Sunday, May 31, 2020

May Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88 in 201777 in 2018 and 67 in 2019!) has morphed into this passion for books. As you can see, my reading has slowed a bit, but my love for books has not! In the past couple years I've added longer distance races (which means more time running/ training and less time reading), we've remodeled our condo (I think it legit took us six months to finish the whole thing... DIY seems to take twice as long {and cost twice as much} as you originally think it will), and I've added another part time job (which means I'm now working 40ish hours a week, cutting down on my reading time). Even still, I love getting my read on whenever I can.

Truth be told, I was never much of a reader when I was younger (CliffsNotes were my best friend when it came to books), but recently I fell in love. Although I may not read at the same speed as I previously did when I first caught the reading bug, I still want to keep the hobby going (and what better form of accountability than to post a list of the books I finished at the end of the month?!). I don't have any set number of books I am shooting to read this year, but hopefully a lack of goal doesn't mean a lack of books completed. So, without further ado, let's jump into everything I read in May!

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - Normally I try and read the book before I watch the movie (because, let's be real, the book is always better {at least 99% of the time}), but this is one that I saw the film prior to picking up the book. In fact, although this movie was based on real life, I didn't really realize there was a book in the first place. I came across the book in our neighborhood free library and knew I wanted to read it. I was still in the middle of my unemployment stint when I grabbed this book, so I was able to devote as much time to reading it as I wanted. It did take me a little longer than I was expecting (I was having a hard time keeping some of the characters straight because the author would switch between them for long stretches and I'd have to remember who exactly everyone was), but the story is absolutely amazing. In case you didn't know, I thought I was going to be a math major when I went to college (eventually I decided on economics instead), so maybe a little of why I love this story so much. Women (and girls) stereotypically aren't supposed to be good at math... BUT WE CAN BE! And to see the hidden work of so many amazing African American women to help PUT A MAN ON THE MOON - I mean, YOU GO GIRLS! It has been a while since I saw the movie, but I do really remember enjoying it. Maybe this is one where the film does stack up against the book... maybe ;) I guess I'll have to rewatch it soon to see if it's the case. If you don't know the "untold story of the black women Mathematicians who helped win the space race", then I urge you to find out about these strong, courageous and insanely intelligent women! I would give it an 8 out of 10 (although I'd give the story itself an 11 out of 10).

  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai - Yet another book I grabbed from our neighborhood library and read while I was laying in the sun at our garage (due to COVID our pool is closed, so if I want to soak up some rays I have to bust out my beach chair and sit in front of our garage, haha). I had obviously heard of Malala, the girl who was shot by the Taliban for standing up for education, but only knew bits and pieces of her story. This book was a more in depth look at her life and the reality of what was going on in Pakistan. I would say this was incredibly eye opening for me. Don't get me wrong, I am not blind to the fact that we are spoon fed only the information that others want us to know, but man, this book really brought a magnifying glass (at least in my opinion) to the fact that the US public is only told a tiny bit of what is ACTUALLY going on. Malala reminds me of Anne Frank. These two girls (because, yes, they were literally GIRLS) inspire your rebellious spirit to question the status quo, to stand up for what you believe in and to survive at all costs. These girls were/ are wise beyond their years and remind me that there is so much more I can be doing. We can and will overcome the odds if we have the fire and fight in us that Malala demonstrates! I would give it a 9 out of 10.

With that, May has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list!

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What was the best book you read this year?

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