For the penultimate Read Feed of 2019, I have a strange variety of books to share, so bear with me. It was a good month for reading, with several trips allowing for an extra book or two.
Here’s what I read in November:
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson – 3 out of 5.
I guess I should start by saying this book was not what I expected. There were multiple times I broke into a fit of giggles or gasped in shock while listening to this audiobook. Her life is extremely different than mine, but I resonated with many of the feelings she talks about throughout… despite the fact that I’ll never share her love of taxidermic animals.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green — 4.5 out of 5.
This is only the second John Green book I’ve read, but I continue to be impressed by his depiction of young female narrators with such accuracy. Aza, the protagonist and narrator, struggles with anxiety and what I’d guess is OCD — and I won’t lie, there are several passages that made me increasingly uncomfortable or anxious. (Trigger warnings exist for a reason, people.) However, following her journey was well worth the spike in my blood pressure and I was very impressed with this book.
She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harrassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey – 5 out of 5.
WOW. This book still has me capitvated, several weeks after finishing it. Kantor and Twohey share their experience as the New York Times journalists who broke the Harvey Weinstein story, and the aftermath they experienced as a result. These women are absolutely deserving of their Pulitzer Prize and I’m so grateful for their work. I recommend this book to everyone. (Side note: due to the nature of the Harvey Weinstein story, this book also requires a trigger warning for sexual harrassment and abuse.)
The Cruelest Month (Inspector Gamache #3) by Louise Penny — 4 out of 5.
I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t love the Inspector Gamache series, and Book 3 was no exception for me. I’m beginning to grow concerned for the people of Three Pines and all the trauma they’ve endured (such a small town for so much mystery!) but I’m glad to know there are many more books for me to enjoy in this series.
When Less Becomes More: Making Space for Slow, Simple, and Good by Emily Ley — 5 out of 5.
As an avid follower of Emily and her company, I preordered her third book as soon as she announced it. I am so grateful for her voice pushing against all the others promoting the message of constant hustle and more. I highly recommend this book as a gift for moms in your life — or anyone really. I wish I’d learned these lessons early in my career and marriage rather than fighting to undo bad habits now.
WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game by Abby Wambach — 4 out of 5.
I first became aware of Abby and her incredible leadership in the last few years of her career with the U.S. Women’s soccer team. I remember being so inspired by her. This book is short (a one hour listen) and based on her commencement speech at Barnard College in 2018, which she also recapped at Red Ventures’ Culture Fest last month. Definitely worth the listen!
Expecting Better by Emily Oster — 5 out of 5.
Zach ordered this book for us soon after we found out we were pregnant. It has been an invaluable resource as we tried to make important decisions about which tests to get, how to navigate all the pregnancy advice, etc., etc. This book uses a first person account of her own pregnancy, along with her research background to help debunk pregnancy myths and unpack the reasoning behind the guidelines doctors provide. I’ll be gifting this to friends as they have kids moving forward.
The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close — 4.5 out of 5.
This was a random choice in my audiobook app, but I’m so glad I happened upon it. In this book, we follow the story of a couple who moves to Washington D.C. in an effort to advance the husband’s career, and how his ambition and her insecurities impact them along the way. There have been several fiction books I’ve read this year that have captured the authenticity of human experience, and this is one of them.
I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading lately. Anything worth adding to my To Read list?
Until next month!