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This year, my goal is to just smash the last few years of Goodreads achievements – I’m blaming this on living with Dani, a noted bookworm. I’m bringing back the Book Club series to review what I’m reading, in case you’re looking for anything new to check out!
Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas: This was actually a re-read for me, I read it about ten years ago when I was in college. It was harder to get into than I remembered – she begins the book spouting binge drinking and alcohol abuse statistics, which I found a bit dull, but once I got sucked into the story again, it was hard to put down. I stayed up far later than I meant to a few nights in a row to finish it. When I was in college I had many of the same experiences and stories that Zailckas shares – there’s a reason it took me a couple of extra years to graduate, despite all the major changes and transfers – and it’s a little refreshing to be reminded that you aren’t alone in some of the more questionable decisions you’ve made in the past.
Lucky Charming by Kate Chastain: It’s no secret that I love trashy TV, and Bravo’s Below Deck is one of the finest pieces of reality TV in recent years. Yacht stewardess Kate has been featured on every season of the show and put out a book in December on what got her into yachting and a few of her experiences on boats, but good and bad. I’m a big fan of her blog as well, so I decided to treat myself to her memoir and read it in two days. It’s a really light read perfect for the beach and puts some perspective on the fact that even if you feel like nothing is going to work out, staying positive and optimistic helps a lot.
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney: Marbles is a graphic novel about the illustrator’s journey with bipolar disorder. I love graphic novels, and I think it was the perfect choice for her story – the freedom to illustrate and include drawings that she drew at various points of her journey. As someone who has had my own fights with finding the right medicines to manage my depression and anxiety, I related to a lot of her frustration and struggle.
It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single by Sara Eckel: I listened to this audiobook on Hoopla after a friend recommended it to me sometime last summer – I wasn’t blown away by anything in it aside from a few select quotes. I’m glad I listened to the eBook rather than spending time actually reading it. I scored it 2/5, which is a notably low rating for me.
I Wrote This For You: Just the Words by ihopeyoufindthis: This is the second to I Hope You Find This, which I read last year and really liked. It’s a series of epigrams, and though this book is billed as a sequel, a lot of it is just the first book rehashed with the photos removed. There are a few new entries, but for the most part, it doesn’t feel like a proper sequel to me at all. I still really liked it and reading words that resonate so closely to me isn’t a bad thing at all.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: I LOVED this book. I don’t have the words to really properly express how much I enjoyed it. I read it in about one sitting on a Sunday while curled up in Dani’s Foof chair – I made that mistake again where I peeked at the last sentence of the book before I started, so of course, I was fighting a major spoiler. The story of Violet and Finch, an unlikely pair that are brought together by similar pain, and how they “save” each other. It’s so important for “young adult” audiences to be aware of these kinds of feelings – to see them in others, sure, but more importantly, to identify them internally.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh: Another book that I devoured in one day. I have always loved Brosh’s blog and found her posts on depression both courageous and familiar. The book does a great job of marrying both stories from her childhood as well as more adult themes, like the depression comics, and it’s an easy read. I do have to say that as excited as I was to read this, I’m glad I got it from the library rather than buying my own copy. I loved it, but didn’t love it that much.