I got off to a rocky start with reading during the quarantine, but I’m finally finding my groove. I’ve been so mentally distracted that sitting down to read felt like a chore and when I finally did sit down to read, I found myself unable to concentrate. My “hack” was to set a timer for one hour and to put my phone on the other side of the room. I can sit and stare out the window, I can fall asleep even, but the goal is to read without putting too much pressure. It worked! Maybe an hour seems daunting to you– so try to read just one page. And see if you find yourself transported.
UNCANNY VALLEY: 4/5 STARS
I really enjoyed this memoir. It was a super quick read and although it could be wordy at times, I thought it was written with such an interesting perspective. The author moved from NYC to San Francisco right as it was becoming a hot spot for big-named startups. Having worked at a failed startup myself, some chapters were harder to read than others. (I sent photos of paragraphs to friends saying, “Sound familiar?!”)
IF YOU TELL: 2.75/5 STARS
Don’t read this. It kept showing up as recommended books, but it was TOO MUCH. I don’t understand the appeal. The story is absolutely horrifying– it’s about an insanely abusive mother. But the book wasn’t that well-written and dragged on forever. I was sick listening to it for most of it. If you want to know the gist of the story, you can easily gather it from articles. No need to read an entire book.
DARING GREATLY: 5/5 STARS
I love me some Brene Brown. I LOVE her writing and research. It’s interesting and useful and is never boring. I would say this book leans slightly more to parenting (which I now realize is in the full title, lol), but I still found it to be a worthwhile, and excellent, read. Her key takeaways always stick with me and I feel like I’m better to myself and show up even better in relationships with her advice.
WHY WE SLEEP: 4.5/5 STARS
Over the past few years, I have been putting great importance on sleep. I’m unapologetic about it. I used to feel lazy if I slept too much and burned the candle on both ends by staying up too late working and waking up early to work more. I eventually hit a breaking point, and this book clearly explains WHY it was unhealthy and why my body basically shut down from lack of sleep. It’s fascinating and should be a MUST READ for everyone. I knocked off half a star because it did get a little boring at times, but otherwise I loved it.
THE GLASS HOTEL: 3/5 STARS
Meh… I didn’t love or hate this book. It just didn’t capture my attention one way or another. At first I thought it was because I was reading it when I was in a poor state of mind, and then I realized that no, it just wasn’t my kind of book. It’s kind of like a modern-day “ghost story” about a Ponzi scheme and guilt– there were a handful of story lines that seemed to be random but then they tie together, but not in an ultra satisfying manner.
OPEN BOOK: 4/5 STARS
I must confess, I’m not super into celebrity culture, but I chose to listen to Jessica Simpson’s memoir at the recommendation of one of my friends. It is JUICY. Even not being interested in celebrities I was still kind of sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what she revealed next. She doesn’t really hold back at all! I listened to the audiobook and she narrates it, though it sounds like she’s crying through half of it and I put the speed at 1.2x because the sobbing started to grate on me.
SWEAR ON THIS LIFE: 3.5/5 STARS
If you’re looking for a Lifetime Movie-esque read to distract you during quarantine, read this. The story is a little cheesy and the writing is pretty low brow (at one point the waves are described as rolling like hot dogs on a rotisserie LOL) but it was a quick, light read with a happy ending.