october 2019 books

My reading pace has come to a crawl, guys! I blame it on the plethora of good TV shows lately–I spend more of my evenings watching Netflix than reading. Nonetheless, I do have two books to review today.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

If you haven’t ever checked out The SHU Box, you should. I get all sorts of tips and book recommendations from Sarah, including this one. I can’t decide if I liked this book or not. On one hand, its deep dive into shame, why we experience it, and how we cope with it deeply resonated with me. So much so that I cried about 3 times during the week that I read this book. It made me realize that shame has been a driving force in much of my life, as sad as that sounds. Unfortunately, academia is a breeding ground for feeling “less than,” and I am very much a victim of that fact. Dr. Brown presents some compelling solutions for cultivating “shame resilience” and becoming one of what she calls “the wholehearted” (i.e., people who feel like they are “enough,” and are brave enough to be vulnerable with others). I also really appreciated the applications to parenting so that I don’t set up my children for maladaptive thought patterns. I learned a lot from reading this book, but it sure did put me in a mopey emotional state for a few days.

4 out of 5 stars.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I might just be the last person on the planet to read this book. I lucked into a copy from a work friend, and it was the perfect read to follow my depressing foray into shame (see above). I’ll admit, I actually had some trouble getting into this book at first. It centers on Kya, a young girl growing up in the marsh of the North Carolina coast who ends up embroiled in a murder trial after a former beau turns up dead. The dialogue consisting of a very rural Southern dialect throughout the first few chapters was tough for me to decipher, even though I’ve lived in the South for most of my life. Nonetheless, the story did become quite compelling after the first 75 pages or so, about when Kya’s first love interest is introduced. I blew through the final two-thirds of the book, out of the desire to know whodunnit, and I was kind of disappointed with the somewhat contrived ending. Overall, it was an entertaining read, but I’m not sure it deserves all the rave reviews it has been getting.

4 out of 5 stars. 

What did you read in October?

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