Oh what a way to start off the year! While January’s haul may have been a little bit light, it in no way reflects what has been happening in my life! I’ve always thought that books have a way of coming into your life exactly when you need them, and this haul reaffirmed my belief. Having fewer books was a real relief as it gave me more time to focus on two major life developments: I became the Vice President of the Akron Rugby Women’s team and I also got a new job at Keep Akron Beautiful as their Communications and Volunteer Project Manager (my dream job!).
These books still managed to create a meaningful experience in my life and I will always be grateful to my wonderful mother & beautiful friend for gifting them to me.
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
I had no idea that this was going to be my favorite book of the haul. In fact, I had no idea this book was going to creep into my overall ‘favorite books’ category. The Kite Runner is a beautiful book about not so beautiful things. Reading this book was really eye opening for me in regards to the culture of Afghanistan and that of refuges and immigrants. Hosseini writes of an Afghanistan before it was ravaged by war and conflict and I have a better understanding of the culture.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, I’m still working on accepting books whose main characters aren’t all that likeable and at times, Hosseini’s narrator does pretty terrible things. But this book was somehow an easy read which I can only attribute to Hosseini’s writing because seriously, some of the book gets pretty heavy.
Yes Please, Amy Poehler
Talk about a book coming into your life at the right time! Being able to read Yes Please while I was in the middle of the interview process for my new job was such a relief. I’ve always identified Amy Poehler as a strong, female role model and that’s exactly the type of voice I want to be reading to add to my self-pep-talking arsenal.
Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with her book. She lets readers know off the bat that, “writing a book is hard.” And you can tell at times she struggled to write it. To me, some parts of her book felt rushed. You can tell where she really took the time to tell the story and where she just knew what she wanted to say but didn’t take time to really say it. It’s really apparent to me when she quickly name drops whole paragraphs of celebrities.
It also didn’t always feel like she knew what her book was really about. Like she had all of these separate pieces and tried to string them together for a cohesive book. I wish someone had reminded her that this didn’t have to be her only opportunity to write a book, that she didn’t have to do it all in this one go.
Not saying that I didn’t enjoy the book. I definitely found myself laughing out loud at times. My favorite was the chapter on apologies. See there? I just did it, rushing through to say what I want to say without really saying it. Note the difference between this paragraph and the ones above it.
Also, my best friend Sarah listened to the audio book had had really positive things to say!
Wild, Cheryl Strayed
Had this book not been gifted to me, I would not have read it. I was even skeptical of wanting to watch the movie. I had a hard time reading Wild, the story of Strayed’s hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. One of my other reader’s flaws in addition to having a hard time with books whose characters aren’t likeable is having a hard time with books that spend a lot of time on scenery.
The time between Cheryl on the trail and Cheryl interacting with people or retelling details about her past drug on for me. Even though I bawled during the beginning of the book, I would not recommend this book for others to read.
But hey, I’m going camping this weekend and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it put me in the right mindset! It also taught me while hiking long distances, 7 pees/day is a good ratio to strive for!
And now, February’s Haul!
As always, If you’ve read any of the haul, let me know what you thought! Got a recommendation for something you think I’d like? I want to know! I own all of January’s Haul if anyone would like to take out a loan at the Library of Helen!
BONUS QUESTION: What’s the best book anyone’s ever given you?