I started the new year off with a bit of reading and wanted to share the three books I’ve finished this month with you! I’ve been using the app GoodReads to keep track of the books I’m reading and want to read. It’s a great way to keep track of my wishlist of books that I never stop adding to!
There There by Tommy Orange
My brother gave me this book for Christmas and I started reading it the next day. The book consists of multiple stories that all intertwine. Each individual story is visceral, heartbreaking, and relentless. It had me feeling a pit in my stomach, of a reality I knew existing but not so intimately. It’s a truly important book to read and reveals how broken we still are.
The book felt like a voice I needed to listen to, screaming with urgency and anger. A voice that can’t wrap their head around their own identity because it was taken away. I highly recommend.
Motherhood by Sheila Heti
Ok, I have to be honest about this one. It did nothing for me! I’m so worried that I read it the wrong way or took my expectations too seriously, ruining the book. If you’ve read it, I’d LOVE to know your thoughts because I’m feeling pretty guilty about the one star rating I’m giving it.
Diving right in to my feelings toward Motherhood, I’ll start with the feeling of self-indulgence? I went in hoping for a book that would make me think a bit differently about the decision to be a mother, but I didn’t feel like the book was even about that. The more I read, the more I felt that the author was talking herself in and out of wanting to be in her relationship, which felt really toxic to me. A thought would start with “maybe I do want to have a baby with him” and a paragraph later, she would said “Maybe I don’t want to be with him at all?” It felt like an internal dialogue that she was trying to relate to motherhood, when in reality it was a diary about a relationship that (to me) seemed unhealthy. It reminded me of previous toxic relationships and made me feel really uneasy.
Educated by Tara Westover
Once I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down until it was finished. I had to remind myself at times that this book is a memoir, not fiction. The author grew up in a way I couldn’t relate to at all — in the middle of nowhere Utah with family that did not believe in schooling, medicine, and really anything that felt a step outside of their home on the side of the mountain. It started off sounding magical; living in nature, making herbal tinctures, and learning from the world around you… but it was due to delusion, not knowledge. I was fascinated by how her and a few of her siblings were able to step outside of the bubble they knew and create a life for themselves (without even an elementary education).
The most impressive parts of the book were hard to read, about abusive relationships that start before you know what that even means… It felt like I was watching someone learn how to move through life with these scars and learn about herself through them. It was heartbreaking and real. I know this is a book I’ll be reading again in the future.
What are you reading so far this year?