3 Most Recent Reads

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I’m always looking for good book recommendations so I wanted to share the books I’ve been reading lately. All of the pictures are linked to the books on Amazon!

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

I feel like everyone is obsessed with Brene Brown lately and I am no exception. I first heard her speak about a year ago on Oprah’s podcast. I feel like she’s everywhere now (TED talks, Oprah, Netflix movies, etc.) so you’ve probably heard of her but she’s a PhD who studies shame and vulnerability and how our tolerance and reaction to those two things influences us deeply. I read this book on the Subway commuting and I would come home every day and tell Anthony about all of the insights I had had about myself and my behavior from this book.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this book has changed the way I live my life. Childhood is riddled with definitive markers of change — lost teeth and new school years and shoes that only fit for a year. But adult change is different. In my first year out of college, I struggled to feel like I was doing any real changing. Reading this book led me to a well of reflection and self-actualization and change and I feel more me than I ever have. I have her other books on my Amazon wish list right now and I’m dying to read them!

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I’m embarrassed it’s taken me my whole life to pick up this book. As you probably know, it’s a beautiful memoir by Maya Angelou. What impressed me most about this book is that it’s written so distinctly in her voice that it was like listening to the stories straight from her mouth.

I feel like I’ve started to get to a point in my life where I can reflect on my childhood from an adult lens and see things differently than I perceived them at the time. That lens was the perspective of this book. Maya endured some shockingly traumatic experiences and it was interesting to hear her talk about it simultaneously from her childlike perspective and also with the benefit of experience to see things for what they truly were. As I was reading her experiences, I often reflected on my own and I think that’s a powerful thing for a book to evoke.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

I have been telling everybody (aka my mom) to read this book!! It a fictional story of two sisters during the German occupation of France in World War II. It’s pretty long and it took me a little while to get into it. I actually stopped reading this and read all of Daring Greatly before I picked this book back up but I’m so happy I made it through because the ending was amazing.

To be honest, I’ve never thought about the effect of World War II on a global scale which I realize is a terribly ethnocentric view of history. The pace of the book is slow but it felt appropriate and helped convey how endless war must feel while you’re in the middle of it. I truly can’t remember the last time a work of fiction has moved me so deeply. I finished this book on the beach in Italy and was sobbing uncontrollably. It is at its core a book about humanity in the face of unbearable inhumanity. It also instilled in me a deep sense of gratitude for having never lived in a war-torn country when they are so many people who have endured such a burden and even more who currently are. Loved, loved, loved it.

I feel like summer is the perfect time to read! We are going to the beach this weekend and I can’t wait to just read all day by the water.

If you have any recommendations of books I should check out, please let me know!