What I read this month: June 2019

Up until last weekend, I’d finished just one book this month. I was surprised to learn that, but I wasn’t particularly disappointed. It just felt strange to learn it. I knew I’d done a bit less reading than I had in months past, but I didn’t know I’d neglected to finish any of those books.

Here goes with what I read this month.

Women Talking by Miriam Toews

I’d picked this up assuming it would be written in the classic quirky Toews style I’ve grown to know and love. It wasn’t. That isn’t to say that it isn’t a fantastic book, but it has a more somber tone. A group of Mennonite women who’ve suffered grave mistreatments gather to decide their fates. They have three options, stay and fight, leave or do nothing. This book chronicles their discussion and debate over the day that will change everything. Like all her other works, this story is superbly written and will challenge the reader’s beliefs in religion, truth and the moving target of establishing what’s right.

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

I felt like we’d gotten somewhere with Fearless Fourteen, but with this next installment in the Stephanie Plum series, I found myself wondering what I was still doing reading along. Yes, they’re light and they’re funny and totally over the top and ridiculous, but they’re also kind of, well, bad. I probably won’t quit now and I’ll probably continue reading, but the whole time I’m doing it, there is a part of me that can’t help thinking about all the novelists who are out there toiling over their life’s works while this flimsy series can seemingly go on forever and ever. That’s a little tragic.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I loved this book. It was right up my alley. I’m not generally one for a love story, but when they get complicated my ears perk up. When it becomes impossible? I am hooked. And that’s the story here. I devoured this book in just over one day because it was beautifully written and a delightful experience all at once.

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

This was my first audiobook. I am not really convinced I’m going to count it towards my yearly total, but we’ll see. I’ve talked a lot about the four tendencies here, but here’s a quick breakdown of what the book is about.

During my multibook investigation into human nature, I realized that by asking the suspiciously simple question “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain explosive self-knowledge.

I discovered that people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding this framework lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively. The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act.

I’ve listened to every episode of Gretchen Rubin’s podcast and she talks a lot about the framework. I’ve learned a lot about the tendencies already and I preordered the book when it was originally published. I also never read it. (Rebel.) 

When my friend started talking about this book in depth, I was inspired to listen to the audiobook so I could catch up on what she was telling me. I had to wait two months for my library hold to materialize, but it was worth the wait. I used the physical book in concert with the audiobook. When she hit on specific topics that were of real interest, I’d consult the book to help me further digest the information. It was nice to have the authour reading her own material and it was also nice to have a friend to work through it with. We are different tendencies so it was interesting to compare notes.

Ultimately, if you are interested in understanding yourself and the people around you more thoroughly, this would be a great investment of your time. Check it out and let me know if you want to chat about it.

Bad Ideas by Missy Marston

A Twitter friend messaged me out of the blue and told me I should read this book.

This is a story that’s based in a 1970s small town and a family that’s working to survive it. The characters are endearingly written and a wonderful combination of oddball and real. The events are a perfect fit for the group and the makings of a great and entertaining story. There were several times when I laughed out loud through the shock of how it all played out. This is definitely an enjoyable read if you can get your hands on it.

What were your favourite reads this month? Do you have any goals for summer reading?

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