One of my goals this year is to read at least one book every month. So far, I’m on track! Here’s what I’ve been reading lately and whether or not I’d recommend it.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
This book is old news, but I picked it up after watching the Gilmore Girls reboot. Admittedly, the whole “book or movie?” thing reeled me in. I needed to have my opinion!
Wild is the memoir of a woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail solo at the young age of 26. Four years before she set off on her hike, her mother unexpectedly died from cancer, her marriage fell apart, her family dispersed, and she became addicted to heroin. One day, she just decided, “this is what I need to do,” and she began to plan her 1,100-mile walk through the desert.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Wild is a story of forgiveness, self-discovery, and moving forward. It’s inspiring and empowering. Definitely worth the time.
Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham
Did I mention I love Gilmore Girls? My husband surprised me with this book as a Christmas gift. What a good guy.
This collection of essays recounts Lauren Graham’s most memorable moments. She discusses the start of her acting career, her time on Parenthood, and (of course) her time on Gilmore Girls. (The Gilmore Girls stuff only takes up two chapters of the book!) She also includes insightful chapters about various lessons she has learned over the years. Naturally, the book is written in a very conversational tone and it is full of humor.
Would I recommend it? Meh. Honestly, I only know Graham as Lorelai, so I wasn’t very interested in some of the Parenthood chapters; I would have loved more Gilmore Girls insights! I was hoping there would be more stories about her life outside of acting, but I was left hanging in that aspect. Also, I found the tone a bit too conversational sometimes; every now and then, it became annoying to read.
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein
I first heard of Gabby Bernstein on The Lively Show many months ago. She’s a former drug addict who found a road to recovery through meditation and spirituality.
Her newest book is about ridding yourself of limiting beliefs and choosing to surrender control to the universe. By “universe,” she means whatever higher power you might believe in (like God). Each chapter contains lessons she has learned about love, acceptance, surrender, mindfulness, etc. She ends each chapter with actionable steps and includes lots of meditation exercises, as well. It took me a while to get used to her terminology (I still don’t have the best grasp on it), but the main thing I took away from this book is the importance of being aware of our thoughts and how they can shape our reality.
It took me a while to get used to her terminology (I still don’t have the best grasp on it), but the main thing I took away from this book is the importance of being aware of our thoughts and how they can shape our reality. For instance, if you don’t believe you can do xyz, then you won’t even accomplish xyz.
Would I recommend it? Maybe. I love that the book was actionable; I can see myself coming back to certain chapters based on where I am in my life. However, her message left me with a lot of unanswered questions. I don’t believe in complete surrender. I believe in understanding the difference between what you can and cannot control. I also believe in working hard for what you want. So, where does Bernstein find a balance between surrender and control? Because you can’t just do nothing in this world and expect to float through life. If you have any insight on that, let me know!
I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately, so I’d love your fiction recommendations! I’ve been craving a little escape. What have you read lately?