When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi was a beautiful book. I read it on a sunny day over the summer because I knew it was a sad story. How could it not be? A doctor diagnosed with cancer dying just as his child was born? I did not expect it to be so engrossing. I read the book in one sitting. One day would be more accurate. I broke it up by pausing to make myself some lunch.
The book is a reflection on life and death. Paul was a magnificent writer. His thoughts flowed well and had an ability to articulate his thoughts succinctly and clearly. It’s fascinating to me that Paul wrote this book in the last year of his life. To be able to examine your life and the future that will happen without you in such a thoughtful way is a gift. The world lost not only a promising doctor but an amazing author.
His wife, Lucy, writes the epilogue and that was when the tears started to come. It was hard to read it but it was beautiful. I heard a lot about the book but didn’t want to read something about someone who was dying. It seemed too sad a story but Paul didn’t allow it to be sad. It was thought provoking that made me think about my own mortality.
If you can’t tell, I absolutely loved this book. I highly recommend reading it if you get the chance. Everyone can take something away from this book. Who has read this book? What did you think about it?
I’m about to be in the minority but Rachel Hollis book is not impressive.
I was having doubts about her in the first four chapters. Then we arrived at Chapter 5. It could have been a good chapter but then she detailed her borderline abusive first year of her relationship with her now husband. The title of the chapter gives the indication that she realized having a man is not important. When in reality, she is perpetuating the myth of the big gesture. She is perpetuating that if you give an ultimatum then the man will change. Threats will make someone change.
The reality is that if he acts like an asshole, he is an asshole. This chapter tinged the way I took the rest of her advice. I find that the “lies” she is trying to correct, she was still doing them herself.
Beyond that, I found her writing style to be convoluted. She has some good points but they were lost in the way she wrote about them. I found her to be privileged and unable to see her privilege.
There are a plethora of self help/self improvement books out there. There are plenty of other ones that can actually help you get to where you want to be.
Most women can understand what Gemma Hartley is talking about in her book Fed Up. She documents how women have been carrying the emotional labor for generations in all spheres of life. And what makes it harder to identify is that for so long, it was just accepted as normal that women needed to carry all of the emotional labor.
I think that it takes a lot to put your own experiences, your own relationship, out to be dissected by the public. I give her (and her husband) a lot of credit for putting their own struggles out into the universe to be consumed. There are points of the book that are not a flattering version of the author but she leans into it. Her honesty is refreshing. Her research is intriguing.
Overall I found the book to be absolutely fascinating. It is a book that should be read by everyone. It was interesting to take an academic look at emotional labor. Hartley did a lot of thorough research and made some interesting connections. I’m glad that she took the time to examine emotional labor and I think people are better for having read this book.
Who has read Fed Up? Did you find it to be as interesting as I did? I’d love to talk about it further. Any men want to chat about their feelings after reading Fed Up?
Let’s start off by saying that I never realized how active my imagination is until I read this book. I had to stop reading this book for awhile because I kept having nightmares about the Golden State Killer. I have no idea how Michelle McNamara spent years researching, tracking and chasing down every single detail about these crimes.
With that being said, it was her obsession with her research that may have killed her. McNamara was haunted by these cases. She had insomnia caused by her research. She passed away in April 2016. Her death was attributed to an accidental overdose of a lethal combination of prescription drugs.
Her book was released two years after her death.
Due to her steadfast commitment, McNamara is the reason the Golden State Killer was finally caught. Unfortunately, she didn’t live long enough to see what her research led to. McNamara’s book was published posthumously and the details that she was able to pull together helped to lead the detectives to him. She had the advantage of looking at all the pieces in aggregate, years after the attacks stopped. She was only concerned with finding the truth.
This book is a must read for any true crime fan.
In a previous life, I was the committee director for a state legislative committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. I spent two years submerged in learning everything I could about the bludgeoning (at that time) epidemic. I remember in one of my first meetings with an academic and he told me quite plainly, “Oh we have not even seen the worst of this yet.” He told me that this was a long time in the making and the inaction to actually address the problem would have far reaching effects on the Americans
It’s three and half years later and everything he said has become true.
Even if you have not been personally touched by the heroin epidemic, Dopesick is a powerful book. Beth Macy is an investigative reporter based in Virginia. To tell the larger story of the opioid and heroin epidemic, she focused on a few towns and a few individuals and the path their lives took.
I find her book to be so good because she takes a look at the epidemic from all angles. She does not just take aim at one industry or blame one person. She takes a holistic approach to the examination of the epidemic.
Addiction does not discriminate. It rears its ugly head in every town and it can appear in any family. Everyone needs to read this to understand how we got where we are today. If you read any book this Fall, you should read Beth Macy’s book Dopesick.
What a month. I finally paid back my library fines to Albany Pubic Library so I’ve been a power user this month. Three of the four books were library books. All three were 14 day reads. I am VERY proud of myself for returning them early and not incurring any more fines.
The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
Dopesick by Beth Macy
Vox by Christina Dalcher
I Know This Much Is True was a BEAST. 897 pages. I started it on vacation in Germany but it is a HEAVY read so I flipped between that and some lighter reads.
Jessica Knoll is the MASTER. If you love the Real Housewives, then you need to read this book.
Dopesick is powerful and timely. It is something that everyone needs to read.
Vox had a tag on it labeling it “Science Fiction” but it is a story that creeps you out because it’s something that isn’t too far from actually happening.
Reviews to follow in the next couple of weeks.