Here are the books I finished this month:
- Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel: Brilliant.
This is NOT your typical post-apocalyptic fiction. This is better. Truth of what a modern world would look like when shaken to pieces and crumbled to little to no humanity remaining. But so far beyond what we may think. Fearful and beautiful picture of the human existence. The storyline keeps you engaged, and you constantly want to know more about the inter-looping characters and settings. Mandel does well to keep the reader engaged while pulling us all across the past and present. This book is mesmerizing and well worth the read!
- Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson:
I am so proud of stories of justice prevailing. It breaks my heart that we have to hear them, but I am thankful for people like Bryan and organizations like EJI that refuse to let the injustice slide. I have long pursued the career path of criminal justice and legal studies, so maybe I am bias to what he has to say. But I truly believe in the need for reformation, rehabilitation over retribution, and constantly questioning the validity of truth and justice in our communities and world. And this book only confirms the need for such intervention, and the constant need and ability to give mercy. I found myself both angry and tearful throughout the entire book. Where there is hope to hold on to, the power and truth behind the text will (hopefully) leave you desperate for change. There are far too many stories similar to those Bryan shares throughout his book, and this book is a sign of hope and change and tearing down of injustices and silenced voices. There is criticism that this book is weighted to bias of one side. Of course. The purpose of this book is to show such side to the story. It is to show that while we are conditioned to trust the system, we ultimately have to be willing to look twice. We have to give mercy. We have to see the entire story, the entire human. We cannot let our own bias or experiences leave us hardened to the reality that we are all human. We are no stranger to the need for punishment, but must we be stranger to the need for mercy?
- Bandersnatch An Invitation to Explore Your Unconventional Soul, Erika Morrison:
READ THIS! Seriously, Erika is such a lovely soul and her writing follows suit. She invites us into a new way of living and looking at life and our relationship with God. NOT your contemporary, or "cliche" Christian relationship, but a radical new way of approaching our faith and every day life. However, not too extreme that you'll get the urge to run the other way. Free-spirited writing and living all the way. "Human made systems are taking up space where our identities should be blooming," she declares. I love her idea of "crossing over" - in which words, ideas and values which have been typecast by the world are given new, more fitting definitions. Throughout the book she focuses on four 'A' words or terms in particular; Avant Garde, Alchemy, Anthropology and Art. Are you willing to experience a little more freedom in your daily life and relationship with God?
- Mad Woman, Kat Savage:
Kat gets it right: we are all mad woman. At least, if we are willing to admit it. She does. Powerfully. Beautifully. Painfully. Truthfully. These new words are a piece of her that she gracefully lends to us to remind us that the maddest of us are the true epitome of beauty. What I love most is the raw, plain thoughts made beautiful by honesty, a little humor, and pure madness of actually listening to those insistent, often incoherent thoughts. Of taking the pieces of our life that have left us bruised, open, loved, wrecked and facing them. Her words leave you with a "yes" lingering on your tongue as you realize these words are you. She writes for herself (no shame) but these words are for us, too. There is no doubt that Kat is an amazing writer, a creative mind by design, but this new work of hers had me in awe of what I never knew I wanted to read, see, hear, about myself. Read these words. Welcome in the mad woman.
- The Nest, Sweeney, Cynthia D'Aprix:
This book truly did draw me in. The snap back between characters, present and future, kept me reading. You don't get much time to know the Plumb family, nor their allies and foes, as the story line moves quickly - which I felt kept me engaged, wanting to know more. Nonetheless, the story is there, and it is good. It's different. It's interesting. Both in good ways. It speaks of a dysfunctional family at best, but more than that I think it speaks to human intentions when it comes to relationships, family, and just trying to navigate life as messy humans - young and old. It's not a book about the perfect love story or a family who beats all the odds. Rather, it shows us the truth behind family ties, and other such relationships. The tricks, the lies, the deceit, foolery, brokenness, it's all there. But there is also humor, compassion, love, healing, and truth. And ultimately? Hope, and the ability to move on. Yes, a bit graphic and sexual at times, but hey, it's not marketed as a young adult book. It's worth the read. Plus, hello, have you seen the gorgeous cover?! AND Amy Poehler and Elizabeth Gilbert both praise the writing, so I was a believer from the get go.
- One Plus One, Jojo Moyes:
I think I'm just really into dysfunctional families lately. Another great piece by Jojo Moyes! I was a little displeased when I tried to make it through After You, but picked up One Plus One and wasn't disappointed! I love the humor that also comes alongside the defeat of this "unmatched" family. It's a simple storyline, very simple. But we are constantly faced with a lot of twists and "instances" that keep you interested. The bouncing back between characters also adds a little to the appeal. Not to mention the characters are easily lovable, easy to laugh at/with, and are extremely relatable in terms of how real these characters and their lives are. I also enjoyed the continuation of the storyline after the "main event." It doesn't end where you ultimately assume, and that's a good thing.Great and easy read here! Plus, a happy ending is always a tug at the heartstrings.
Unable to finish:
Books Still Reading from February Reads:
Here are the books I hope to read/finish for April:
- Bright Dead Things: Poems, Ada Limon
- Bluets, Maggie Nelson
- The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, Lewis Hyde
- Wreck and Order, Hannah Tennant-Moore
- The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, Katarina Bivald
- This Is Awkward: How Life's Uncomfortable Moments Open the Door to Intimacy and Connection, Sammy Rhodes
As always, I continue to update my Goodreads shelves: