Well friends- I officially accomplished & surpassed my reading goal for 2020! I set out to read 6 books for the year, 1 every 2 months and ended up reading 8 (not including the two bible sized baby books that I read week by week throughout my pregnancy). I know I had a lot of extra time on my hands due to the fact that I was off work and in COVID quarantine for 2 months back in March 2020. And I also finished a few books as I started my maternity leave 3 weeks before my due date.
Here are the books I read and my honest reviews!
1. The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid : 7/10 – I honestly loved this book. It’s set in the glitz and glamour of the old Hollywood era, which makes for the most perfect setting. I was intrigued at the characters and at their lifestyles and kept wanting to read more and more. This was the first book club read of the year for my girlfriend and I.
2. The Office and Philosophy edited by J. Jeremy Wisnewski : 6/10 – If you’re not a fan of the show, or have not watched it pretty religiously, you might not really appreciate it for what it is. A deep dive into the characters and story lines that make you really reflect on your own life and behavior. It is philosophy after all. I really enjoyed the book and learned a lot about the roles that classic tv shows or movies play in our culture/society. Staying true to the fact that The Office is an American show based of the original British version, there are chapters that analyze the British version that I wasn’t really able to connect with because I didn’t understand much of the references. This was our second book club read!
3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho : 9/10 : Let me preface my review by saying that Paulo Coelho is my favorite author. However, there are books of his that I don’t instantly love (maybe I’ll do a review of just his books in the future). But The Alchemist is a classic and one that I’ve read a few times throughout my life. Each time, I learn something new or am able to relate to the story differently based on where I’m at in my own life. I like to underline or * certain things that stick out to me and it’s funny to see what I liked years ago and how that same passage has different meaning to me now. I don’t want to give too much away about the story line because his books are truly spiritual experiences and you really have to see what the story means to you as you read and I don’t want my own personal resonance to affect or cloud your own. But it’s truly an amazing story about fulfilling your own personal journey. I highly recommend everyone read it at least once!
4. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng : 3/10 : SOOOOOO…. to say I’m a bit disappointed is an understatement. I haven’t seen the show, so I can’t speak on that. But IMO, throughout the book there wasn’t really any character development. The “big” moments that happen in the book don’t hit the way they’re meant too simply because the character connections are so weak. It might be my own personal preference, but I enjoy reading books where I find myself excited and wondering what’s going to happen next, not once did I feel that way with this book. And then THE ENDING. Did the author get tired of writing or lost with where to go? I’m not sure but I was literally swiping through the book at the very end because I was so confused and didn’t think that was really the ending. Maybe the author is banking on writing a sequel, but I honestly wouldn’t bother reading it.
5. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid : 8/10 : I devoured this book in 3 days. I loved reading through it and was addicted to reading about the dynamics between the characters. The book is about a rock band in the 70s and how they came to be and their road to success. Rather than it be a told from the author’s POV, the book is written as if someone is interviewing the bandmates all separately and then combining their recollections to create the plot and bigger picture. You’re literally reading the firsthand accounts of the characters’ lives and it’s so interesting to read a book in that way. I heard Amazon is making this a TV series, which I’m stoked about!
6. The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year by Dawn Dais: 10/10 : Right away I knew this book was right up my alley. After the first chapter I was relieved to finally be reading a book that admitted everything I had already thought in my head regarding having a baby. I like people to tell me how it is, not sugar coat the roller coaster of a ride I know my husband and I are about to get on (and yes I know it’s going to be a beyond amazing journey, but I also know there’s going to be a ton of WTF moments and I’m all for a book giving it to me straight instead of ranting on and on about how great motherhood is).
7. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD : 10/10 : Super informative and very easy to follow and understand! I’d definitely recommend for anyone out there expecting!! The book goes through soothing techniques and how to properly deal with newborn babies. I’m SO glad a girlfriend of mine sent it to me, I feel a lot more at ease about how we’ll handle our little bundle of joy thanks to this book! Tons of sticky notes are currently sticking out of it for quick reference!
8. wow, no thank you by Samantha Irby : 8/10 : This book was given to me by a coworker when I went on maternity leave. She read it and loved it and thought it would be an awesome way for me to get my mind off labor and delivery- and she was right! The book is compiled of essays and funny stories that literally had me cracking up as I read. It’s a super easy read and I finished the book within a week of her giving it to me. There are a few other books by the same author so now I cannot wait to read them all!
I’m going to carry this resolution over for 2021, hopefully I’ll be able to up the number of books I read, but with a newborn- we’ll just see!
So far, this what I’ve got on deck for my 2021 reading list!
- The Splendid and The Vile by Erik Larson
- Deep State by Chris Hauty (book club read that I didn’t finish in 2020, oops)
- Where The Crawdads Sing (need to finish- honestly had a really hard time getting into it and stopped reading for a while)
- To Wake Thy Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins (recommended by one of my girlfriends)
Do you have any suggestions to add to my list? Let me know in the comments!