Sunday, June 20, 2021

Book Reviews - A Little of This, A Little of That

Y'all, remember that time I was so close to being caught up on reviews. Well, that was shortly before I was more behind than I've maybe ever been. I won't lament the why and the how, rather I'm just going to start typing. Honestly, the biggest challenge is going to be trying to remember all these books, so we'll just see what happens.

Let's Talk: Make Effective Feedback Your Superpower by Therese Huston is a book a coworker and I took on as the inaugural read of a work book club we started. What I liked about this one was that it defined different types of feedback. I'd never thought about feedback in that way, so I found the "buckets" especially helpful. It allowed me to consider the type of feedback I give, and more importantly, the type of feedback I offer. There were some good questions and reflections throughout to also prepare to give and get feedback. I am also a big fan of books like this that gives high level overviews/summaries of chapters to capture the main points which this also offered. I guess, you could say that my feedback is this is a worthwhile read. #seewhatididthere

Tell Me When You Feel Something by Vicki Grant was. . something. The book's premise is that a teen is in a coma, and the mystery is in figuring out why and how this happened. Part of this is connected to the part-time gig she and some others have found being simulated patients for the local medical school. The story then flashes between the past and the present as people try to figure out what happened. The twist at the end honestly requires a content warning because it was heavy and a lot to process. Overall, this was one where I never quite connected with the story/drama, and the pace was a little slow, and then the reveal just kind of shook me.

Black Widows by Cate Quinn is a thriller focused on a husband who has been murdered. Suspicion, of course, turns to his wife - the thing is there are multiple wives to consider. The story is about discovering who killed Blake, but more than that, it's about the stories of his three wives. Each has a backstory that includes secrets and experiences that influence their present day and may connect to a motive. Thrillers are always my jam, and this is one that I couldn't read fast enough, while also being super bummer when it was over. The twists and turns are so good, and it just built intrigue and suspense in all of the stories that were being told about the characters.

Learning to Pray by James Martin was a book I heard about on A Late Show with Stephen Colbert of all places. And goodness, I am so glad I now know this human and his work exists. This was such a fascinating read in that it is part reflection and part education. It focuses on the purpose of prayer, reflections on prayer, and then, it also includes education on how to to pray. With this, there is a deep diver into different types of prayer. I've been praying my whole life, and this was my first exposure to some of these types of prayer. I also found some types of prayer I'd ever like to try. The author writes about faith in such an accessible way, and he does such a good job of explaining the why and how to help you understand the concepts and techniques he's talking about. This was just a beautiful read all around.

Onto the next ones!