My Brain Wants Books Instead

3 Books That Got Me Refocused and Off My Phone

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

This is a follow up to my emotional rant post about Instagram Fatigue. After I wrote the post, I enjoyed a 2 week break from Instagram.

Then I hopped back on for a few days and got super annoyed again.

I embrace the yo-yo.

Reconnecting with real books has been refreshing. Reading fills my brain and soul with the good stuff, not the additives and preservatives of algorithms and curated posts.

However, I admit that I am HIGHLY distracted when I read. Year after year, I teach young readers strategies for how to block out distractions and get lost in books, but this is one area where I sometimes feel like a fraud.

I find it super difficult to stay present in the pages of a book when there are so many things on my to-do list and at the most basic level of my attention span, there are always things in my peripheral vision that get me off track. In an attempt to fine-tune my reading focus, I even jumped on the fidget craze. I know they aren’t currently trending as hard, but this teacher approves.

I’m proud to have recently added the following books to my personal library. They are selections that have strengthened my stamina and kept my focus because I really enjoy them.

Affiliate (paid) links are included if you would like to check them out on Amazon. Links to some fidget toy options are also included at the end of this post.

Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now (Amazon)

Rise by Jeff Yang, Phil Yu, Philip Wang

Why I own it: I am proud of my Filipino heritage and culture, but I still have a LOT to learn about AAPI history and knowing the stories from those who have paved the way in our society to be seen, heard, and make change for equal rights for AAPI people. This is PACKED with information and it’s delivered in a very high-interest format. It’s a beautiful hardcover book that feels great when you pick it up for reference and reflection.

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol (Amazon)

Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker

Why I own it: My relationship with alcohol is just as complex and annoying as my relationship with Instagram. This is an eye-opening Quit Lit read that was really helpful during my extended Dry January experience in 2021. The history of Big Alcohol in our country is eye-opening and disturbing. It’s a powerful tool to have on hand for when sober curiosity makes it’s way back into the spaces in my life or the possibility of becoming a non-drinker in the long term.

Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles (Amazon)

Life Inside My Mind edited by Jessica Burkhart

Why I own it: Historically, I’ve always loved reading memoirs and autobiographies about people’s hardship and struggles in life. I’m intrigued by tragedy and yes, there’s a train wreck factor about certain stories that I love, and that’s why I also love reality television. However, this book is a wonderful collection of stories and personal experiences from the perspective of real people who have had journeys with mental illness among other internal struggles. It is humbling and it will spark up some empathy in your heart if you have been feeling a bit self-centered lately and need a perspective check.

Fidget Toys for Focus

colorful fidget toys in a basket

The fidget toys pictured above are just a small part of the collection that my kids acquired during the 2020-2021 trend. I held on to a few of my favorites for my own use and focus. The links below are some that I purchased on Amazon:

Infinity Cubes (Amazon)

Mochi Squishies (Amazon)

Mini Butter Slime (Amazon)

Fidget Cube (Amazon)

Happy reading and may your focus stay strong!


4 thoughts on “My Brain Wants Books Instead

Add yours

    1. Quit Like a Woman is a great read and really insightful. It even unpacks the system of AA which I did not know had such a complex history with a possible hidden agenda. So glad to hear that you stopped drinking, I was once on that path in a really strong way, and want to revisit again. Thanks again for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow I always thought AA was very helpful for some people. I will definitely give it a read. Hope you’re able to get back on that path and my pleasure!

        Liked by 1 person

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