Thursday, April 15, 2021

What I've Been Reading Lately (Quick Lit)

Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit to bring you some short and sweet reviews of what I've read in the past month. For longer reviews, you can always find me on Goodreads.

As expected, I have had a lot less time for reading since going back to work, but I'm still fitting in books where I can!

I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe: I think I set a record for how many times I rolled my eyes while listening to the audiobook. The plot was predictable, the writing was clunky, and the main character was whiny and immature. I appreciate the research the author did, but I was not a fan of the end result.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk: This was stellar. van der Kolk uses extensive research citations, as well as accounts of his own research and his work with patients, to outline the ways that trauma affects the brain and body. I don't know that I'd recommend this to people who have themselves had traumatic experiences, but it could be valuable for their loved ones to read to get a better understanding of what's going on in their bodies.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman: Among other things, Hartman is asking the question, "What would it look like for someone with PTSD to live and recover from trauma in a medieval fantasy-type setting?" I had a hard time getting into this book at first and thought about abandoning it because Tess was such an unlikable character, but I'm glad I stuck with it and got to see her transformation into confidence and healing.

How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev: This contained a lot of interesting history, though unfortunately I don't think Ignatiev's central point got across. As an overview of the relationship between Irish immigrants to the United States and Black Americans (enslaved and free) in the early 19th century, it does a great job; as an argument about Irish Americans' relationship to whiteness, it meanders all over the place and seems to contradict itself at times.

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner: I was highly skeptical about this book near the beginning — there's a 14-year age difference between the two leads and a power differential. However, Wilsner doesn't wave away the power imbalance but takes it incredibly seriously, and they show how it's possible for a boss and assistant to transition into a relationship in a thoughtful, ethical, fully consensual way. By the time I got to the halfway point, I was no longer side-eying the plot and was instead devouring the pages.

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore: This was a reread, and I felt similarly to the first time — it's interesting as two personal stories, but the book falls short of having a central thesis that could propel any meaningful action. I think it leans a little heavily on individual choice to explain the two Wes Moores' fates and doesn't dig deep enough into systems, but that doesn't mean it's not a good combination memoir/biography.

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: We Need to Talk About Kevin and Team of Rivals
Five years ago I was reading: Ragtime, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and A People's History of the United States
Ten years ago I was reading: Ask for It

No comments:

Post a Comment