Happy Show Us Your Books link-up day! I missed posting last month, so this post has everything I’ve read in the past two months.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I heard so many reviews of this book that I had to check it out, and I’m so glad I did! To put it very simply, this is a book about mothers and daughters. There are multiple plot lines that weave together perfectly, and a fairly large cast of characters that are both interesting and believable. Thumbs up for this one!
I picked up Gladwell’s book “Blink” several years ago and just couldn’t get into it, so I didn’t have high expectations for this one. Surprisingly, I really got sucked in!
I tested in the super high percentile (95th or 98th or something?) for IQ as a kid, so for me the most fascinating chapter was the one that looked at a study that tracked children with exceptional IQs to see which factors most influenced their success. Mild spoiler alert – It turned out that the thing with the most influence, by an overwhelming degree, was the income of the children’s parents. It affected not just the opportunities that the children had (such as being able to attend prestigious schools or take lessons that interested them) but also the parents approach to parenting, to entitlement, and to authority.
I’m going to be embarrassingly honest here. (Eep!) I have a lot of guilt, I guess? (for lack of a better word) around being born with gifts and never really putting them to a good use. Reading about a man who has an IQ of around 200 who was born poor, got kicked out of college in his first semester because his car died and they wouldn’t let him switch to afternoon classes so he could get a ride with someone, who now lives on a horse farm in rural Missouri… it’s the first time I’ve ever felt like “Whoa, what it if isn’t entirely my fault? What if outside factors DO play a way bigger role than we realize?
There were a few sections that didn’t really capture my interest and thus felt too long, but overall I really liked this one. It definitely shakes up how you think about why certain people succeed. It would be a great one to read right before Twilight of the Elites by my imaginary TV boyfriend Chris Hayes, since that one is all about meritocracy.
The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead
I read the first book in this series a few months ago (That review is here) and liked it enough to put the other two on my library holds list. I didn’t realize when I started reading this one that it was the 3rd book, not the second, but it didn’t really end up mattering. All three are fun YA-type reads along the lines of The Selection series, and each one is telling the same series of events from a different perspective, which was a fun structure. You really do need to read the first book first for the second and third to make any sense,though.
Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
This is the second book from the series above, which I read third. It’s really fun to see minor characters from the other books fleshed out into major players. I kind of wish there was another book to this series, I think the author could have easily told the story from a couple more perspectives before it started getting old.
I received a PR email about this book and my curiosity was sparked to check it out. With New Year’s Resolutions being a big thing this time of year, a book that helps people reach their goals seemed especially timely. (I posted about my goals for 2019 in this post, if you missed it!) The basis of the book is to really tune into your heart to figure out what you want, and then to take small daily actions to help you get that thing.
One amusing note – as I started reading, my very first thought was, “Hey, is this foreword written by Alex Franzen?” and then IT WAS. I get her email newsletter and something about the way the foreword was written was just so clearly her voice.
It’s a super short book, just 116 pages and that includes about 16 pages of blank space for you to write in. I enjoyed reading through it, but if you’re familiar with the Law of Attraction (and especially the “scripting” aspect of that), you can probably skip it because it’s things you’ve already heard. It’s very basic (as in it explains what visualizing is) so I wound up feeling like it was too simplified for me to personally get much out of, but it could be great for a high school or college student.
The one thing that got annoying while reading as how often the author talked about her business, from mentions of her product on many of the 21 days of actions to a drawn out story about how she started the company. That kind of thing is a lot like wanting to tell other people about that dream you had. It’s fascinating to you, but they really don’t care to hear every detail.
The book would have been so much better if she had briefly talked about what she does (bracelets made with your wish written inside) in the intro and then not mentioned it again. Having it come up SO often makes it unclear if the real point of the book is to guide people through achieving their goals or marketing the bracelets.
My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper
I never watched The Officeso I only know Ellie from Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt, bur I picked this up from Netgalley because it sounded fun. It falls into Steph’s infamous “passed the time just fine” category – entertaining but not especially memorable.