Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Books I Read in March

The Hypnotist's Love Story was okay. I think I would've liked it better if I hadn't LOVED (with a capital L-O-V-E-D) Liane Moriarity's other books so much. This one is about a hypnotist (go figure) and her boyfriend's ex who is a stalker, and she doesn't realize she's already met. I felt odd reading about stalking in this manner though, and that was a hangup throughout. Overall, you're okay passing this one up even if you're fangirling for all the Liane Moriarity things rn.

Sarah's Key was actually a re-read. My online book club was reading it. It's been quite a few years since I read this one, so some of the more salient pieces of the story were in my memory, while other pieces were as if I was reading for the first time. This book is fantastic in its tragedy. It's incredibly well-written and captivating. It focuses on a story in both the past and present, and the stories blend incredibly well. If you haven't read this one before, it's worth checking out.

You Are Here: An Owner's Manual for Dangerous Minds is really mostly a coloring book. However, there were some words and stories throughout, so I counted it as a book I read as well. Jenny Lawson is fantastic. I love her books and the way she has expanded the conversation on mental health. This book built out the conversation even more. The sketches in the book were beautiful and funny and all the things she always is. 

Love, Ish was an advance reading copy. For a book meant for 8 to 12 year olds, this book sure packs an emotional punch, and I wonder how the kid version of me would've handled this one. The story of Ish starts as one where she is beginning middle school, missing her best friend and dreaming of living on Mars. Her world soon changes when she receives a cancer diagnosis. Through it all, she's also navigating new and old relationships, while trying to remain true to herself. Even as a thirtysomething reader, I found myself captivated by Ish and the rest of the characters. This was an unexpectedly beautiful read, and one I'd absolutely recommended checking out.

Hamilton: The Revolution was an audiobook. I've read the physical book already. However, I checked this out because IT WAS NARRATED BY MARISKA HARGITAY. I found I actually learned more by listening to this book than when I read it. The book is scrapbook form, so you're trying to read and digest all the things. In the audio version, Mariska keeps the focus. Lin Manuel Miranda actually narrates his own notes at the end of the book part. There's a PDF that you can access to follow along. I didn't do that, and I actually found it more fun to try to guess what part of the show he was talking about. Overall, I can't get enough Hamilton, and this was a great window into the show. . .again.

She Wanted It All was an absolutely bananas true crime book. It came to me via a recommendation from my friend Kristen. Y'all, I can't even begin to explain the plot on this one. Think of Dateline with a twist and then another twist and another and another. . . . and just whoa. As much as I love a good true crime show on TV, this was the first time I read one. I'm not sure why I waited so long. This genre is bonkers in the best of ways.

Nothing To Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard was a book I saw somewhere on social media. It was probably for the best I read it after a week with a true crime roller coaster, and it was a good piece to center me. I liked this one. Admittedly, there are other books in this vein that I like better, but this one was still a good piece. The point that stuck with me the most was having an understanding of what the "cheap wine" in my life is that keeps me from connecting with my faith. A point I needed to ponder and have thought about lots.

Exit West was a book I received via Book of the Month. I intentionally picked it because it was different than my normal reads and timely. It focuses on a love story and refugees. It's always tricky for me to review books grounded in tragedy because you don't always feel great reading them. I liked this one, and I can certainly appreciate the beauty of its words.

Catstronauts: Mission Moon and Catstronauts Race to Mars were graphic novels I received as advance reading copies. The target audience for these reads is elementary schoolers, and they read as such. That said, reading as someone who's a few years out, I could clearly see the messages they were trying to teach. They did a great job of talking about teamwork, leadership and such through the cat's space adventures.