Saturday, May 11, 2019

Book Reviews - Reality TV, Day Jobs, Drama and Bitcoin

Y'all, three of these four (it'll be easy to see which one doesn't belong) are ones you're probably going to need to check out.

Don't Keep Your Day Job: How to Turn Your Passion into Your Career by Cathy Heller was a look at how to turn the stuff you love into a job. It's based off a podcast of the same name, but I hadn't listened before. That said, I plan on listening now that I know the spin and information available! This book was just a really good pep talk for me. I liked how it was a blend of advice, experience, and action steps. It was a summary of the best stuff from podcast guests the author had on and had learned for herself. Then, there was also some journal prompts and summaries of points to make the information shared more actionable. More importantly, this piece of the book made the ideas shared something that you could actually made happen. I also really appreciated how the offer framed up how we each have passion and purpose, and we should work to bring that to life more. Rather than making these interests something we do after hours or side hustle, this is about find how to dedicate the best of our time and energy into making this our primary gig. I also really dug how this one took on some of the barriers and excuses we use. The reality is those will always be there, and we have to figure out how to overcome them. This is one I am planning to revisit, as it's definitely a topic I need to explore for me. Thanks to NetGalley for the early preview of this November 2019 release!

Read this book if - You've ever wondered how to make your true passion into a career. You want some insight on how to make your dreams a reality.

Living to Tell by Antonya Nelson was just a bummer of a read. Like, have you ever read a book that was just really, really sad? That was this book times a million. The story starts with Winston Mabie being released from prison five years after being jailed for the drunk driving accident that killed his beloved grandma. He returns home to Wichita, Kansas (Side Note - I wanted to read this because it was sent in Kansas) to his family unsure of where he now fits since his time away. He has two sisters back home, and their stories are contributing factors for the bummer nature of this book as well as his parents. The story is well-written, but I really just found myself looking forward to it being over because I was so saddened by all the tragedy (literally, all the damn tragedy) that kept impacting this family. Ultimately, I actually wanted more Winston. I was intrigued by the premise, but after the first chapter, his story was barely mentioned. Instead, it was about his family and again, sad, sad, sad stuff. Y'all, this was just all-around too much.

Read this book if - You just want to be sad?

The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin was just such a wonderful gem of a read. Caitlyn is the new girl. She's moved to a small town where all the other kids in her seventh grade class have been going to school forever, so she's a little nervous. The kids also can't stop telling her about Paulie Fink, a kid that moved away, but just was so funny and daring and all the things. Along the way, the kids decide they should have a contest to replace what Paulie brought to the school. Caitlyn is charged with "hosting" the experience based on a popular reality television show. Y'all, that part of the story is such fun as they recount Paulie's greatest hits and try to "win" the show. What I also loved about this is it's a true story of a new girl. Having been that same new girl in seventh grade, this book did an exemplary job of explaining what the experience is like. Specifically, it focused on the emotions and the want to fit in which took me right back to my own teenage years. The storytelling format was also really fun. There was some straight narration, as well as some interviews, letters, and articles. It made it really feel like it was a legit reality television show being recounted! There was also a subplot about the viability of the school the kids attended that as an adult I found really intriguing and well told. Overall, I found this one so endearing. It had some storytelling that really showed how we can romanticize memories of people, as well as the importance and power of finding friends and fitting in. In case you can't tell already, I absolutely loved this one!

Read this one if - You want a fun, uplifting story of a new girl finding her people.

Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich was an enlightening read. Prior to reading this, all I knew was that bitcoin was a thing. That said, this taught me so much. The story primarily revolves around the Winklevoss twins (yes, those Winklevoss twins). After settling with Zuckerberg, they're trying to figure out what might be next for their business ventures. They then learn about bitcoin, and the story just goes from there. As I said, I knew zero pieces of information on cryptocurrency, so I was a bit worried this might go over my head. It definitely did not. The story was told in a way that made the topic really easy to understand. I also appreciated how the "logistics" of the currency were told with a heaping helping of drama. This wasn't just about bitcoin, rather it was about the people that were involved. Given the nature of the beast, there were a variety of humans involved given their expertise in business, economics and/or technology. For being a nonfiction read, this was one that was a pageturner. I was so drawn into the world of bitcoin, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I also appreciated that this was all built around the Winklevoss twins. I had no idea they were so involved in bitcoin (and honestly, it doesn't seem many do as they can't believe they're the center of this story when I rave about this read!), and it was fascinating to see how they decided to try again at the ground level with a technology after their first venture. Thanks to Flatiron Books for the early look at this one. Trust me, this is one that you'll need to check out. Also, while the book will always be better than the movie, I do kind of hope they take the plunge and make this one a movie, too.

Read this book if - You want a nonfiction read with some drama and intrigue. You'd like to learn so much more about bitcoin.

See y'all next time!