I’m really having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that August is on Saturday! I usually do this post the last day of the month, but tomorrow is Friday and I reserve that for “On My Radar.” It felt like I did more reading than I actually did in July. I had big goals and didn’t quite get there. Work has really picked up for me. This happens every year and it still catches me off guard a bit. (Probably more so because the second quarter was much slower than usual!)
ESCAPE ROOM: 3.75/5 Stars
I had read some heavier books in June and this was the perfect “palate cleanser.” I needed something light and easy to get through. This is about a group of teenagers who go into an escape room for fun and it turns out to be real… Let me just say, I’ll never go into an escape room again. It was a little cheesy and predictable but, again, a very nice “easy” summer read. If you want a fast-paced creepy thriller… do this!
YOU DESERVE THE TRUTH: 4.75/5 Stars
READ THIS. I wish I had read it in my mid-twenties. I purchased this after I really fell in love with Erica Williams Simon’s tweets about activism. I so appreciated her perspective and I think a lot of women can relate to her experiences of feeling “lost” in her career. Most of the book is about rewriting the stories you’ve built about yourself (which is something I 100% believe in). I feel like I stumbled through my own journey on my own and just found myself nodding in agreement with her… again, I wish I had read this sooner!!!
A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING: 5/5 Stars
Hands down, A Most Beautiful Thing was my most anticipated release of 2020. It’s about America’s first all-black high school rowing team. As someone who rowed/coxed through high school and college, the sport still means a lot to me. Even if you’re not into crew, this is such an important read still. It’s a bit of a memoir, but it also highlights the importance of mentorship, sports for youth, inclusion, and advocacy. EVERY high school teacher and coach should read this.
28 SUMMERS: 4.5/5 Stars
You know I’m Elin Hilderbrand’s biggest fan! She is one of my favorite authors and I love her depictions of Nantucket and summer. This was a fantastic read, but it’s not your typical “Elin Hilderbrand” book so that caught me off guard a bit. In fact, it was quite emotional to read… I love that she tried something different and I still think she knocked it out of the park!! It’s about a couple who meets every year, just once a year over Labor Day weekend. They each have their own lives and relationships (in one case… marriage) but they have a special relationship for one weekend a year. This is a romantic rollercoaster. (And for my Georgetown people– lots of Georgetown + The Tombs references, which, of course, I loved.)
BIG FRIENDSHIP: 3.5/5 Stars
I have mixed feelings on this book. I thought it was a great examination of female friendships, but I had never listened to the two author’s podcast so a lot of the inside/personal anecdotes were lost on me. I almost wish the book had been purely research based (something like Quiet or a Brene Brown book) and less personal. I wanted more meat!!! I still walked away with plenty of tidbits and new information about friendships though. The section about interracial friendships was the most interesting to me by far followed by the section about friendship breakups. The second half of the book resonated a lot more with me, so don’t give up on it if the first bit doesn’t do it for you.
HOMEGOING: 4.75/5 Stars
So many people recommended this book and… I’m very glad I read it and would highly recommend it, but it wasn’t an easy book to read at all. Homegoing is written beautifully. So beautifully. It’s genius really. It starts with two half sisters from Africa– one who stays and another who is sold into slavery. The book follows each subsequent generation with each chapter like its own short story. (Though they’re all, naturally, interconnected.) The book covers race, racial injustice, family, trauma…. and how your family’s history is passed through to each generation. This would be a perfect choice for a college or even high school literature course– or if you’re in a very literary-minded book club. I definitely need to sit down with someone and deep dive this.