I struggled to get in the mood to read this month. I usually am pretty good about reading consistently, every day. But for whatever reason, I found myself reading in bursts… unable to put a book down for an entire weekend afternoon and then not being in the right mindset to read for days. It was on and off. It’s a constant goal of mine to be OKAY with what I read and to not feel like I’m “failing” myself. (Why do I do that to myself?! I don’t know, it’s just reading and should be enjoyed!)
Anyway… here’s what I read this month:
THE BEAUTY IN BREAKING: 2.75/5 Stars
This is a memoir written by a Black emergency room doctor and I had really high hopes for it. While very easy to read, it just didn’t work for me. Each chapter was a different experience for her with a lesson she learned from it, but I thought the book lacked a flow. I think if you work in medicine, particularly in a hospital, you might enjoy the memoir more. (I did read other reviews because I wasn’t sure if I was the only who felt this way and it seems to be pretty divided in terms of enjoying and not enjoying.)
BREATH: 4/5 Stars
I was so intrigued by the premise of this book, which examines the lost art of breathing. Mike’s brother is HUGE into breath work and I’ve learned a lot through him so I was excited to learn even more. I would say about half the book was new-to-me information and the other half just reiterated some things I already knew through my personal experiences with anxiety and my practice of meditation. I thought the evolution (or in this case, devolution) aspects of breathing was the most eye-opening to me. So much so that I am now actively trying to figure out how to stop mouth-breathing at night.
THE GAME: 4/5 Stars
If you liked the series Pretty Little Liars and/or like Agatha Christie novels, I think you’d like this book. It’s quite a quick read. The Game is about a group of high school seniors playing a game of assassin before their graduation. The game becomes a little too real though, and it’s a mystery to figure out who the real murderer is.
JUST MERCY: 5/5 Stars
WOW. THIS BOOK. Definitely the best I read all month– a contender for best non-fiction of the year. Just Mercy is a true story about an attorneys efforts to help people on death row. The author, Bryan Stevenson, set up the Equal Justice Initiative and writes about some of the memorable stories of those he helped. It’s a powerful story about the criminal justice system and those who fall victim to it. I listened to the audiobook (highly recommend) and at one point literally had to pull my car over because I was sobbing. I believe this book should be required reading.
THE SWITCH: 4.25/5 Stars
This was such a fun light read. I needed a nice and easy story to get sucked into and this fit the bill. Very Nancy Meyers meets British Rom Com. A grandmother and a granddaughter trade places (think The Holiday) because they’re both craving a change of scenery and a change of pace. Leena, the granddaughter, has a breakdown at work and takes a forced two month break in a tiny English village. And Eileen, the grandmother, goes to London in search of love! It’s fun, it’s flirty. Very hilarious at points. I could totally see this being adapted into a movie, the characters and scenery felt so real and lifelike to me.
A ROOM CALLED EARTH: 4.5/5 Stars
A Room Called Earth is about an autistic woman written by a woman with autism. It takes place in Australia and describes her experiences throughout one night. I didn’t “get” the book at first and really struggled with reading. I almost put it aside in my “did not finish” pile. I am SO GLAD I stuck with it though because by the end of the book I was fully, fully hooked. It’s brilliantly written– you are submerged into the idiosyncrasies, anxieties, and personal triumphs she experiences in real time. Once I finished the book, I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it. (And need people to discuss it with… so please read!)
WILD GAME: 3/5 Stars
Wild Game is a memoir written by a daughter about her complicated relationship with her mom. Honestly I was hoping for… more. I thought it was really beautifully written and I was definitely engrossed at times but it just didn’t do it for me. I thought it was kind of your cliche narcissistic mom and impressionable daughter story.