Books I Read This Week 2019 – 45

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

Ninth House (3 stars): I have mixed feelings about this book. I have read and enjoyed other Bardugo books before so I was looking forward to her first adult novel. I’ve also been on the Yale campus several times so I thought it would be fun to read a book about the houses. And it was. The descriptions were fun and interesting. The plot was somewhat interesting too and some of the characters were as well. But overall, the book felt too long to me. Too much going on, the story felt like it went on and on and on and at some point, I lost interest. Even though I did finish it, I think it could have been a much tighter and more interesting story at two thirds of its length. Not sorry I read it, but didn’t love this one.

Welcoming the Unwelcome (5 stars): “Only by learning to fully embrace all aspects of ourselves–even the most seemingly negative elements of our minds and hearts–will we learn to fully embrace others. Only by discovering the basic goodness in both our lotus and our mud, will we come to see the basic goodness of all living things.”

I love Pema Chödrön. There’s something about the way she writes that speaks exactly to me. Her way of communicating with compassion, kindness and vulnerability speak to me and make me feel both less alone and more hopeful. This book is full of reminders that failure is an opportunity for growth and that we don’t have to let life’s events get to us. We can observe, “as if you’re the sky, allowing all the clouds to pass through you, not rejecting anything that arises in that space,” as Trungpa Rinpoche says.

I need to read books by Pema at least monthly so I can remember some of the down to earth and profound thoughts in her books. They are the exact perspective check I need in my life.

Invisible Women (5 stars): This excellent, excellent book made me so mad that I had to take breaks between reading it. It was recommended to me by a work friend and it was a compelling read from the very first page. I can go on and on about all the statistics this book quotes and the studies it cites. I can go on and on about the ways in which this book quotes how the world is not a safe or just place for women. How women are overlooked again and again.

The information in the book is very very wide ranging from crash test dummies, to voice recognition software, airline seats, medical research, bathrooms, safety, accounting of work hours, and on and on. It’s not possible to read this book and not admit that the way women and their existence (their contributions) is not accounted for in the data we collect and thus in the world we live in. Even saying erased would assume it existed at some point but it doesn’t even exist. No one is collecting it. No one is acknowledging it. There is no accounting for it so thus it will never be possible to make change based on the data since the data doesn’t even exist.

I am feeling angry just writing this review. I cannot overstate the importance of reading this book.

A Random Act of Kindness (4 stars): I received this book way back in March and for some reason thought it wasn’t going to be good so I kept putting it off and not reading it.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I finally sat down to clear all my queue before the year is over and within 20 pages, I didn’t want to stop reading this lovely story. I loved the wide array of characters, each of whom were interesting on their own. I loved the beautiful clothing descriptions. I loved the dynamics between the characters, none of them were simple and while it was a sweet, romantic book, it also felt like I got close to each of the characters a little bit.

Sometimes I read a sweet novel and am left with an empty after taste, this felt more like a satisfying meal. It made me smile, and even laugh at parts, and I loved the happy ending that I knew was coming.

If you like to curl up with cozy, sweet, romance stories, you will enjoy this one. I did.

with gratitude to netgalley and avon books for an early copy that i clearly should have read much sooner.

Thirst (4 stars): I read this whole book in one sitting. Heather’s journey to be the fastest hiker of the Pacific Crest Trail was inspiring to read. The best part of this book was the descriptions of all the little moments on the trail. The people she met, the ways in which she pushed through and kept going despite the insanity of what she was doing.

But what I really loved, and craved more of, was her back story. How she got from being a non-athletic teen to this amazing journey. The book hints at the little bits here and there but there isn’t enough of it, in my opinion. The book goes back and forth between feeling like you’re experiencing it alongside her to feeling on the outside and for me, the former moments are the best parts.

Loved reading this.

Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe (4 stars): What a lovely, lovely book. This is a sweet book about a girl whose grandmother passes away so she goes back to her mom’s hometown to run and then eventually close up the cafe her grandmother used to run. There’s a bit of magic in there as the pies they bake at the diner cause people to get messages from the dead people in their lives. But it’s a really small part of the story and adds whimsy to the story. Even though the end was predictable, I enjoyed each of the characters and spending a few hours in the small town. It’s a lovely, cozy story for the rainy fall days.

And there we go, a solid week of reading. Here’s to another great week next week.

Books I Read this Week 2019 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 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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