Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

February Reads

February was a month of heavy hitters and potential life changers.

February-reads-2016-books February Reads

Still Alice
Mental illness is terrifying, especially when it is erasing your memories and your core understanding of who you are. Still Alice gives a heartbreaking inside view of what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s. Rumor has it it’s also a movie or something.

Undecided: How to Ditch the Endless Quest for Perfect and Find the Career–and Life–That’s Right for You
My college advisor and professor wrote this book while I was her student at Santa Clara. I started reading it when it came out my junior year, but I just couldn’t get behind it. I was so sure of myself then and of what I wanted to be doing that I couldn’t connect with the characters who seemed to be so lost and so desperate for someone else to help them define their success.

I didn’t have a sudden realization of what I want to do while reading it. Instead, I got the feeling that no one knows what they want to do, ever. You just do what seems right in the moment, you take the next step just to see where it takes you. This book helped me realize that only I could decide what was right for me – nothing else matters.

Home is Burning
Due to some weird fate of the library, this book and Still Alice arrived at the same time. It was a lot to take in all at once. I had to worry that I had Alzheimer’s and some other terrifying, terminal disease simultaneously. With that said, I wanted to laugh with this book, I wanted to understand the author and his experience, but more often than not I was frustrated with him. He paints himself (and most of his family) in a pretty terrible light. Unless you like really dark humor, I wouldn’t recommend this one.

The Four Hour Workweek
This book was the last little shove I needed to fully embrace going freelance and seeing what I can make of myself on my own. I had heard about it many times before, and I always brushed it off as some sort of unattainable, unrealistic, crazy fad diet of a lifestyle. Which isn’t totally wrong, but it leaves out all of the important nuggets (like beating your email) and the things that anyone can apply to their lives without dropping everything and living in Thailand for a year (although I think I would like the weather…). This book made such a dent that it has its own post.

All the Light We Cannot See
I got so lost in this book that I couldn’t be found even when I wasn’t reading it. There were times where the whole world fell away. Hours went by without me realizing. I couldn’t pull myself out of this book.

As a general rule I avoid historical fiction. I find them tiresome and too full of romanticized “truth” for my taste. This one made me reconsider my rule. It broke my heart and made me imagine and think about so many things I wish to never entertain. But it was powerful and upsetting in the best kind of way. Human beings do horrible things to each other, but they also reach out and put everything on the line for someone else.

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