March 2021 reads

Hi friends!
Hope your morning is going well so far. We’re just hanging out this morning, and hoping to catch a hike and a swim later today. I can’t believe it’s already in the 90s here!

For today’s post, I wanted to share the books I read in March! I’m still holding strong at my goal of at least 3 books per month (1 fiction, 1 personal development or nonfiction, and 1 related to health or fitness in some way) and I almost finished 4 this past month. (More details below on why I didn’t finish this one!)

Here are the goods:

March 2021 reads

1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

I’m a huge fan of Kristin Hannah and have read a few of her books. The Nightingale is on my list of top books of all time. I was excited to read this one and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a bit longer, but I devoured it within a few days.

The Four Winds tells the story of a fierce and independent mother and her two children as they flee the dusty and drought-ravaged plains of Texas to head out west for a better life. The book begins in the 1920s and achingly describes the harsh reality of the Great Depression for many families, and the unwavering dedication of a mother to do what ever she needs to do for her children. Some parts of this story were extremely heavy, especially with the current state of our world, but I still really enjoyed it. 10/10 would recommend.

 2. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

I received this through my Book of the Month club subscription and this is exactly why I signed up: it’s encouraging me to pick books I may not have chosen on my own. This one was a STANDOUT. It’s the kind of book where you think you know what happens from the beginning, but the story unravels in the most surprising way. It was suspenseful, poignant, and such an easy read. 10/10 do it.

The Lost Apothecary transcends across two time periods and a few different characters: Eliza and Nella in the late 1700s, and Caroline in present day. Caroline is in London on what should have been an anniversary vacation, but instead, she makes a discovery that completely changes the course of her life. Nella is an apothecary who has a small, hidden shop, lined with glass bottles of remedies and… poisons. Her entire business is founded on her dedication to help women, whether they need an elixir intended to cure sickness, or to poison the man who has wronged them. Nella meets 12-year-old Eliza after receiving a mysterious letter, and Eliza makes a string of unfortunate mistakes that drastically affect their futures.

3. Take Control of Your Life by Mel Robbins – DNF (= Did Not Finish)

I downloaded this one on Audible because I’m a huge fan of Mel Robbins. I follow her on IG and I love her no-nonsense approach to mental health and the relationships she has with her older kids. (More proof that teenagers don’t always grow up to hate you!)

This book is about anxiety and how anxiety can be attributed to a loss of control. When you feel anxious, it’s because you feel like you lack control in a situation. This audiobook includes live sessions with six of her clients and the breakthroughs they experience.

I love how this is set up. It feels like listening to a podcast and it’s easy to hear yourself in the people that she interviews. The first guy she spoke to was a workaholic, constantly bombarded with the idea fairy, and always felt like he needed to be opening a new business or starting a new endeavor. He couldn’t sit still and always felt like he had to be doing something. I was like, “Hiiiii that’s me.”

In the end, he discovered that he feels successful when he’s learning something, so he ended up taking a wine course and working part-time at a wine store so he could do something he’s passionate about. Some notes I took on my phone while listening to this one: “ Overthinking is a trap controlled by fear. You’ll reach for fake control and do anything to quiet that fear. Is it the tug of your dreams or the push of your fears? Busyness is a distraction.”

In the second interview, the girl is a huge perfectionist. She had a panic attack when she got a 96 on a test in 3rd grade, and I felt so much of myself in that, too. Grades used to constantly mess with me – I didn’t get my first B until college and it was devastating – and I cried while I was listening to this one. It was a needed reminder to have grace for yourself and focus on the things that truly matter.

In the end, I decided to wait to listen to more of this and break it into pieces. I’ll come back to it, but the first two interviews already gave me so much to ponder.

4. Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch

One of my friends recommend this book to me and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s FASCINATING. While there is a lot of science-y mumbo jumbo, the author does a fantastic job of making everything very easy to understand and the tone is conversational.

Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

A leading expert in epigenetics – how genes switch on and off – provides a revolutionary, holistic, and personalized approach to better health by improving how your genes behave to prevent and reverse common ailments, chronic illnesses, and life-threatening diseases, including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and more.

Your genes have a tremendous impact on your health. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Ben Lynch reveals that while you can’t change the genes you were born with, you can change how they affect you.

When your genes are working properly, you feel energized and healthy. But when your genes are “dirty”, or not functioning optimally, your health suffers. Some genes are “born dirty” – they have certain variations that can cause you problems. Other genes merely “act dirty” in response to your environment, diet, or lifestyle. You can optimize both types of dirty genes by cleaning them up through healthy eating, good sleep, stress relief, environmental detox, and other holistic and natural means.

An experienced researcher in the emerging science of gene abnormalities who has successfully treated thousands of clients, Dr. Lynch offers a simple questionnaire to identify which of the top seven dirty genes could be undermining your health. Then he offers targeted plans – including foods and recipes, supplements, and environmental detox – to clean up your dirty genes, eliminate symptoms, and optimize your physical and mental health.

Many of us have been taught that our genes doom us to the disorders that run in our families. But Dr. Lynch shows that you can rewrite your genetic destiny – once you know how. Dirty Genes provides a practical, personalized protocol to make the most of your genetic inheritance, now and for the rest of your life.

Every single thing I read in this book made sense and after taking the quizzes, I realized which specific genes tend to act “dirty” for me, and how to manage it. I’ve already implemented a lot of his suggestions (continue to focus on sleep, eat a lot more green veggies, more protein, drink clean water, etc) and feel amazing: energized, focused, happy, and present. The huge takeaway: genes don’t have to be your destiny. You can impact which genes express themselves through lifestyle, sleep, and nutrition changes. 10/10 I would recommend this book to everyone.

What books did you read last month? Any showstoppers? Any audiobooks you loved?



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  1. Stella on April 6, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Just wanted to say I love these posts!

  2. Katie on April 6, 2021 at 10:13 am

    I read Untamed this month, and enjoyed it! I never know what to think about books that have been so hyped up, and while it didn’t feel as life changing to me as it did to others I know (which is great for them!!), it definitely gave me things to think about and I loved reading about her journey.

  3. Nicholle on April 6, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Entangled Life! It’s about how fungi connect all the living things on the planet. It’s a great read but the author is a bit out there. He grew mushrooms on a copy of his book until the book had been consumed, then cooked and ate the mushrooms.
    Looking forward to the Lost Apothecary–I read a review in a publishing trade newsletter and immediately put it on my reading list.

  4. Tracy on April 6, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    I loved The Four Winds too. I just downloaded The Lost Apothecary. I’ll read that next! My favorite book last month was Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. HIGHLY recommend!!!

  5. Emily on April 6, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    I read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and listened to The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Highly recommend both!!

  6. Tiffany on April 7, 2021 at 7:27 am

    My favorite books that I read last month were The Paris Library and Infinite Country. I read The Lost Apothecary, too! But that one was a miss for me. I think I had been so hyped to read it and then thought it would be more exciting based on the synopsis. Four Winds is on my to read list. Loving these book posts, Gina!

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