Saturday, September 30, 2017

September Books

One of my goals for 2017 was to read 17 books. Well, had I known my reading speed (or the fact that the library would quickly become one of my new best friends) I probably would have adjusted that number slightly ;)

In case you missed the recent posts, I blogged about the books I read in January HERE, February HERE, March HERE, April HERE, May HERE, June HERE, July HERE and August HERE. There were SIXTY-TWO in the first eight months, so when I add September's EIGHT that brings the total for the year thus far to SEVENTY! In case you're interested in what I read (and how I'd rate them), feel free to check out my previous write-ups when you have time!

  • Missoula by Jon Krakauer - The hubby was planning on listening to the audio version of this title, so I thought I'd grab the book from the library. The author is a fave of ours (Into Thin Air and Into The Wild both being awesome reads), so I knew this would be another great one. Now, let me start off by saying I don't mean "great" as in "happy-go-lucky" or "sunshine and butterflies". This is a very difficult subject - rape (specifically non-stranger sexual assault). I felt it sort of read like an episode of Law & Order: SVU, but the victims in these cases were real. It is an absolute shame how sexual assault is treated in the justice system, but maybe a book like this may shed some light on the issues and bring about change. I would strongly urge college age women give his book a read. Rapists are not only men hiding in bushes, wearing ski masks, they can be people who you deeply love and trust. I would give it a 9 out of 10. 

  • Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton - A friend had posted on social media asking people to tell her a book that they couldn't put down. I put the majority of them on my "For Later" list and this one was the first available at the library. I knew nothing about it, but when I first opened it I knew it was exactly what I needed. This is a collection of essays about Glennon's life. Let me tell you, so much of it screams true for me. It is honest, funny, thoughtful and brave. She bares it all and invites you to join her in the journey. I love her realness when it comes to her relationship with God and many of the insights she shares. Like my friend's friend who mentioned this book, I couldn't put it down. I read it in about a day and actually was sad there wasn't more. I pray I am able to live more authentically and love more deeply. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta - A friend of mine mentioned that a magazine she subscribes to lists new book suggestions every month. She took a picture of the last couple and sent them my way. A couple of the books were available at our library, so I put them on my list - this was the first one. I had zero knowledge of what this one was about. Let's just say it wasn't my cup of tea. It was about a mom who was a recent empty-nester (her son going away to college) and her story. Although the writing was good, I felt like it centered around sex and pornography, which isn't my jam. I also felt like there were big jumps in the story that I would've preferred being filled (rather than leaving it up to the reader). I would give it a 6 out of 10.

  • Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson - A friend of ours was reading this and wanted someone to discuss it with. The hubby and I decided to grab the audio book version and listen to it on the way to a camping trip. For some reason, when the hubby put the book on his iPhone (we have a VW van with a cassette player so have to transfer CDs onto our mobile devices if we want to listen to them in the car), the tracks got out of order. Thankfully most of the chapters stand on their own so it wasn't too terrible. Recently the hubby and I watched the documentary "13th". I feel as though this book went along with that film. I appreciate that this book not only lays out the serious and urgent issues facing America, but also gives action steps to help with healing and advancement. I would give it a 7 out of 10.

  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon - I brought this book with me camping, hoping to read a couple chapters and I just couldn't put it down. I don't remember who recommended it, but I'm so glad they did. It is a little childish, yes, but I am never one to turn down young adult reading. The story is about a "bubble girl" growing up and trying to find her way in the world (well, I guess in her bubble). I felt all of the main character's feelings right alongside her - loneliness, fear, love, excitement, disappointment, anger, joy, frustration, etc. I noticed that the book was turned into a movie (or at least that's what the front of the cover said), but movies never seem to live up to the books so I'll probably pass on seeing it - but I will grab a few more books by this author! I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown - I have read another one of Brené's books, so when this one became available at our library I grabbed it up. Although it is listed as a self-help book, I wouldn't say it necessarily offers a step-by-step guide on how to live a "wholehearted" life. Many of the topics (or as she calls them, "guideposts") are things that need to be PRACTICED. It is not a one-time thing that you do and check off your list. These are lifestyles that you should be cultivating and pursuing - such as authenticity, self-compassion, gratitude and joy, creativity, play and rest, calm and stillness, laughter, song and dance. There were definitely a ton of nuggets that I took from this book, many of which I hope to implement in my daily life. I am definitely a perfectionist so this book hit right where it hurt... but was exactly what I needed to hear. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - I don't remember who recommended this one, but I'm so glad I grabbed it. I could not put it down. It was actually written in 1984 but has gotten much more press lately because it was turned into an original hulu series (and, before you ask, I'm not sure I'll watch it because I always tend to like the books more). The story is set in a totalitarian society that has replaced the United States of America. Due to dangerously low reproduction rates, Handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples that have trouble conceiving. Although this is a fictional story (I loved reading the new introduction written by the author in February of this year) it is crazy how you could technically see some of the ideas playing out in today's society. It was a bit of a wake up call as to never "fall asleep" on the rights, liberties and freedoms we hold near and dear. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward - Another recommended book (although I forget where the recommendation came from) that I really enjoyed. A sad tale that is beautifully written about a family in the Mississippi Delta. The story is told from the point-of-view of both the son (JoJo, a thirteen year old boy) and the mother (Leonie, a drug abuser). It is a story of trying to find a place of love, belonging and home. It was powerful, heartbreaking and meaningful. I would give it a 8 out of 10.

And with that, my September reading has come to a close. If you have any suggestions on books to grab, let me know! I'm always down to throw them in the ever growing library "for later" queue!

What are you currently reading?

1 comment:

San said...

Isn't the Handmaid's Tale insane? (And insanely good)?