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Here’s a roundup of some recent reads:
I didn’t expect to love this, but I really did! “The Upside of Falling Down” is a light romance, “young adult” novel that, at first, seems like it will be predictable – a young woman is the sole survivor of a plane crash, and wakes up with no memory of her life before. A young man befriends her and … you think you know the rest, but that’s where the twists and turns start coming. I found it to be a page-turner, with some really surprising revelations at the end. If you’re up for a light, fun read, this is a good one. Available for borrowing on Kindle Unlimited.
Honestly, I didn’t love this one. If you’re looking for a book that says “rah, rah, yay you!” then it’s for you. But if you have deeper issues of anxiety and depression, you may not find it helpful. To me, much of her advice has the flavor of “If you’re lonely, get out and meet people!” or “If you’re sad, look at how happy people act, and act like them!” There *were* some useful ideas about where our attitudes and mindsets come from, such as growing up in an environment where relationships are difficult, or money is scarce. But overall, I found that the advice did not account for the complexities of human emotions. It has high ratings on Amazon, though, and it’s a bestseller, so a lot of people like it.
If you’re a fan of Nora Roberts, dystopian novels, or magic/witchcraft stories (or all of the above), you’ll love this one. It starts with a common premise – a sickness has wiped out most of the human race, governments have collapsed – but the fascinating part is how the survivors find one another and come together in communities. The book is meant to be the first in a series, and I can’t wait to read the next one. Recommended!
This is a romance / “haunted house” story about a group of friends in their mid-twenties who had gone to high school together. One member of their group, Brandy, had disappeared years before and is presumed dead, but her other friends have been having mysterious dreams about her. At the request of Brandy’s mother, the friends reunite at a cottage on Silver Lake – one of their former hangouts – to see if they can piece together the clues to Brandy’s disappearance. The story? It’s ok. I found it a little predictable, but not in a bad way. It’s a light story, and for me, it was a “palate cleanser” between other books. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited to borrow.
I really enjoyed this memoir by the creator of such TV shows as Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. Shonda Rhimes is a busy woman with an overbooked schedule, so she got into the habit of saying “no” to a lot of opportunities and engagements. One Thanksgiving, as she was preparing dinner with her sister, her sister said “You never say yes to anything.” This prompted Shonda to engage in deep self-reflection. She committed to finding ways to say “yes” more in the coming year. As she came to learn, saying “yes” sometimes means saying “yes” to your own well-being, instead of other people’s requests. A great book for introverts and those who love them.
Have fun reading!