The original plan was to do these “Recent Reads” posts every other month. And then I read a grand total of 3 books in the entirety of March and April, which definitely wasn’t enough to warrant a whole post. So instead, I decided to make this mega-post of all the books I’ve read over the last four months.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
So, I really love John Green books. Looking for Alaska was one of my faves, and I definitely enjoyed this one as well. I think John Green always does a really good job of capturing the myriad of teenage emotions – not to mention, his stories tend to feel a bit more real than a lot of other YA lit. Minus the fact that I don’t know a lot of teenagers who constantly reference classic literature.
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson
Technically this was a read for class, but it’s also really helpful if you’re the type of person who stresses about confronting people and dealing with confrontation. Heads up: there’s a lot of acronyms.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
I read this book in one go – it’s one of those stories that sucks you in from the start and won’t let you go until you’ve finished it. I loved her other book, Everything Everything, but this one is, honestly, so much more “realistic” and tackles so many modern-day issues in it, from race relations to illegal immigration.
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud by Anne Helen Peterson
Occasionally, (ok, quite often), a political book makes its way onto my bookshelf. I literally work in politics, so this isn’t at all surprising, really. This particular book looks at women in the pop culture space who are defying the expectations of what it means to be a woman – they’re too fat, they’re too slutty, they’re too loud, they’re too something. It’s a fascinating profile of these women and what it means to challenge society’s expectations of womanhood.
The Regulars by Georgia Clark
Explaining the premise of this book feels weird. Basically, these three girls get a hold of this potion called “Pretty,” which makes them super conventionally attractive, and they use this newfound power to get up to all sorts of wild stuff. It’s surprisingly addictive, despite the fact that I’m not usually into fiction that departs so much from reality.
Mindset by Carol Dweck
Another class read. But also I find myself talking about this concept all the time, so I figured it deserved to be included. Basically, Carol Dweck has identified two mindsets: fixed and growth. With the former, you have this idea that things like intelligence and skill are set in stone; with a growth mindset, you believe that you have the potential to develop those things. Which mindset we operate in has a massive effect on our behavior going forward.
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
As someone who is a huge proponent of the to-do list, I thought this book was fantastic. The whole book is basically about how implementing something as simple as a checklist in intense, complicated situations like surgery and flying a plane can actually make a world of difference. It’s amazing how many mistakes we catch when we take the time to make sure we’re checking off all the (real or imaginary) boxes.
The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith
I’ve been on a YA literature kick lately. This book was heartbreaking and addictive all at once – it’s the story of a freshman in high school who’s raped, and chronicles how that one incident affects her over the next four years. It’s a difficult read, but it’s phenomenally written.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book is all about tapping into your creative energy. It can feel a bit contrived at times – creativity is given this oddly personified nature – but it’s still a good book nonetheless, especially if you’re anyone working in the creative space.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Alright, not going to lie, I didn’t love this book all that much. It’s about two teenagers suffering from mental illnesses who also fall in love, but it just feels… weird. At times, I feel like it’s glamorizing depression, or glamorizing losing someone to suicide. I’m sure there are some people out there that don’t feel the book does that at all, but to me, it felt off.
And that’s March through June for you! Now I’ve got to get back to reading, because otherwise it’s gonna be another four months before I have enough books to write about again.
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