September 2021 Reads

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Sharing the books I read in September and if I’d recommend them!

Hi friends! How are ya? I hope you’re enjoying the day so far. I’m looking forward to getting some things together for P’s birthday, and also working on some house stuff. For today’s post, I’m excited to share last month’s reads because they were GOOD ones. I’m still holding strong with my goal of 3 books per month, but this month was a little trickier than others. I’ve been SO tired at night lately, I just want to crash as soon as I get the girls to bed. Somehow, I made it happen.

Here’s a recap of the goods for September!

September 2021 Reads

1. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

I received this one from my Book of the Month subscription and was really looking forward to it. I adore magical realism, and this book’s style reminded me of two of my most beloved authors: Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez. This book was a bit slow to start for me, but the story was complex and layered, and the type of book that sticks with you for a long time. It has deep character development, a story that spans across two lifetimes, and the tiniest bit of magic (that makes it seem very real). 9/10 would recommend.

From Amazon:

The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.

Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly’s daughter, Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, the four descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back.

Alternating between Orquídea’s past and her descendants’ present, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is an enchanting novel about what we knowingly and unknowingly inherit from our ancestors, the ties that bind, and reclaiming your power.

2. The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

This book has been highly recommended – Ashley and Chalene both said it was excellent so I had it on my mental radar – so I was excited to listen to this one on Audible. I ended up blasting through it within a few days. (I love audiobooks and podcasts while I’m walking with the pups or doing chores.) Whether you’re looking for some personal development tips, a memoir, Disney scoops (this is a must-read for Disney fans), it checks all of the boxes. It was heartwarming, inspiring, and fascinating. 10/10 would recommend!

Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever, and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company’s history. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger – think global – and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets.
Fourteen years later, Disney is the largest, most admired media company in the world, counting Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox among its properties. Its value is nearly five times what it was when Iger took over, and he is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our era.

In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger shares the lessons he learned while running Disney and leading its 220,000-plus employees, and he explores the principles that are necessary for true leadership, including:

Optimism. Even in the face of difficulty, an optimistic leader will find the path toward the best possible outcome and focus on that, rather than give in to pessimism and blaming.

Courage. Leaders have to be willing to take risks and place big bets. Fear of failure destroys creativity.

Decisiveness. All decisions, no matter how difficult, can be made on a timely basis. Indecisiveness is both wasteful and destructive to morale.

Fairness. Treat people decently, with empathy, and be accessible to them.

This audiobook is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for 45 years, since the day he started as the lowliest studio grunt at ABC. It’s also about thoughtfulness and respect, and a decency-over-dollars approach that has become the bedrock of every project and partnership Iger pursues, from a deep friendship with Steve Jobs in his final years to an abiding love of the Star Wars mythology.

“The ideas in this book strike me as universal,”, Iger writes. “Not just to the aspiring CEOs of the world, but to anyone wanting to feel less fearful, more confidently themselves, as they navigate their professional and even personal lives.”

3. Cook Once Dinner Fix by Cassy Joy Garcia

As someone who is ALWAYS looking for new weeknight dinner inspo, I was pumped to check out this book. (This one was gifted by Cassy’s PR team after she was a guest on the podcast). The concept behind this cookbook is that you prep the protein for two meals at the same time. This way, when you make the second meal, the *meat* of the dish is already finished. I love the idea of setting yourself up for success (especially since weeknights are so bonkers) and I can’t wait to try some of these recipes. 9/10 would recommend.

From Amazon:

Never throw out your leftovers again with these delicious and healthy meals designed to transform into an entirely different dish the next night from best-selling author Cassy Joy Garcia.

As a busy mom of two, Cassy Joy Garcia, the best-selling author of Cook Once, Eat All Week, has limited time to get food on the table. With this book, she shares a fresh approach to preparing dinner in a hurry. These 120 easy, delicious recipes are designed to use the leftovers from one recipe to quickly cook a completely different meal the next day.

While most meal-prep cookbooks require you to plan your entire week ahead of time and spend hours in the kitchen (and a small fortune on groceries), Cook Once Dinner Fix shows you how to utilize the leftovers from one meal to create an entirely new creation for the next. The leftover Roasted Garlic Turkey Breast transforms into Spiced Turkey Potato Soup, and Dry-Rubbed Barbecue Brisket becomes crowd-pleasing Cheesesteak-Stuffed Peppers. No matter your favorite flavor profile or dietary restrictions, this book is packed with recipes the whole family will enjoy.

The Cook Once Dinner Fix solves the “what’s for dinner” question without requiring enormous amounts of time, energy, skill, or money. Now dinnertime can be fun, fast, affordable, and sustainable.

4. Dreena’s Kind Kitchen by Dreena Burton

I shouted this book out in Friday Faves, but it needed another mention. Two of the recipes are on our meal plan for this week! (Ok, one of them is a cookie.) Dreena Burton has been one of my long-time favorite cookbook authors and some of these faves are still my go-tos, all of these years later. She uses whole foods in her recipes (instead of vegan substitutes that are packed with chemical ingredients) and they’re always family-friendly and bursting with flavor. 10/10 would recommend, especially if you’re vegan or a non-vegan who adores vegan food, like yours truly.

From Amazon:

Dreena Burton has been creating plant-based, whole-food recipes for more than 20 years. Home cooks know they can trust her recipes to turn out great—and to be delicious! Now, she has created this one-stop resource for making kinder, more compassionate food choices, for other beings, for the planet, and for yourself. Whether you need weekly staple meals for your family or want a dish to wow your friends for a special occasion, Dreena’s Kind Kitchen has you covered with these reliable, flavorful, and healthy recipes.

You’ll find a variety of breakfasts, salads and dressings, small bites, soups, entrées, and sweets, including:

•  Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins

•  Wow ’Em Waffles

•  Potato-Cauliflower Scramble

•  Chipotle Chickpea Fries

•  White Bean and Corn Chowder

•  Pressure Cooker Quicken Noodle Soup

•  Truffle-Salted Nut Cheese

•  Beyond Beet Burgers

•  Fiesta Taco Filling

•  Italian Ratatouille

•  Holiday Dinner Torte

•  1-Minute Pasta Alfredo

•  Crackle Blender Brownies

•  Mango Carrot Cake

•  Heavenly Baklava

Dreena also shares a cooking troubleshooting section so you can boost your kitchen skills. With helpful guidance on techniques, time-saving tips, and suggestions for repurposing leftovers into delicious new dishes, this dependable resource will boost your cooking confidence and help you find success in your own plant-powered kitchen.

So tell me, friends: what did you read in September? Any showstoppers?

xo

Gina

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