Back on the Bookshelf: What I read in July and August

So I’m running a little bit behind on these, so what? 😉 

Work has been absolutely loco the last couple of months, but I’m excited about moving into this next season of my life and career where things might just be a little bit less hectic. 

Keep a look out for some fun content to come soon!

But in the meantime, here’s what I read in July and August:

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

Completed: 7/6/17
Format: Hardback from the library

This one was recommended to me for people who like Outlander. It was similarish in that there’s a time traveling heroine, an unconventional love story, and some very sad undertones, but it was a VERY different type of time traveling story. I enjoyed it, and it was short enough to read in just a day or two (unlike Outlander novels, which are HUGE). In a brief synopsis, Greta Wells undergoes an experimental treatment for depression after her twin brother dies of AIDS. The treatment sends her to other timelines where she and her loved ones are living their lives in other eras. In two of the timelines her brother, who is gay, is still alive but living in the closet. Every time she travels so do her counterparts in the other timelines, and each of them finds something they love about their new place in time. 
Recommended for: People who enjoy unconventional love stories. 

Rumsfeld’s Rules

Completed: 7/12/17
Format: Audiobook through Overdrive

Donald Rumsfeld is controversial in some circles, but it’s hard to deny that in terms of civil service, he’s seen more than most. During his decades in the public and private sectors he became known for collecting witticisms and words of wisdom in a folder along the way. There were too many good ones to count. Regardless of how you feel about Rumsfeld you should read this book if you’re interested in American politics.
Recommended for: People who aspire to have any type of career in politics, the military, or the public sector. 

Valkyrie: the Plot to Kill Hitler, by Its Last Member

Completed 7/13/17
Format: Hardback borrowed from the library

This is the story of Philipp von Boeselager, one of the participants in the most famous assassination attempt on Hitler. It follows him and his brother through their childhoods, the early portions of WWII, and the formation of the plot. I think it’s really easy to see the people of Germany in that era, particularly those in the military, as a monolith. But this true story shows that there were people there from the very beginning asking questions and doing everything they could to stop one of the most evil men in world history.
Recommended for: Those who are interested in WWII history, and who want an authentic look into heroism in the face of long odds. 

French Women Don’t Get Fat

Completed: 7/14/17 
Format: Audiobook through Overdrive

This was an interesting one… The title caught my eye while I was browsing Overdrive for something to listen to while I was driving for work. This highly unscientific self-help book written by Mireille Guiliano, the CEO of Vueve Cliquot, had some good advice about savoring your food, finding the elusive joie de vivre, and not overindulging in junk. There were a few good recipes, and lots of fun anecdotes about how Mireille struggled with her weight when she first moved to the United States. As someone who has always 1. loved food, and 2. wished she could look more like a European waif, I’ve found some success in implementing her strategies! 
Recommended for: Women who want to embrace a more French way of eating.

Ok, so now you might notice that despite my strong pace in July, I didn’t complete a book again until midway through August. Life happens,  y’all. This slow down means I’ll have to read at least 4 books each month until the end of the year to reach my goal of 60 books in 2017. (Spoiler alert, I’ve already read 6 in September, so I’m feeling pretty good about it). 

Ok, now on to August:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Completed: 8/11/17
Format: Audiobook through Overdrive

This book/series has been on my list for a long long time. I love thriller mysteries, and this one pretty much defines an entire genre (Scandinavian Crime Fiction). The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was published in 2005 and has been adapted into film twice once with Daniel Craig playing protagonist Mikael Blomkvist. It is full of some very dark themes, so if you’re uncomfortable with depictions of abuse, rape, and murder, this probably isn’t the one for you. 
Recommended for: Thriller fans or people who have seen the movie.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Completed: 8/23/17 
Format: Audiobook through Overdrive

This memoire by funny lady Mindy Kaling resonated with me for so many reasons. She is smart and nerdy and hilarious, but never quite feels like she fits in. Mindy plays Kelly Kapoor in the Office, one of my favorite minor characters ever, but that’s not who she is… even though she wrote the part for herself. I loved getting to know the real woman! I also loved learning more about the process behind writing my favorite sit-com of all time. This was a fun and easy diversion from one of the busiest months of my life so far.
Recommended for: Fans of Mindy and The Office, or just young women who need some help being themselves in a world that doesn’t always reward women who march to their own beat.

The Circle

Completed: 8/20/17
Format: eBook through Overdrive

I read this book because I thought the trailer for the movie looked really compelling, and is chock full of HUGE name actors and actresses. I mean come on, Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in the same movie? Sign me up! But the movie flopped, more or less, and I understand why. I *liked* the book, but it read like someone’s first novel (as an aspiring novelist, I can’t hate too much… but I was hoping for more). There were some weird jumpy places, and things that just didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I was left feeling like the story could have benefitted greatly from a really good editor. Still, there was a good message about how oversharing on social media can change your brain, and what that could mean for our society. 
Recommended for: people who want a reality check on the potential consequences of social media. 

Well, there’s what I read in July and August! What should I put on my list next?

 

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