Books, Lifestyle

January 2021 Reads & Reading Challenge

January 2021 Reads & Reading Challenge | Image by Polina Zimmerman

Sharing is caring!

Growing up people ALWAYS would talk about how slow January would go by. It would literally feel like the longest month evvveeerrrr. NOT THIS YEAR! Everyone I have spoke to have been weirdly busy! Thankfully I was still able to get some reading in (thank goodness for audiobooks), and I am thrilled to be here to share more about them with you!

January 2021 Reads

January 2021 Reads & Reading Challenge

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

This January, I have read a total of 12 books!

12 out of 75 books already done!

12 books in just one month alone. This is from the girl who could only read one book per month, and now this girl is able to read over 10 in a month!

So what was I able to read this January? Lots of business books! Some fiction and non-fiction as well. Here they are…

The NEW One Minute Manager

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 / 5

Format: Audiobook

Publishing Company: William Morrow; 1st edition

Copyright Year(s): 2015

Kylie’s Review: I LOVED this book and soaked it up in one day ❣️ This was my first book that I have read in 2021! I learned about the three secrets this book had to offer: (1) One Minute Goals (2) One Minute Praises (3) One Minute Redirect

Ever since I finished this, I have been trying so hard to implement these with my employees (IG: @firehydrantpetsittingco / Fire Hydrant Pet Sitting & Dog Walking). I admire my team so much and want the best for them! Therefore, I want to make sure I manage them and lead them to success, in the best and most efficient way I can.

I was able to grab so much information and so many great quotes from this book, but my FAVORITE quote is: “Helping people feel good about themselves is the key to productivity”

Beach Read

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Emily Henry

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 / 5

Format: Paperback

Publishing Company: Berkley

Copyright Year(s): 2020

Kylie’s Review: My favorite quotes were…
“That is how life feels too often. Like you’re doing everything you can to survive only to be sabotaged by something beyond your control…”

“…maybe we should enjoy our happy-for-now.”

Thoughts: I love January and Augustus ❤️ Gus is my new fictional crush! ?

I was debating between 4.5 and 5 stars, and decided to round up because I really did appreciate how everything came together.

My main issues with the book was that I didn’t like how some of the scenes were just cut off, and had a rough transition.

However, I really liked how it didn’t go along the lines of a traditional romance… Meet cute ➡️ resist not being together even though they both obviously want to be ➡️they give into the urge ➡️regret the urge and take everything back ➡️ miss each other ➡️ get back together ?

This book didn’t do that. I loved their personal stories, issues, setbacks, and I felt like they were genuine and relatable.

I loved the relationships that were developed in the Beach Read, and I would definitely read this book again!

Find Your Why: A Practical Guide to Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Simon Sinek, David Mead, Peter Docker

Rating: ⭐ 1.5 / 5

Format: Audiobook

Publishing Company: Portfolio; Illustrated edition

Copyright Year(s): 2017

Kylie’s Review: I disliked this book…so much. When I see that I read it for the year, I just roll my eyes. AND I have been dreaddddiiinnnngggg write a book review about this book or even sharing it.

It was my third book of the year (3/75), so I was super excited about. Plus I know the importance of having a WHY and wanted to read more about it.

This book was not at all what I expected and strongly did not like it. I also RARELY disagree with a book as a whole, but this one I did. One point that irked me a bit was the authors stating that your family, your kids, and things like traveling can’t be your “why”…like why the heck not?

Your “WHY” for doing something can be whatever you want! Your WHY is whatever it is that will get you going, out of bed, and back at it again and again.

Any books that you have read recently that you were greatly disappointed with?

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Daniel H. Pink

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 / 5

Format: Audiobook

Publishing Company: Riverhead Books

Copyright Year(s): 2018

Kylie’s Review: “Timing isn’t just an art, it’s a science”

Don’t you just love it when you come upon a book with no expectations, and you end up really enjoying?

Well this audiobook was this way for me! I found it in the Libby app and gave it a whirl. There was SO much information and how timing really can make a difference. A bigger difference than we realize.

For example, when we know something is about to wrap up / be the last bit, we tend to enjoy what is being provided a bit more. There was a chocolate study in this book where two groups were given various flavors of chocolate. Group A was informed that this chocolate the group was about to eat was their last, Group B was not. The studies showed that people that were told that the last flavor was their last piece, 64% of the group enjoyed it more!

Another example the book gave was about getting when people get a job right out of college. Did they graduate when the economy was thriving or diving? It talked about how when someone graduates how it can effect their role as a leader.

This book was filled with so many fascinating studies, and I absolutely enjoyed learning about timing.

Do you use Libby? What is a book you stumbled upon in the app and ended up loving it?!

Don’t Keep Your Day Job: How to Turn Your Passion Into Your Career

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Cathy Heller

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.5 / 5

Format: Audiobook

Publishing Company: St. Martin’s Press

Copyright Year(s): 2019

Kylie’s Review: This book. You know those audiobooks that just turned out SUPER GREAT that you just want to go and buy the actual book? Well this is that book for me! (And Things to Save in a Fire, The Year of Less, and The $100 Startup)

Don’t Keep Your Day Job is Amazing! Can I just quote it all for you? HAHA Here are some of my ABSOLUTE-FAVORITE quotes that just really struck a chord with me:

“You don’t discover your passion, you develop it by living and being curious.”

“Dance with the fear.”

These two struck me! I may already work for myself…BUT this book lit a fire under my a** and made me feel revved up again. Plus I have been able to help aspiring individuals and current small business owners in the pet industry get their pet business of the ground and work on scaling it. So this book didn’t just give me energy, but also gave me great feedback I can provide to my coaching clients.

Here are a few more of my favorite quotes from this book:

“The new American Dream isn’t about becoming famous, it’s about making a living doing what you love”

“The opposite of depression is not happiness. It’s purpose.”

“Clarity will follow action. We get clues of what to do next at each stage of the process.”

“There’s nothing wrong with looking out for number 1. You got to be in charge of your own happiness, because there is nobody put on this earth whose job is to do it for you.”

You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Sarah Knight

Rating: ⭐⭐ 2.5 / 5

Format: Audiobook

Publishing Company: Little, Brown and Company

Copyright Year(s): 2017

Kylie’s Review: You Do You wasn’t a bad book, especially since I had no idea what to expect. I felt like it just went to the surface level of each topic the book mentioned.

If you have no experience with Self-Help / Personal Development, this may be a good book for you to get familiar with the field, and then use to go deeper. (I would recommend The Badass Life by Christmas Abbot though first if you are really trying to start on the personal development, self-love/care path)

The author was also just SUPER sarcastic. Now don’t get me wrong, I love sarcastic authors — I love their dry and almost dark humor at times, and how they really just need you to use your common sense haha — I love the author Jen Sincero (author of The Badass Series with the yellow, green, blue, and now purple covers — the purple one just came out in 2020) Sincero is HILARIOUS and very sarcastic.

For some reason… I don’t like this author’s sarcasm. It was just a bit too much.


  • Knight’s WND’s (What you want, need, and deserve)
  • One of her main messages of ‘you do you without hurting others along the way’
  • Knight discusses how to ask for what you want
  • And my fave… her talk of being a pessimist. HAHA

This book was okay, just not my cup of tea.

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Cait Flanders

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 / 5

Format: Audiobook

Publishing Company: Hay House., Inc

Copyright Year(s): 2018

Kylie’s Review: Less is more.

The Year of Less is SO much better than I expected. I absolutely love and appreciate Flanders sharing such personal stories of hardship, addiction, determination and commitment.

Buy it. Read it. Implement it.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counter-intuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Mark Manson

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 3 / 5

Format: Audiobook

Publishing Company: Harper

Copyright Year(s): 2016

Kylie’s Review: I remember when this book came out and I have been meaning to read it ever since! This month I was finally able to get to it!

Now for those turned off by the title… it’s not as bad as you think. The author is mainly using the F-word instead of “Care”. So stick with me.

What book title / cover threw you off, but the book ended up being pretty good? (don’t lie now, we all judge a book by it’s cover!)

I really did enjoy this book, it started off strong and then by the end it got a bit repetitive. So I gave it three stars instead of 4. However, I was still able to get a lot of quotes and great information from this book!

My favorite quote:
“Improvement at anything is based on a thousand tiny failures. Magnitude of your success is based on how many times you failed at something. If someone is better than you at something, it is likely they have failed at it more than you have. If someone is worse than you, it’s likely because he hasn’t been through all the painful earning experiences as you have.”

This book was about…

  • how to stop caring what others think (“others” as in people who do not have a say in your life, or interfering with your life in a negative way… including family) and how it can be harmful to our mental health.
  • It also goes over the feeling of success and how we measure ourselves.
  • Setting values and how to prioritize them.
  • Having a deeper awareness and taking responsibility of ones own actions and feelings, and feelings of guilt
  • How we are always making choices, and how there is always SOMETHING we care about. Big or small.

…and honestly so much more.

I feel like this books title is click-bate. Once you open it, it isn’t about NOT caring. It’s about learning and deciding what to care for.

“Happiness comes from caring about something greater than yourself”

The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Kenneth H. Blanchard and Eunice Parisi-Care

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 3 / 5

Format: Hardcover

Publishing Company: William Morrow and Company

Copyright Year(s): 1990, 2000

Kylie’s Review: “…each of us [managers should] take a minute out of our day to look into the faces of the people we manage. And to realize that they are our most important resources.”

I REALLY enjoy The One Minute Manager series ? Earlier this month I read The NEW One Minute Manager and absolutely loved that one. I still think about it!

With this OMM, Builds High Performing Teams — it was really informative and had some good stuff. But it was all just surface level.

Which is fine, gives me a reason to read more books about management ? but I was really enjoying what I was reading and wanted to know more about the topics discussed.

I also really enjoyed that their were two references to dog training ?!

What management / leadership books do you recommend?

Favorite Quotes ?
“Your job is to educate your people, to help them develop to the point where they can take responsibility for their work and to give them opportunities to perform.”

“Empowerment is all about letting go so that others can get going.” [loved this one! Especially for those biz owners who want to control everything and not trust their staff/team. You have to let go in order to grow!]

Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Eric Barker

Rating: ⭐⭐ 2 / 5

Format: Audiobook

Publishing Company: HarperOne

Copyright Year(s): 2017

Kylie’s Review: This book covers A LOT of different aspects and view points of success. Barking Up the Wrong Tree made me feel like this book just existed, to just exist and was a bit all over. You know how no matter what your viewpoint is, there will ALWAYS be some kind of story, experience, or even study to back it up? That’s how this book was to me.

“Success” is just a vague subject, and it differs per person. I feel like this author tried to break the code of success and break it down. But I think I just came to the conclusion that I don’t like reading books about success.


  • I appreciated the 20 Second Rule :: “make the things you should do 20 seconds easier, and make the things you shouldn’t be doing 20 seconds harder.”
  • How it discusses Grit vs. Quitting (even brings up Angela Duckworth’s study/book)
  • What I found interesting in this book was how, “effort is one of the worst predictors of success…” and how Barker goes about explaining that.

Not my cup of tea, but may be someones.

Creative Careers: Making a Living with Your Ideas

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Jeffery Madoff

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 3.5 / 5

Format: Audiobook

Publishing Company: Hachette Go

Copyright Year(s): 2020

Kylie’s Review: Creative Careers: Making a Living with Your Ideas is about the experiences of the author and people he has met/spoke with, and how they were able to make their creative / artsy hobby into a career.

This book had a strong start and then got repetitive by the end.

The three biggest takeaways I got from this book were:

  1. “Be yourself. Whatever you do is good enough. And do not start doing what other people want…That’s not my market, that’s not what I do. I’m not going to bend to do something else that everyone wants me to do [just] because that’s where the industry is going…Just sit on your horse and drive, and stay strong.”
  2. How to calculate risk — Imagine yourself in 3 years. “It’s the year after the year of the next. Most people can visualize that, but once you get to 5-10 years, that gets more complicated.”
  3. Right Brain vs. Left Brain — Logic & Creativity go hand-in-hand, “because a large part of creativity involves problem solving. Believe you are one or the other can limit your potential.”

These three things did strike a chord with me, because I have felt each one of these. You know with my dog walking business (@firehydrantpetsittingco), I felt like I had to become the one-stop shop. Comes to find out, I really-really enjoy ONLY specializing in dog walking.

Or people will ask me where I see myself in 5 years…which I feel like is an IMPOSSIBLE thing to do. Especially after the year we just had (cough cough 2020), and how everyone’s plans went down the toilet and how we ALL had to pivot. I am just thankful to be alive and am taking it a day at a time…but I can also see 3 years from now a but clearer.

And on the last note, with right vs. left brain. I always thought I was one and that meant you couldn’t be the other. BUT, what blogging and owning my own dog walking biz has taught me — is that you CAN be both. You just have to give yourself permission to be, and then go for it. You will suck at first, but will get there.

Girl with the Louding Voice

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up | Curly N Loud

Author: Abi Dare

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 / 5

Format: Hardcover

Publishing Company: Penguin Random House

Copyright Year(s): 2020

Kylie’s Review: ✨ How are you using your voice to make difference? To inspire others? To be the change in the world you wish to see? ✨

In The Girl with the Louding Voice – you will not only read about how Adunni’s wants to use her “louding” voice, but you will also get to read her story, how she got to where she is, and what inspired her to want to be and do more!

Adunni goes through some HARD times and is viewed as worthless. Yet, those challenges and nay sayer don’t stop her. Adunni keeps going and continues to follow her dream regardless of who gets in her way.

To be honest, I put this book off for awhile. I didn’t understand what ‘louding’ was and just wasn’t feeling it. ? BUT OH BOY! WAS I MISSING OUT OR WHAT?!

? This book was SO great. SO inspiring. SO worth the read! ?

If you have not read this, you are 100% missing out! You need to read this AMAZING story of Adunni.

What were your January 2021 reads?

To read more about books on the Curly N Loud blog, click here

Featured Image by : Polina Zimmerman

Blog Graphic Image by: Cottonbro

Sharing is caring!

You may also like

Leave a Reply