Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Book Reviews: Books, Bravery, Politics and Trucks!

This is one of those quartets where the books could not be different, but I really, really dug them all.

The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper was a political thriller that was all kinds of interesting and intense. It takes place in the 1950s and focuses on Charlie who has been appointed to Congress. He's a young veteran, and he's not quite sure of what awaits him in his new DC life. The story begins at the end with a concerning situation. It then rewinds back to the beginning of Charlie's time in DC explaining how he got from then to now. Political thrillers are not normally my thing, but y'all this one kept me reading and wondering as the story of what happened was pieced together. Through his time in DC, Jake is exposed to a whole new world of secrets, alliances, and shady dealings. He tries to make sense of it all, while also figuring out who he can trust - and who he can definitely not. While this is fiction, it's also built around historical events, including the McCarthy trials/concerns about communism. Many of the characters are the power players of the time, and it was fascinating to read about them in this way. It was also both fascinating and terrifying to consider some of the parallels of this time with the current realities. This one took me on one heckuva ride, and I so enjoyed it. Maybe I'll have to check out this genre more!

Read this book if - You want to try out a political thriller. You want a political thriller that is full of all the secrets and scandals. 

Also, this was a #36booksfor36 read. So far, this has been such a great challenge, and I have loved the stuff people have shared with me, especially because a lot of this stuff I would never have found my way to otherwise!

Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder by Reshma Saujani was a book that I just needed in my life. It was a beautiful reflection on the realities of how our own aspirations can get in the way. This book focuses on reframing/eliminating perfectionist thinking. Rather than expecting that we have to have flawless execution, she really stresses that there is power and joy in learning in the journey. She talks about how with women we often are afraid of fear and failure avoidance. In reality, the best thing we could do for ourselves is feel these things. She talks about how we can often not go for what we want because of this, and that's just wrong. I loved that this book was part "Here's our reality," then "Here's what to do about it." The steps shared were simple and actionable, and they're ones I could see myself implementing. I read this book because I was needing some inspiration and affirmation, and it so did that for me. Thanks to NetGalley for the sneak peek, and I'd highly encourage y'all to check this one out when it's released in February!

Read this book if - You are a woman looking for a bit of a pep talk and action plan to make 2019 an awesome year. You want to overcome that pesky perfectionist that lives inside of you.

The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tale of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy was a book I chose to read for a very personal reason. My grandpa drove a truck for 43 years. He died when I was a teenager, so I never really got the chance to know him as an adult and ask questions about that part of his identity. I loved getting a look at the world of trucking in this one. Y'all, I learned so much. There were so many passages where I had to read aloud to my husband because I just had no idea. It was so interesting to get this inside look at the industry. I really appreciated the reflections on just how much care and consideration truckers put into the transportation of goods. It really is a science, but also there's an emotional component. I also liked how it took the time to just explain sides of the business I have always wondered about - Y'all I finally know how a weigh station works! This was a story that gave me an amazing window into a world I knew little about, and I'm now more fascinated than ever.

Read this book if - You want an inside look at the trucking industry - specifically movers. You want to read about an industry you don't know much about, but would like to learn. 

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence was just a gem of a read. This is a collection of letters to books that the author (a librarian) has come across. She writes letters to the books she loves, she writes letters to the books she hates, and she writes letters to the books who's time on the library shelves has drawn to a close. Throughout, there is so much humor and love. As a reader, I appreciated how these letters acknowledge that we don't love all books equally, and we all have those books who make us feel things - both good and bad. I also laughed out loud at times as the letters to these books were just too real. Honestly, it made me want to go and write some letters of my own. I could have guessed this was a book that was going to be my jam, but I actually loved this short, quick read with so much heart even more than anticipated.

Read this book if - You want a delightful book about the joy of reading.

Oh, and since this is a book about books/reading, it completes my first Exploreading challenge.

Onto the next ones!