Things I love about the Book

1. Visual appeal. “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Like hell you can’t. Truthfully, the visual designer/layout artist knew exactly what they were doing when creating this book. The negative space, the use of white, the font, the text layout…. they ALL contribute to a sense of calm, a feeling of …slow. Just opening this book helped quite my mind.

2. Lists! I am a girl who loves her lists. I love the way things can be broken down in to smaller doable/manageable/digestible parts. A list of childhood transgressions (believe me, it makes sense in context), A list of childhood accolades, Things I wrote about on my first blog, Acceptable messes for your friends to see. I found myself nodding along and inadvertently making my own list to mirror hers.

3. Applicable Math. I didn’t see this one coming, but I LOVED it. No Pythagorean theorem. No solving for x, y, or any other letters. More like: 1 sticker sheet + 1 toddler + 5 minutes of peace and quite for Mama. Or: Dish Duty + Dancing = Happier Dish Duty. How about: Stress + 20 minutes with a girlfriend + truth = Perspective.

4. Imagery. This may be one for me more than you, but I find it worth mentioning. Erin creates the metaphor of a Lion within each of us, “searching for the reasons we were placed on this planet”. That lion weaves its way throughout the book, showing that while we might be chasing fast/power/money it seems like our lion is roaring and if we just chase slow, he will be calmed. But is he? Or is chasing slow just another race to be won? The words Erin uses and the imagery she creates of her (our?) lion was brilliant and encourage me to think about and face my own lion and what he wants, when he’s calm, and how I can use him to achieve my own happiness.

 

Favorite Line

I was supposed to talk about being a big fish in a bigger pond, but really, I just wanted to ask if everyone else was drowning, too.  (pg. 42)

How are YOU doing today?

 

Greatest Personal Take-away

The panic attacks made no sense. They approached in wild waves, rhythmic and anticipated and ill-timed, like at the grocery next to a perfect mound of pink apples or in the shower. I cried and cried, and when they passed, I wrote. (pg. 43)

Sometimes, an author just speaks to your soul.

I love books that provide a look into the author’s life and shares the knowledge and wisdom gained through various events. Sometimes these are funny and amazing, other times they suck (the events, not the author). Erin has lived through some tough things and has chosen to share her experiences with the world.

No, my husband is not living with an inoperable brain tumor, but I can identify with her struggles on how do we live with this? How do we keep moving forward?

I have suffered from many panic attacks myself and the way she describes them puts into words things I didn’t even know I was feeling. But, she is right. They come at the stupidest times – In the store; When nothing is wrong, except for all of it; and like my favorite line above.

 

Extra Resources

Interview on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

Interview with Jenna Kutcher

Interview with Jess Lively

 

If you are looking for a new book, I HIGHLY recommend Erin Loechner’s Chasing Slow.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Confession: Reading

Hi!

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One of my resolutions goals for 2018 is to read more. Specifically, one book per month. There was a time when I could do one book a week. Ah, the good ole days

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I was taught to read when I was in Kindergarten. Nowadays this is typical and expected that children should be able to read some words before they enter kindergarten.

The year was 1987 and my sixth grade reading buddy Amy taught me how to read with Dr. Seuss.

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I was one of 4 in my class who had this opportunity.

From that moment on, I devoured the written word.

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In first grade, while most of my class was learning that e said eh like in exercise, I had my own reading group reading chapter books.

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I’m sure it drove my parents crazy.

Books are not cheap.

Hell, I even worked in the town library throughout high school.

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So, here’s my confession:

I’m a bit of a book snob.

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I’m sorry. I admit it. I know it.

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What usually ACCIDENTALLY happens is that I love books other people don’t care for and I dislike those people love.

For instance:

Our Freshman year of high school, our English class had to read Across Five Aprils. Standard curriculum. In case you didn’t have to read it, it’s a story about a family who endures the US Civil War from a variety of angles (one brother is on the “other” side). Honestly, it was not a bad read. HOWEVER…. we reached the end and the main character and his friend walk up the hill.

That’s it. Over 200 pages and they walk up the f*#&ing hill.

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My friend and I were livid. Well, okay, we were fine, but we DID rouse up a lively debate. Not sure if our teacher was impressed that we got then entire class defending the book they didn’t want to read in the first place or annoyed that we were pointing out plot holes in his assignment.  Hmmm….

But, then:

In our sophomore English class we had to read Catcher in the Rye.

I apparently really like J. D. Salinger, because I really like this one.

Once again, we reach the end of the book. My teacher turns to my friend and I and we were both like:

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This time, OUR CLASS couldn’t believe it.

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Side note: I graduated in a class of 57 people, so we were all taking the same classes by the same teachers.

Some pointed out/recalled directly how we did NOT like Across Five Aprils because “they just walk up the hill,” [please read that with as much sarcasm as you possibly can] but that were were okay with Holden just going of on a train.

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I dunno. Clearly I felt there was sufficient closure written into Catcher in the Rye.

Some things just cannot be explained.

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So, What is a book or author that everyone seems to love that you just cannot stand?

OR visa versa, Who do you LOVE that no one else can understand?

 

Happy reading!

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