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Since moving into the city and closer to work, my reading has really suffered. I mean, trading in a 40-minute train ride for a 15-minute walk is GREAT but I really do miss my 80-minutes of uninterrupted reading every day. After getting through almost the entire month of September without reading one book (don’t worry, I ended up squeezing one in!), I realized it was time to buckle down and get my shit together.
Enter: Reading and walking.
While it isn’t the brightest thing I’ve done, my peripheral vision has improved tenfold and I was able to read four books in the month of October. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.
Here’s what I read and my review on each!
WORKPARTY BY JACLYN JOHNSON
Create and Cultivate wasn’t the first company Jaclyn Johnson self-funded, and in WorkParty, she talks about her experience getting fired, starting her first business with a girl she just met, the hardships of having a business partner and running a company in your twenties, self-funding her second business (Create & Cultivate), and selling her first business. On track to make just under $10 million in revenue this year, Jaclyn talks about how it hasn’t always been roses and butterflies and everything she learned along the way.
My Review: I loved how real Jaclyn gets about her work experience in her twenties. Being fired, starting two businesses, selling one of them, the types of people you need in your corner, and still having a social life. I find that a lot of career development books just throw the same advice and tips at you but WorkParty is different. It’s the perfect mix of advice, personal experiences, and real life.
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE BY CELESTE NG
In the quaint town of Shaker Heights, where everything has been carefully planned out – the layout of the streets to the colors of the homes – lives the well to do Richardson family. When artist and single mother, Mia, and her teenage daughter move to town and rent a home from the Richardson family, their lives quickly intertwine when all of the children (even Mrs. Richardson) are drawn to Mia and Pearl. Little Firest Everywhere is a story of family dynamics, coming of age, a custody battle, motherhood, and so many secrets.
My Review: Celeste Ng is a master storyteller. Each character is relatable and you end up loving each of them, despite their flaws. The book is written from multiple points of view and the transition from one character to the next is flawless and won’t get you confused. Little Fires Everywhere is coming to Hulu with Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington and I cannot wait!
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
NORMAL PEOPLE BY SALLY ROONEY
Connell, the popular kid, and Marianne, the loner, strike up a conversation while Connell waits to pick his mother up from work at Marianne’s family’s home and a spark ignites. When they both end up at Trinity College in Dublin, the two are irresistibly drawn together. With Marianne’s new footing and social life, the dynamics of their relationship have changed and as she veers into self-destruction, Connell starts searching for meaning elsewhere. Eventually, they both have to confront their feelings and see how far they are willing to go to save one another.
My Review: Teenage relationships are complicated and when Connell and Marianne quickly fall for one another, they do what many teenagers do – keep it a secret. Popular guy, loner girl. When both end up at Trinity College, there social status’ essentially swaps and Marianne finds her footing at the university. Over time, the two fall back into their old ways, keeping their “relationship” a secret. Normal People keeps you on the edge of your seat and you’ll go through alllllll of the emotions. I found myself frustrated over Connell and Marianne’s relationship, wishing they would communicate better and wondering things would work out. Long story short – their relationship was shit And there were some parts that had me saying “are you fucking kidding me?” I do have to say, even though I loved the book, I hated the ending.
My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
DEAR AMERICA: NOTES OF AN UNDOCUMENTED CITIZEN BY JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen isn’t about the political side of immigration. It’s about being home-less, and not in the traditional sense but in the psychological sense. Not knowing where you fit in. Finding a sense of community and home. Jose talks about his experience coming to America, finding out he was undocumented, and going through the motions as everyone else but lying in order to pass as an American citizen. This book is the closest thing Jose Antonio Vargas has to freedom. This is the story of an honest man sharing his secrets at the risk of losing it all.
My Review: Starting when he left the Philippines as a young child, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen is essentially Jose’s diary of his experience living as an undocumented citizen in the United States. And with the issues immigrants are facing trying to come into the U.S. every day, you quickly feel empathy for Jose as you read each page of his story. There are so many things “natural born citizens” take for granted and the process of becoming documented is much more complex than just getting “papers.” The quick chapters, captivating language, and the real story of Jose’s experience and so many people like him will pull you into this book, make you feel every emotion possible, and give you insight into an issue our country faces every single day that many of us are not speaking up about.
My Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
What have you been reading?