When I don’t feel like reading… I make lists.

This is supposed to be my monthly book review since I posted my monthly essay when I normally post a book review in the first week of the month. However, as you’ve probably gathered from the title of this post, I haven’t been reading regularly. I could review one of the many books I’ve read in the past (like I did with my Kitchen Confidential review), however I didn’t really want to do that. I just got a book that was recommended to me by another blogger so I’ve decided to do a general book post for now and do my more specific book review post when I finish my new book: “Eligible” by Curtis Sittenfeld (it’s a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice”).

So the question is: what do I do when I don’t feel like reading? The answer is I fill up my GoodReads account and library and Amazon wishlists with a lot of recommendations. That way when I do feel like reading I can dive quickly into a book. Here are some books that are on my lists. I’m always looking for recommendations too, so if you have any, please comment and let me know.

As I said, I haven’t been inspired to read (or write… they’re connected) but I just started a new book so hopefully that helps inspire my writing.

And after I’m done with that I will move on to one of these.

My “To Read” List

(These books are in no particular order.)

    “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens (novel, 2018): Plot: It’s about a girl (Kya) who grows up basically on her own in a marsh in North Carolina and once she’s grown she gets mixed up with some local boys from town. My take: Owen’s novel debuted with a splash in 2018 and I started reading it but clearly wasn’t in the reading mood. Had nothing to do with the book, it was me. This novel has been raved about (Reese Witherspoon put it on her “Hello Sunshine” book list and might be producing a movie adaptation) and it’s topped the New York Times bestseller list for 24 weeks in 2019 (as of this posting).
    “The Reckoning” by John Grisham (novel, 2018): Plot (summary from Amazon)- Pete Banning was Clanton, Mississippi’s favorite son—a decorated World War II hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning he rose early, drove into town, and committed a shocking crime.  My take– I got this book for my Dad for his birthday and he’s read it. Now it’s my turn! Dad and I have been reading Grisham’s legal thrillers together for years.
    “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr (novel, 2014): Plot- About a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. My Take- I have this Pulitzer Prize winning novel on my Kindle and it has been recommended to me a few times (which is why I got it on my Kindle to begin with).
    “Born A Crime” by Trevor Noah (memoir, 2016): Trevor Noah is a comedian and television host from South Africa. He took over “The Daily Show” from John Stewart in 2015. Noah’s memoir is about how he was born in South Africa during apartheid to a black mother and a white father (hence, “born a crime”). Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is co-producing a film adaption with Noah and she will also play the role of Noah’s mother, Patricia, in the movie. My Take- This is in my series of memoirs that aren’t about injury or brain injury so I am allowing myself to read it while I write my own memoir (I’m not reading memoirs about brain injury while I’m writing my own memoir on brain injury).
    “Becoming” by Michelle Obama (memoir, 2018): A memoir by the former First Lady, Michelle Obama. My Take- I ordered this from Amazon almost immediately when it was published. I haven’t read it yet but I’m very excited to read this memoir of our former First Lady of the 🇺🇸. I’ve respected how Mrs. Obama has gone high when others have gone low.
    “Educated” by Tara Westover (memoir, 2018): Summary from Amazon- Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. And once she started her education journey she went to Harvard and Cambridge. My Take: This is another non-illness or injury-related memoir in my attempt to read things different from what I’m writing. Since I have two masters degrees I felt like I was always in school chasing after my education.
  • “Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence: A passage into body” by Matthew Sanford (memoir, 2008): Amazon Description: Matt Sanford’s life and body were irrevocably changed at age 13 on a snowy Iowa road. On that day, his family’s car skidded off an overpass, killing Matt’s father and sister and left him paralyzed from the chest down, confining him to a wheelchair. His mother and brother escaped from the accident unharmed but were left to pick up the pieces of their decimated family. This pivotal event set Matt on a lifelong journey, from his intensive care experiences at the Mayo Clinic to becoming a paralyzed yoga teacher and founder of a nonprofit organization. My Take- I heard about Matt Sanford from my psychologist. I haven’t read it yet and will probably wait until I’m done with writing my own memoir since my experience also started with an accident in Iowa.
    The Story of My Life” by Helen Keller (autobiography, 1903): The famous autobiography of Helen Keller that details her life navigating as a deaf and blind person. My Take- I will probably wait to read this until I’m done with my own memoir. I honestly thought of Keller a lot when I was first discovering my brain injury and hearing limitations and difficulties. This was a free download on my Kindle and I know I will find it helpful and inspiring.
  • There are many more books on my lists (GoodReads, Amazon, my library) but these are the ones that are top of mind currently. However, I’m always looking for a good read (so I’m open to suggestions).
  • Writing Update

    I haven’t progressed on writing my memoir since last week, technically. However, as I mentioned in last week’s update, I am prepping material to submit to journals, etc. And one of those essays I’m writing specifically for this journal (they have a theme and so I’m writing to it). Once that particular essay is done I plan to adapt it for my memoir.

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