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Erica’s Favorite Reads – 2021

I hope the post title isn’t misleading: these are the top books I read in 2021, not just books that were published in 2021. I wasn’t quite sure how to convey that concisely in my title.

I generally gravitate towards nonfiction and self-help books – I have been on a big personal growth kick for like the past 5 years! However, this year I tried to challenge myself to read some fiction this as well, thanks to some recommendations from one of my best friends.

I read about 30 books total this year, which is a number I’m proud of. (Honestly, no matter what your number is, you can be proud of it!) I use Goodreads to keep track of everything I’ve read. You can find me on there if you want to see my entire reading list for 2021.

Two years ago I published a post of my favorite books for 2019, but I never posted my list for 2020. As I was trying to figure out why, I realized (with the help of Goodreads stats) that I read far fewer books in 2020 (hello pandemic!) Obviously we all had a lot going on in 2020… I’m glad to have been privileged to have time to be a more avid reader this year.

The Great Sex Rescue book

The Great Sex Rescue: The Lies You’ve Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended
Nonfiction, Marriage, Christian

This book is the only book I have ever taken time to write a review for on Goodreads because I thought it was so good! I want to write an entire post on this book alone, but for now, I’ll share what I wrote on Goodreads:

I found this book to be very validating to my experiences. It was nice to be able to have it be so well articulated by someone. I appreciate how the authors took a critical look at what many other Christian books on marriage and sex are saying, and spelled out how certain messages could actually be harmful to women, and not even really what the Bible intended. I wish this book had been written years ago before I had gotten married, I wish it had been around when I started dating. I think it offers one of the healthiest perspectives on Christian marriage and sex I’ve read in a long time.

Frientimacy book

Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness
Nonfiction, Relationships, Psychology

I am not even finished with this book, but it has already made it to my list of top books for 2021! I am reading this with a coworker, and each week we read a chapter and then discuss it. This book takes a look at friendships and describes our basic need for being fully known and loved for who we are. It gives suggestions for ways to “close the intimacy gap” with friends by determining what areas of your relationship you need to invest in. The author states that each relationship needs 3 elements to be mutually shared in order to have a deep level of friendship: positivity, consistency, and vulnerability.

My one qualm with this book is that it is solely about female friendships – which I think is a shame because men need healthy friendships too, and I’m sure it would be off-putting to many men to read it when it is so geared towards women. However, many of the principles can be easily adapted for other types of relationships, and honestly it is really good information. If you’re a psychology nerd like me, you will find this book interesting!

Read More »

Good times

My blog is typically a place where I write to share my feelings, and a lot of times those feelings are intense because many times I write when I am under stress. Writing helps me cope and share and be real, which I think is important.

But I also wanted to take time to share many of the positive and wonderful things about my life, because there are plenty of those, too.

So here are some good and happy things that have happened in the past few weeks. Enjoy!

Got to have a friend’s date night at The Mill in Abilene

 

Had a Galentine’s Day partyNo automatic alt text available.

Bought a new dress

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Celebrated Valentine’s day with flowers, Abuelo’s and a homecooked dinner from Dean

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Spent an afternoon at the zoo with Calvin

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Enjoyed spending time getting to know my coworkers at daily coffee break

 

Finished 2 big grad school projects

 

Visited Phoenix to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday

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Played Harry Potter Clue

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Received a note in the mail from a friend

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Happy Birthday to Me! – a little about me on my 31st birthday

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My “First Day of School” picture from Tuesday – 1/16/2018

It’s my 31st birthday today! It’s been a good day so far – I got to open presents from my husband this morning – (he got me the first 3 books in a series of Manga I had been wanting and an address stamp – also something I had been wanting for a long time, I love to write cards!) – I got to get my favorite cake ever from the local bakery here in Abilene and share it with my coworkers this morning (it’s a sour cream pound cake with cream cheese frosting from McKay’s if you’re wondering) – and I got to have lunch with a friend and get bubble tea (another fav!)

So, since this day is all about me (have I mentioned I love birthdays?) I thought I would do a little “about me” feature since I have some new readers. So here is a little bit about the author of “Threads of Anxiety:”

THE BASICS

I am from Phoenix, Arizona – I love desert wildlife, it’s very beautiful to me. I have a twin sister who is 3 minutes older than me (NOT identical), so I suppose this day isn’t all about me, haha! (Happy Birthday, Rachel!) I have been married for 8.5 years to a wonderful man, and we have an 18 month old son that we think is the best! We currently live in Abilene, Texas.

PERSONALITY

Why are personality tests so interesting? I think it’s fascinating to learn more about myself and attempt to understand how I work. If you like sorting people, here’s a few ways you can put me in a box:

Hogwarts House

 Ravenclaw – I took after my mother here and can totally accept my sorting hat fate. Here’s the description for Ravenclaws from Pottermore.com: Ravenclaws prize wit, learning, and wisdom. It’s an ethos etched into founder Rowena Ravenclaw diadem: ‘wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.’

Here’s a link to read with more reasons to get excited about being a Ravenclaw: https://www.pottermore.com/features/6-reasons-to-get-excited-if-youre-sorted-into-ravenclaw

Myers-Briggs

ISFJ – I am always a strong ‘I’ and ‘J’ when I take this quiz. According to the 16Personalities website, this labels me as a “Defender.” Read more here: https://www.16personalities.com/isfj-personality 

4 Tendencies

Upholder – this type tries to meet inner and outer expectations alike, like to be busy, get things done, make to-do lists, is very motivated… Learn more from Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Four Tendencies.

StrengthsFinder Results (top 5)

Achiever – likes to be busy, get stuff done

Responsibility – committed, honest, loyal

Learner – love to learn and improve

Empathy – can sense how others may feel

Intellection – introspective

FAVORITES

Book – Harry Potter series

Movie – Disney movies! Besides that, “You’ve Got Mail,” and “When Harry Met Sally”

T.V. Show – Stranger Things, The Office, Comedians in Cars with Coffee

Food – ice cream, pad thai, (cooked) sushi

Disney character – Ariel, Elsa, Jasmine

Music – Pentatonix, soundtracks (love ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’), Backstreet Boys

Hobby – crocheting – I make amigurumi dolls, writing, reading, making to-do lists, party planning

CAREER

I worked for 3 years as a reading teacher, two years in 2nd grade and one year in 6th grade. I took a year off to be a stay-at-home mom, and then in August of 2017 I started working as a librarian at Abilene Christian University. I am currently taking graduate classes online to get my Masters in Library Science degree.

UNDER-UTILIZED TALENTS

I used to always tell Dean that in another life I could have been either a race-car driver or a detective. I was always so good at car racing games when I was younger – I feel like I’ve missed my prime… And the detective thing is because I believe highly in my intuitive skills, maybe it’s a Ravenclaw thing.