Why You Should Join a Book Club

Why You Should Join a Book Club

Have you ever heard someone talking about their Book Club and it sparked intrigue and made you wonder why or if you should join a Book Club? Before I joined one, I wasn’t sure of the benefits, however, I quickly realized that I love being a part of a Book Club and I encourage you to join one too!

Why should a modern woman join a Book Club?

I have been an avid reader since I was a child. During the summers as a kid, I would sign up for the local public library’s reading lists and reading challenges. When the Harry Potter books were released, I was always in line at 12am to get a copy and would then start reading them overnight. However, as I got older and life started to become busier and busier, the number of books that I had time to read drastically decreased.

As an adult, participating in a Book Club got me reading again! Having monthly books and commitments kept me on track, I found new ways to enjoy books by participating in discussions about them afterwards, and I gained a new sense of community with my Book Club friends.

I clearly remember my first Book Club gathering. One of my friends had asked me to attend and I only knew a few familiar faces in the group.

I remember leaving Book Club and reflecting on my experience and LOVING it. I couldn’t wait until the next month’s Book Club! It was something that I looked forward to and cherished every month as my friendships with these ladies also continued to grow and deepen.

photo of Book Club
Photos by Mikkel Paige

I asked some of my Book Club friends, “What do you love about being a part of a Book Club?” and here are their responses.

photo of Alison Roane
Alison Roane

“I love having a dedicated monthly chat with friends about something we enjoy. Even if no one read the book that month, just getting dressed up and having a few drinks with friends is a treat!

We chose books as a group, so there was always a book I hadn’t read yet or heard of. It also kept me from only reading nonfiction or self-help books. “

Charity Van Horn

“Initially, Book Club drew me in for all that was familiar. It was a chance to stay connected with friends who had busy lives and jobs and Book Club provided a commitment, consistency, a reason to keep a date with these girls.

Yet over time, it was the differences that became Book Club’s greatest intrigue. From book selections I would not have read on my own to diverging life experiences and stories of our pasts. Few things have broadened and enriched my life more than the regular exposure to new titles and old friends.”

photo of Kristin Taber Wolfe
Kristin Taber Wolfe

“I’d always assumed that I wasn’t the Book Club type but Book Club has given me some of my closest friends.  While we discussed the books, most of our time was spent sharing our lives and chatting about superficial and monumental life events. 

I was exposed to ideas and viewpoints I never would have encountered otherwise.  And when my life came crashing down in an unexpected way, it was the women from my Book Clubs who were loyal and came and pursued me in my grief.  They opened up and shared their own experiences that gave me courage and helped me to take the next steps to rebuild a life I was proud of and could enjoy. 

So many very important things happen when you get to discuss other people’s stories.  You get a small window to step through and have the freedom to discuss your own story.  A lot has changed over the years for us all but one thing is consistent.  Every month we show up to keep reading, drinking, talking, and laughing.  Together.”  

It turns out that joining a Book Club further enriched our lives even beyond the books.

photo of Charity and Kristin at the mimosa bar

There are Huge Social Benefits

As adults, I will often hear people say that the older you get the harder it gets to meet people and to form new friendships. Book Club is a great way to meet people and it naturally creates intriguing conversations where you can bond and form new friendships.

Often the conversation would stray from the book itself and after Book Club concluded, I would talk to my friends as we walked out to our cars and eventually would text, call, or hang out with them on my own apart from Book Club gatherings.

There are Huge Intellectual Benefits

In addition to reading a book that you may not have chosen on your own, during the discussions of each book, you will hear all sorts of different perspectives and interpretations of the material. It broadens your horizons to different viewpoints and opinions that make you appreciate books that much more. Recreational reading can also be extremely rewarding and transformative!

Book Club group photo

There you have it! The reasons why you should join a Book Club are crystal clear. What are you waiting for? Book Clubs are about more than just the books. A supportive, fun community full of some deep friendships often forms!

photo of Book Club cocktail napkins
These adorable cocktail napkins pretty much sum it up! You can purchase them directly from the designer here.

Don’t know of a Book Club group that you can join? No worries! Here is How to Organize a Book Club. You can start small and just invite a few friends that you would like to participate and then the group will organically grow from there!

5 Liberating Takeaways from Untamed by Glennon Doyle

5 Liberating Takeaways from Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Recently published in March 2020, Glennon Doyle‘s most recent book, Untamed has already been added to Reese’s Book Club and the #1 New York Times Best Sellers lists. It’s eye-catching cover, accolades, and powerful description make it a must have for your bookshelf.

When reading Glennon’s memoir, you can feel how fired up she is about women finding their voices and paving their own paths as she has successfully done. She left her husband after he cheated on her and began to pursue a relationship with world renowned soccer player, Abby Wambach. Glennon writes about how she is now living her life in an unapologetic way that awakens her soul. She is finally living her life for herself and she explains through her breakthroughs and stories, why you should be doing the same.

photo of Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach
I love following these two on Instagram, @abbywambach + @glennondoyle

Here are my 5 biggest takeaways on how women can shift their mindset to live untamed, liberated, and free:

#1. Look inside, not outside for answers.

“The facts were right there in front of me to see. But the truth was right there inside of me to feel.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

When making decisions, Glennon has observed how females, including herself, tend to look to each other for approval. Rather than looking to others, Glennon believes that you should look inside yourself to your own Knowing for the answer. The Knowing is your inner individual consciousness and truth.

Have you ever made a big decision and went to others for their advice? I have found myself doing this less and less as everyone has their own opinions and often their input just ends up muddling what I really want. Try discovering the answer by finding stillness and looking inside yourself for how to proceed. Only you know what is best for YOU.

#2. It’s ok to feel.

“I did not know that I was supposed to feel everything. I thought I was supposed to feel happy.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

This one really hit home for me as I have been so frustrated with how society puts so much pressure on feeling good and happy. You are supposed to be a beam of positivity ALL OF THE TIME and that’s just not realistic. There are many situations in life where it is ok to feel sad, mad, confused, or down. Rather than numbing those feelings by staying busy, drinking, doing drugs, etc it is ok to sit with them for a minute and explore them and ask yourself why you feel that way. Your feelings are trying to tell you something, stop and listen. Learn from them. You do not have to stay in a bad place for long. I believe in giving yourself time to mourn and to work through those feelings before moving on; it’s the healthiest way to propel yourself forward.

a GIF of the grinch saying "help me! I'm feeling!"

It’s ok to feel a variety of emotions – it’s what makes you HUMAN (unlike the Grinch)!

#3. Be a model, not a martyr.

“Mothers have martyred themselves in their children’s names since the beginning of time. We have lived as if she who disappears the most, loves the most. We have been conditioned to prove our love by slowly ceasing to exist. What a terrible burden for children to bear—to know that they are the reason their mother stopped living. What a terrible burden for our daughters to bear—to know that if they choose to become mothers, this will be their fate, too. Because if we show them that being a martyr is the highest form of love, that is what they will become. They will feel obligated to love as well as their mothers loved, after all. They will believe they have permission to live only as fully as their mothers allowed themselves to live.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

“My children do not need me to save them. My children need to watch me save myself.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

I 100%, no 1000% agree with this! To be deemed a “good mom” society expects you to give up your wants and needs and play the martyr to your children. Rather than to suffer and to live your life for someone else, Glennon says that the best mother is one who lives their life as a model for their children.

“I was a good wife. I had three babies and put all their needs so far ahead of my own that I forgot I had needs at all. I was a good mom.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

#4. Being human is hard and you can do hard things.

“Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

You can do hard things. WE CAN ALL DO HARD THINGS! Challenging yourself even if you fail will always be more rewarding than taking the easy route or not trying at all. Life is not supposed to be easy. I love working out and running, but you better bet that I tell myself that I can do hard things nearly the whole time to get through.

We Can Do Hard Things coloring page
You can download, print, and color this Untamed mantra page as a daily reminder.

#5. Be brave.

“Whether you are brave or not cannot be judged by people on the outside. Sometimes being brave requires letting the crowd think you’re a coward. Sometimes being brave means letting everyone down but yourself.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

I cannot and will not be peer pressured to do something that I do not want to do and you should not either. Just because other people are living their life a certain way, does not mean that you have to follow along. Stop and think if it really serves you. If not, be brave and do what feels right to you.

“Blessed are those brave enough to make things awkward, for they wake us up and move us forward.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

Speak your truth even if your voice shakes and it is the unpopular opinion. I have always spoken up for myself and always will. I have learned that I cannot find peace with something without doing so. Some may see it as being stubborn or as being abrasive, but you know what it really is? Being brave. “Say what you wanna say, make it mean everything.” is one of my favorite lyrics from the song ‘Let Go‘ by one of my favorite bands, Matt and Kim. You are brave and the world needs to hear your voice!

“Brave means living from the inside out. Brave means, in every uncertain moment, turning inward, feeling for the Knowing, and speaking it out loud.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

Thank you Glennon for writing such a profound memoir. She writes so much more about her struggles with addiction, bulimia, and divorce but I’m not here to spoil her book for you, I am here to encourage you to read it for yourself and to get fired up right along with her. Become a GD cheetah! (You’ll get that reference when you read the book.)

photo of a running cheetah

Interested in what other books that I think you should have on your bookshelf? Check out my other Book Reviews.

A Triple Hollis Book Review

A Triple Hollis Book Review

Rachel Hollis (@msrachelhollis) in tow with her husband Dave Hollis (@mrdavehollis), are Instagram sensations. They own The Hollis Company (@theholliscompany) and provide tools and inspiration for others to live their best lives, including their RISE conferences and RISE podcast. With such a following, it is easy to see why people would want to pick up their books and how all three of these books made their way onto the #1 New York Times Best Seller List.

I have read both of Rachel’s recent books; Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing as well as her husband’s brand new book, Get Out Of Your Own Way. Do you only have time to read one? I’ll share which book is my favorite out of the three if I could only pick one.

For those of you who love things in chronological order, you know who you are – you must read books in order, you must start a television series by watching the pilot episode first and then going in order episode by episode, season by season, and you hate how Star Wars started their movies in the middle of the story. I am going to review the books in the order that they were written – just for you!

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

First up is Girl, Wash Your Face which was one of the books chosen for my book club to read (specifically chosen by yours truly).

Published in February 2018, each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a lie that Rachel once believed which was holding her back from living her best life. After stating each lie, she shares personal stories of how that lie and negative self-talk left her feeling unworthy. She proves how these lies were not serving her or anyone else who may be telling themselves the same lies. Here are some of the lies:

  • The lie: I will never get past this
  • The lie: I’m not good enough
  • The lie: I’ll start tomorrow

She tells stories ranging from how she started her career in event planning, her relationship with her husband while they dated and into their marriage, a traumatic event that happened to her while she was growing up (I don’t want to spoil it for you!), a growing drinking problem, and her difficult experience with adoption. Since I started out my career in the events industry as well, I appreciate that she has a similar background and I can relate to her on that level.

This book is an easy read and I enjoyed the format that she writes in. I did find myself surprised at how religious she gets at times during the book. Overall, she peaked my interest and I gave her a follow on the ‘gram.

“Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” 

Rachel Hollis – Girl, Wash Your Face

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

Next, we have Girl, Stop Apologizing which was published in March 2019. I felt like Rachel’s first book laid down a lot of her background and story and then this book went right into being more tactical and practical.

The book is broken up into three parts – the first part defines excuses to let go of that are holding you back. Part two is about what behaviors to adapt to, to achieve results that will bring you closer towards accomplishing your goals. To conclude, part three is about what skills to acquire in order to take necessary action. Here are some of the excuses, behaviors, and skills:

  • Excuse: I don’t have time
  • Excuse: It’s been done before
  • Excuse: What will they think?
  • Behavior: Stop asking permission
  • Behavior: Build foundations for success
  • Behavior: Stop allowing them to talk you out of it
  • Skill: Planning
  • Skill: Confidence
  • Skill: Positivity

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel offers more direct advice and goes over new skills, practices, and habits for women to prioritize themselves and their goals.

This amazing thing happens when you start to grow in one area of your life: other areas improve with it.

Rachel Hollis – Girl, Stop Apologizing

Get Out of Your Own Way: A Skeptic’s Guide to Growth and Fulfillment by Dave Hollis

Last, we have Rachel’s husband’s book, Get Out of Your Own Way. This book was published in March 2020 and is the one that I have most recently finished reading.

Dave’s book follows a similar format to Rachel’s first book, Girl, Wash Your Face, except told from a skeptic’s perspective as his tagline says. He also writes from his male point of view but in a way that women can relate to as well.

He tells stories about his career at Disney, how awesome Rachel is and how she pushes him to be his best self, about a growing drinking problem, and their difficult experience with adoption. Since I had already read Rachel’s books, it felt a bit repetitive. I also felt like he name dropped that he worked at Disney A LOT. But he did work there for many years so I understand that it is an important part of his story to tell.

I hate to say it, but at times this book felt like it was being written in Rachel’s shadow and like he wrote it because her books are successful, so his would be too. Also, rather than Rachel talking about Rachel, at times it just felt like Dave talking about Rachel.

I liked that Dave stressed that mental health is just as important as your physical health. He is very open about his journey with therapy and how it benefited him in overcoming his skeptic-prone ways. In the final chapter, he finally wrote an actionable list that I took a screenshot of on my phone and took a lot away from:

  • Define Your Operating Principles
  • Commit to Habits That Fuel You
  • Find the Leverage to Live No Other Way
  • Be Deliberate in What You Focus On
  • Surround Yourself with Relationships That Serve You

After the list, he breaks down each one with examples and I felt like it was a great way to pull the whole book together. This book was a lot less religious than Rachel’s first book and he also got himself a follow from me on the ‘gram. (Side note: his tea time with their adopted daughter, Noah is adorable!)

“You never lose when you fail; you only learn from the experience.”

Davie Hollis, Get Out of Your Own Way

My favorite of the three books? Girl, Stop Apologizing is the winner for me.

Why? I felt that it was the most actionable and applicable out of the three. There was less fluff and more “do this to get that result” material which is what I respond well to.

All of these books are easy reads and break up their content into a very digestible format. Overall, there have been other books that have impacted me to take more action and that I felt had more breakthrough moments than these, but once I read one, just like you chronological-order-only folks, I had to read them all. I look forward to Rachel’s third book and continuing to follow along with their journey online. I have heard wonderful things about their RISE conference from others who have attended yet I have not experienced it myself.

Here they are not pictured on a book cover! One of my favorite nuggets that I got from Rachel Hollis was actually from one of her past Instagram posts, rather than these books. She said that when she is feeling out of sorts or when Dave is feeling out of sorts, that they have agreed that whoever is feeling stronger that day will take the lead. I really love this concept. The idea that you should be able to communicate when you are feeling “off” to your partner and can trust them to be the lead decision maker that day is really a neat concept and created that A-HA moment for me.

Let me know which of the Hollis’ books is your favorite below!