January 2019 Book Reviews


 The good, the bad, and the ok books I read this month.

I am back again with another post about books. This past month I read a few duds, a few decent books, and a few great ones. Since I can't provide you with a list of "must read books" instead I am offering a review of the last books I read.

They tend to be of random genres, so I hope you don't mind. My interests hop around a bit, and the waitlist at the library technically gets to decide what books I read next.

Designing Your Life - How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

This is the self-help book I have been searching for. Expertly written and separated into manageable and actionable steps- this is the book that will help you change your career, figure out your life, or just give you a kickstart. It was not at all cheesy, as most self-help books tend to be nor was it outdated. Most importantly, this book did not give me anxiety. I find that so many self-help books drill into you this idea of getting it right and getting it right, now. I found that I was already implementing some of these steps on my own, but it gave me a structure on how to keep building my life. I read it in one sitting and took plenty of notes.

Why Buddhism is True
by Robert Wright

This is one of the best books I have read in a LONG time. It was amazing. I have been fascinated by the idea of meditation which always led to the philosophy of Buddhism. Religion is complex and to understand it would take the dedication of the religious texts, history, and culture. What I love about this book is that Wright doesn't dig into Buddhism in the spiritual sense and respects the boundaries that keep him from fully understanding the religion, instead, he focuses on the most prominent philosophies and tries to prove them through the scientific understanding of evolution. It opened up a whole new of thinking for me and allows me a whole new way of just "being." I rented it from the library, but I will definitely be purchasing it to be able to dive in deeper and apply some of the lessons in my everyday life.

by Stephen King

This is my first Stephen King book that I have ever read. I love horror films but usually, do not read horror/thriller books. There is nothing scary about this story, it is short, unique, and told exceptionally well. Do I think you have to read this? No. I mainly picked this up because I read his memoir, On Writing, and realized that he is masterful with words. I will be reading his more famous works but honestly a little terrified to read them. He knows how to paint a terrifying image! 

A Terrible Country
by Keith Gessen

I don't really know why I am putting this novel here. I truthfully didn't feel as though it was anything special and yet I found myself picking it up time and time again and reading without stopping for hours. It is different from my usual pick of books which may be why I was so interested in it. It allows a glimpse into Russia (or more specifically Moscow), a country that seems so distant in every way. The book isn't political in the sense that there is no real push for persuasion and more of a tale that highlights how familiar and ordinary Russia is but also how it is in pain and nothing like the rest of the world. I read a lot of reviews on this book, and they were extremely harsh. I don't think the book was awful, but then again it wasn't particularly life-changing. I sense that line is a bit harsh.

The Sun and her Flowers
by Rupi Kaur

After reading milk and honey, I knew I had to read her other works. It was just as beautiful, but maybe just a tad bit more authentic. One of my favorite poems resides among the pages of this artful book. Again, it is a quick read, no more than an hour seating to devour it.

It's Not Supposed to be This Way
by Lysa Terkeurst

I got this book thinking it was a completely different book, but I am glad I picked it up. It's a Christian based book with scriptures (which I completely ignored) and plenty of references to God. It was raw, authentic, and uplifting. I don't go for books like these as I don't necessarily consider myself Christian in the traditional sense, but it was motivational and kind. If you identify as Atheist, stay away from this, I can imagine it will only end in a million eye rolls. It's a bit heavy on the references and interwoven with the story.

Thoughts? Recommendations? Did you hate the books I loved? Did you like the books I didn't love so much? Let me know.

P.S. I post most of the books I am reading (unless I forget, I am a busy girl OK) on my IG stories so follow me if you'd like to see. IG: BrendaOffDuty

* The links are affiliate links. While I am not sponsored to write about any of these books I do link through Amazon which doesn't cost you anything and doesn't raise your price but allows me to continue making content. I always recommend the library which is FREE, but the link is provided if you decide to buy the book. 

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