My Week in Books (5/20/19)

(#partner #freebooks: All books noted by asterisks (***) indicate I received the book for free from the publisher, the author, or another promotional company to review. All opinions are my own.)


My sweet grandma turns 84 today! I can’t wait to head over to her house to celebrate her. She and my grandpa had a big hand in raising me and our bond is so unbelievably close. I feel grateful for our relationship every day of my life and hope I can be half the woman she is someday. Strong and determined and unpersuadable, she knows what she wants and she gets it! Someday, I’ll write you guys a little backstory of this amazing woman I get to call Grandma!

Last Week’s Reads:

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*** The Children Act by: Ian McEwan (Anchor Books) – Pub Date: September 9, 2014

This book just wasn’t for me, though it has a high rating on Goodreads and plenty of others seemed to really enjoy the story. I was bored by the story and thought the in-depth tangents about the court cases was distracting and unnecessary.

Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by: Jacob Tobia (Putnam) – Pub Date: March 5, 2019

The cover made me do it, but the story stole my heart. I truly don’t have the words to articulate the importance of this book; I will push this into everybody’s hands that I can. 

Jacob Tobia coming-of-gender story is raw, and powerful, and true. They start a conversation in this book that is begging to be had in America today. Throughout the book, they are reflective in ways I don’t usually see in books. For example, when reflecting on their relationship with their dad (who wasn’t very nice to them), they acknowledge his growth and accepted his reaction. It’s so easy to dismiss people that hurt us, but Tobias demonstrates what true growth, empathy, and compassion looks like. They show us how to mature.

Tobia is smart. Very smart. They went to Duke and that’s where they really gained their non-gender-conforming wings. They quickly became an activist for the LGBTQ+ community and gave a powerful voice to this group.

They are inspiring and I can’t wait to see more from them as they continue their work in LA. Please take the time to read this memoir. I guarantee it will leaves you changed for the better.

*** 1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently by: Marc & Angel Chernoff (Tarcherperigee) – On Shelves: May 21, 2019

This one reminded me of a little bit of Tim Ferriss’ book, Tools of Titans, though ToT is by far better, in my opinion. It’s full of great reminders that we all know, yet need refreshed on every now and then. The only thing that bothers me about books like this are that it’s just regurgitated information. Many times, the author takes quotes from the internet or Pinterest and types them in a paragraph and calls it a book – it’s not. It’s a compilation of other people’s thoughts. There aren’t new ideas or commentary, so unless you want a coffee book table, you already know what this one has to say.

Piecing Me Together by: Renee Watson (Bloomsbury) – Pub Date: February 14, 2017

A great companion piece to a book I read earlier this year, Dear Martin (read my review here), this book tells the stories of race, friendship, privilege, and identity from a young woman’s perspective. At times, it felt like the fictional version of what I imagine Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming (read my review here), to be like.

Jade knows she has to excel in school and get good grades if she is going to break out of the poverty cycle she currently lives in. College is her only ticket out. As she navigates her high school years, she is also confronted by racial issues that make her realize the differences between her journey and her privileged classmates.

This was another read aloud with my 11-year-old. Again, it was a bit on the older side for her at times so I was glad to be there to help navigate those conversations. I appreciated the content of the book to start conversations with her to help her realize the privilege she experiences and to gain some empathy for what others may have to go though just to get a good education. We live in a rural area, so the inner city happenings aren’t something she gets a change to understand, so I’m glad this book brought some of those issues to her attention.

*** City of Girls by: Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead) – On Shelves: June 4, 2019

Full review coming later this week, but suffice it to say: I LOVED THIS BOOK! I think you should pre-order it if you haven’t already; you won’t be disappointed!

Currently Reading/Listening:

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*** Ask Again, Yes by: Mary Beth Keane (Scribner) – On Shelves: May 28, 2019

Rave, rave, rave reviews everywhere I look! Excited to get into the story more! Coming off City of Girls, this book has BIG shoes to fill!

🎧 The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by: Balli Kaur Jaswal (William Morrow) – Pub Date: April 30, 2019

Saw this one available on the Hoopla app and immediately downloaded it. I still haven’t read Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by the same author, but I know people loved it. I’m over half way through the audiobook and really loving the story, so I may have to add her first book to my TBR soon!

*** The Desert Sky Before Us by: Anne Valente (William Morrow) – Pub Date: May 14, 2019

Two sisters that must overcome their differences while on a scavenger hunt road trip arranged by their by their suddenly deceased mother. One of the sisters has just been released from prison. This dysfunctional and emotionally raw story seem like a great set up for me!

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by: Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead) – Published: September 22, 2015

Reading City of Girls reminding me of Big Magic – a book I previously read and loved. I decided to reread it as part of my morning routine…and in hopes for some inspiration to get back to more writing!

Tell me, friends, what’s been your favorite reads lately?

7 thoughts on “My Week in Books (5/20/19)

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