Rainy days are for good books and bad movies...

Houston rarely has two rainy days in a row. But this weekend was one of those few exceptions. And the only acceptable exercise on such occasions is either a marathon of reading and/or a binge of movie watching. I was productive. I did both...

So here is the rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly. Starting with the good... here are the three books I was able to finish (full disclosure here, I clearly did not read three books in two days, but I definitely finished all three this weekend :)...

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

It is easy to take comfort, independence and freedom to choose for granted. This autobiography was a stark reminder than not everyone enjoys such privileges. I had always prided myself in starting from 0 and going as far as I have in life on my own. Well, this book redefined 0 for me. A truly powerful and engaging story that feels uncomfortable and intruding at times, but one that ultimately teaches a lesson in perseverance and courage. Highly recommend.

Big Girls Don't Cry

Do not be fooled by this title. First, this book is not a feminist manifesto by any means even if it does celebrate the historic moment when a woman was so incredibly close to winning the nomination for president. Instead, Rebecca Traister's work takes an honest look at the current state of women in politics and how easy it is to take missteps. Second, this book does not glorify the almost first-time female presidential nominee. Instead, it makes a brilliant analysis of the presidential campaign ran by Hilary Clinton and her team - a refreshing and very relevant read, especially in the midst of the current political landscape. Hilary should have this book on her reading list right about now, or at least a good 6 months ago...

Daring Greatly

You may have seen one of Brene Brown's TED talks on vulnerability before (there is a very good chance you have, by the way - there are more than 22,000,000 views of her most famous TED talk... 22 MILLION!). The subtitle of her book reads "How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead." I'll fess up... This title has had a very profound affect on me, especially at work, where vulnerability is traditionally frowned upon (or so I thought..). If you struggle (like me) with the constant perceived need of stoicism, this book, combined with a healthy amount of yoga will make you feel much more comfortable in your own skin, flaws and all :).  

Now, you didn't think I spent my entire weekend enriching my mind and reading such great and inspiring material, did you? Every now and then, you need something mind numbing... So here is the bad... and the ugly :)


The obligatory Romcom... Or so I thought. 

If you want a romcom, Before We Go is not your movie. It's still a good and refreshing experience! Just not a romcom. That said, I actually really enjoyed the charming and easy-going nature of this movie. It doesn't make you think too hard but it certainly lets you enjoy a good chance-encounter plot with exceptionally good-looking leads that leave you with a ton of unresolved feelings at the end. And, to find that Chris Evans directed this? I think I have become an even bigger fan overnight.  

And now we get to the ugly......


The Do-Not-Waste-Your-Time Romcom

Nicholas Sparks... enough said? I am not even sure what prompted me to see this. Perhaps it was the rainy Sunday afternoon. But I have always found his novels rather sappy and uninspiring. This movie adaptation tops that list. Combine that with a very uninspiring cast and you have yourself a recipe for a snooze. Which is what ultimately happened anyways! Mission accomplished, I suppose. At the very least, Chewie certainly enjoyed having me around the house for more than 4 hours at a time so we were all happy in the end, even if I was technically napping. And... I am officially caught up on my sleep needs. Hello, old habits! It has been too long. 

Now, to finish on a much more inspiring note... I only have one more week of this maddening doctor-imposed leisurely no-run break. I am dead-set on going for my first run this Thursday (after being cleared by said doctor, of course). To celebrate, I happened to purchase these beauties yesterday. Only to later find out that someone rather famous has the exact same pair of kicks in the exact same color... Someone, give me the odds of that, please? 

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Posted on October 25, 2015 and filed under Be Inspired.