Books I Read This Week 2020 – 16

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Brunch and Other Obligations (4 stars): “Brick by brick, their ideas about who they should be cover up who they really are.”

I loved both the cover and blurb of this book and as the shelter-in-place due to pandemic continues here in California, I find myself reaching for books that promise to comfort me. This looked to be just the recipe for that.

And it didn’t disappoint.

This is the story of three women each of whom is best friends with Molly but the three are not friends with each other. Molly passes away and leaves each of them a thing and a little note. She also asks them to meet once a month for breakfast.

The story is the year during which these non-friends meet monthly, go through their own journey of recovering from the grief of losing their best friend, and also try to uncover the reason Molly chose to give that particular gift.

“In some friendships, honesty is the same as love.”

The story flows easily and the characters are real and flawed and frustrating and lovable. There are parts where the writing got in the way for me and jarred me out of the story. There were bits where I wish the author had gone deeper.

But overall, I enjoyed my time with this cozy, sweet story.

with gratitude to netgalley and She Writes Press for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

An Artful Path to Mindfulness (5 stars): I am a huge, giant fan of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). A few years ago, I was really really struggling at work which ended up impacting my life and made me extremely unhappy. I was lucky that my company offers a free MBSR course, so I took the eight-week course and it completely changed my life. My sadness went away, I slept better and felt hopeful again.

As a person who loves art (and MBSR) and introspection, this book feels like it’s written for me. Much like the MBSR curriculum, this is a nine-week course with specific activities each week. Each week contains some movement/meditation, some art, some journaling.

You can of course read the book cover to cover for the takeaways and new ways to approach mindfulness, but my personal recommendation would be to do the book slowly, intentionally as it’s written to be used. The biggest part of the MBSR course, for me, was making the time 3x a week, for so many weeks in a row, to be present and silent and aware again and again. This is always a practice so the repetition and continual showing up is a crucial part of the experience.

with gratitude to netgalley and New Harbinger for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Mastering the Art of Perspective (5 stars): I have been learning to draw for years and years and years. I am especially interested in urban sketching or other ways to draw scenes and places. The two hardest parts of drawing scenes, for me, are the people and getting the perspective right.

Perspective is exceptionally challenging, for me, so I was excited to see this very step by step and very logical way to see and use perspective. This book breaks the different types of perspective (single, two point, three point) into very clear step-by-step explanations. If you follow instructions meticulously (as the author recommends) it helps give a very clear way to understand perspective.

And then, as with all things, repetition is how we master it.

If you’re struggling with perspective like I have been, this is an excellent place to start.

with gratitude to netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group for an advanced copy in return for an honest review.

If I Never Met You (3 stars): This was a lovely story and I really enjoyed my time with it. The only reason I didn’t give it a higher rating is because I’ve read many stories with this plot (in fact the same exact plot) before and they were just as enjoyable so this didn’t stand out in any way for me. It was a fun, sweet story and if you like something light and sweet (which i definitely did) you will enjoy this.

Crochet (4 stars): If this beautiful and colorful book doesn’t get you motivated to crochet, I don’t know what will. This is a well-rounded book that covers all the basics (types of yarn, washing instructions, color choices), all the stitches (very basic to pretty complicated) and then has lots and lots of ideas.

I will admit that while I remember how to knit, I can’t seem to remember how to crochet and the diagrams in this book weren’t enough to get me there. I had to look up a few basic stitches in video format so I could really follow. Once I got the gist of it, it got easier.

The projects in this book are really beautiful with a very wide variety and skill level. There are clothes, pillows, blankets, bags, jewelry items, toys and more. I loved so many of the ideas that I wish my experience with crochet was strong enough to do them all now. I can’t wait to work my way through this book.

with gratitude to netgalley and DK publishing for an advanced copy in return for an honest review.

Providence (3 stars): I’ve read two if Barry’s books (Jennifer Government and Lexicon) both of which I liked. Providence was totally different from both of them and much more like a Space Opera. The use of language and the pacing were very similar to Barry’s other books and are often the best parts of reading one of his novels, for me. There were some interesting twists in this story and I enjoyed the time I spent with it, however I don’t think it will end up staying with me for very long.

And there we go, grateful to be reading.

Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

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