Review 58

girlsinGirls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

This was the perfect book to read while trapped at the airport for 4 hours waiting for my flight. Lighthearted but also raised some important issues facing our generation of women.

 

howtoHow to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims

I was inspired to read this after hearing about parents showing up for their kids’ job interviews.  Julie confirmed that this happens, as well as so many more amazingly crazy things unique to our current generation.  This definitely shed some light on the realities and causes of over-parenting. Frankly, it was terrifying.  Newsflash: doing everything for your child is setting them up for utter failure once they enter the “real world.” Julie includes lots of research studies, interviews, and real-life cases to back this up. Very well-written and genuine.

 

goingclearGoing Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright

This was a great supplement to one of my favorite documentaries (same title).  This book inspired the documentary, but takes a much deeper dive into the upbringing and life of L. Ron Hubbard.  It’s also a fascinating study in the extremes of human/group behavior and the damaging effects of blind belief.  I particularly enjoyed the Paul Haggis sections, because he was so honest about his disillusionment and ultimate break from the church.

 

trashedTrashed by Derf

Wonderful graphic novel about the impact and lifecycle of the garbage we create.  I learned a lot about landfills and the daily life of a “garbage man.”  There’s a reason they’re paid the big bucks!

 

bigfixThe Big Fix: Hope After Heroin by Tracey Helton Mitchell

Brutally honest depiction of Tracey’s descent into heroin addiction, and the further lows she went to acquire drugs.  Her path to recovery – like that of most addicts – was not a straight line, and required multiple attempts.  She now dedicates her life to addiction education and harm reduction, and spends the last part of the book discussing this in depth.  I really respected her ability to reflect honestly about her choices, as well as the ravaging effects of opioid addiction.

 

thenestThe Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Delightful book about a dysfunctional but endearing family.  Believable characters and lots of twists!

 

gildedrazThe Gilded Razor by Sam Lansky

Raw memoir about prescription drug addiction, from the perspective of a privileged white male.  Fantastically written, very moving.

 

psychopathThe Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

Strange but fascinating adventure into insane asylums and the validity of scientific methods behind identifying psychopaths.

 

intheplexIn the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

Absolutely amazing expose on Google as a company and its founders.  And I’m not just saying that because Google is watching my every move…. :)  Really well-written, researched, and consistently engaging.

 

ontheOn the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks

Fantastic memoir by one of the best writers I’ve ever encountered.  What an accomplished, varied, and incredible life he led!

 

sugarliningsSugar Linings: Finding the Bright Side of Type 1 Diabetes by Sierra Sandison

I’m all about T1D books, but this one was pretty disappointing.  Terribly written and sickly sweet.

 

lastannivThe Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

Not my favorite of the Moriarty books, but she still proves to be a terrific light read with fun twists.  Slightly less believable than her other novels.

 

americanhouseAmerican Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis

Intensely good.  Started and finished it in a coffee shop over the weekend, not even stopping to check the time.

 

cheapskateThe Cheapskate Next Door:  The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager

Not that I needed any more convincing, but this was a fun reminder that being frugal has massive impacts on your wellbeing and future.  Some characters in here were a little extreme in their thriftiness, but I admired the drive behind it.

 

americangirlsAmerican Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales

As soon as I put this book down, I wanted to read it again.  Nancy is an exceptional researcher and writer, making the girls she interviewed come alive on the pages.  Almost too alive, though; the realities of teenage girls’ lives at this current moment in time are TERRIFYING.  I have never been more grateful to grow up without smartphones, Snap Chat, and Facebook.

 

girlsandGirls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

This was a terrific complement to Sales’ book above, covering similar themes.  It goes down smooth:  Peggy is amazing at condensing down studies and interviews into a palatable plate of information.  The aftereffects of the metaphorical meal, though, will stick with you for a while. She brings up incredibly important issues about American sexuality and health education, as well as the conflicting expectations about girls’ roles in relationships and family.  Peggy draws on the perspectives of a wide range of women, while making clear the consistent issues facing women today.  Absolutely unforgettable.

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