My Week in Books (11/6/19)

Nonfiction November is off to a great start! I know I won’t stick to solely nonfiction reads, but I am trying to keep the majority of my reading in that genre.

Are you participating? What’s on your TBR?

Also, what have you been reading (and loving) this week?

Last Week’s Reads:Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 6.22.25 AM

*** Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption by: Daniel Jones (Broadway Books) – Pub Date: September 3, 2019

I had never heard of Modern Love – the NYT column that so many adore – until I picked up this book. The short story collections are delightful and it was the perfect “feel good” thing to read just before I went to sleep every night. (I especially enjoyed: Hear That Wedding, The Race Grows Sweeter, Loved and Lost?, When Eve and Eve, You May Want to Marry My Husband, DJ’s HomelessMommy, and Take Me As I Am.)

I have since started watching the Modern Love series on Amazon and it’s just as wonderful (in fact, I may even prefer it 🤫). (I also intend to try the podcast soon, too!) I think I know what my plans are for the near future! 💗

🎧 *** How We Fight For Our Lives by: Saeed Jones (Simon & Schuster) – Pub Date: October 8, 2019

I heard Jones interviewed on the KERA Think podcast and knew I needed to read this one. As a poet, Jones has a way with words that are powerful, eloquent, and impactful. Jones’ essays are an examination of what it means to be a young gay Black man living in the South. Not only does he ruminate on national headline stories, he also dissects his difficult relationships with his mother and grandmother. I loved Jones’ honesty and vulnerability. I listened to the audiobook of this one. Jones reads it himself and I’m sure that that made this one that much more impactful for me. Jones gives his readers his heart and soul and I literally cried tears several times. Once again, books prove to be a window into another’s world – a place to learn empathy and compassion. I’m so grateful to be able to gain that understanding and I’m so appreciative of authors that open up their lives to help us become better humans.

Beyond the Point by: Claire Gibson (William Morrow) – Pub Date: April 1, 2019

I loved listening to Gibson’s interview with Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves), and it made me want to pick up the book immediately – which I then did. It’s been on my shelf forever calling my name, but for some reason, I kept skipping over it. The podcast was just the push I needed to pick it up.

I loved the characters – Hannah, Dani, and Avery – and their strong friendship. I loved the addition of college athletics and a unemotional, mean coach (in many ways, it mirrored my freshman and sophomore year of college athletics).

But I was left wanting more – more of the physical and mental anguish that must come from being in the West Point Academy, especially as a woman. I wanted more of an emotional connection to the girls because I mostly felt like I was removed from the grim and grit of their reality. I wanted to be in their heads, but mostly I felt just one layer disconnected from the emotion of it all.

Overall, it was still a good book that I’d recommend if you love strong female characters and friendships and a book with a great sense of place.

Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by: Adrienne Brodeur (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) – Pub Date: October 15, 2019

I’m not really sure where my feelings land on this one. It was a story that got more engrossing as I read, but the Brodeur and her mother were such despicable people that it was hard for me to continue reading. Malabar, Brodeur’s mother, enlisted her when she was fourteen years old to help create covers and alibis so she could have an affair with her husband’s best friend. As a child, I didn’t expect her to completely understand the ramifications of her actions, but as she got older, I wanted her to see that what she was doing was wrong and damaging to a lot of people. I suppose I don’t understand because I’ve quite honestly never been around such a manipulative and narcissistic person as Malabar was. Brodeur’s desire to please her and to receive love trumped everything else. I felt incredibly sorry for her. Throughout the story, I appreciated Brodeur’s vulnerability and honesty – she tells the story like it is regardless of how she will look in the end. The last twenty pages were probably my favorite because she showed growth and remorse for what happened. This is a quick book – around 240 pages – so it’s a great book to pick up and give it a try.

Currently Reading:Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 6.24.40 AM*** The Body: A Guide for Occupants by: Bill Bryson (Doubleday) – Pub Date: October 15, 2019

The facts in this book are so fascinating that I find when I sit down to read it, I can’t put it down! I’m not medical in any sort of way, yet this one still holds my attention. As Bryson goes through each body system, I’m learning such interesting things (sure, I’ll probably forget them right away, but it’s so interesting in the moment!). This is a bit of a slow read for me because at times it does tend to drag on a little bit, but overall, and interesting read I wouldn’t normally pick up!

🎧 *** Frankly in Love (Frankly in Love, #1) by: David Yoon (Penguin Teen) – Pub Date: September 10, 2019

I’m listening to this one – David Yoon narrates – and it’s fantastic! I’m loving it!

(#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.)

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