I am finally back after an unplanned month long hiatus in which I broke my laptop, moped around for a few weeks, and J finally took it to the computer shop to get it fixed. The breakage occurred because I am….. a dropper. My laptop lives inside a padded pouch and I carry it around in a bag covered in cat-stronauts (yes, cats in astronaut suits, just as fab as it sounds) and after getting dropped from shoulder height, a hinge in the back fell apart. I thought it was “not broken” and just “a little messed up”, so of course I continued to use it until the back started lifting away from the top and I could no longer open or close it…. good times. Anyway, laptop is back in action!
Moving on to 2020 – one of my goals this year is to read more, which is much easier at my current job than my last job. I have a lot of downtime at work, and as long as I get everything needed done, talk to customers and answer the phone when it rings, and stay in the building, I am free to use my downtime as I please. This opens up a lot more time for things like blogging and reading! Last year I probably only read 10-15 books (so sad), but this year my goal is to read 50!
I started a goodreads account to help keep myself accountable, feel free to follow along with me or recommend books I need to read. If you’ve read any of these, I’d love to hear what you thought of them! Also, I realize the photo is not of what I read this month, just a sneak peek for February’s reads 🙂 I forgot to take a photo for January!
WHAT I READ JANUARY 2020
Recursion by Blake Crouch – 5.0 stars
I read Blake Crouch’s book Dark Matter last year and loved it, so I was stoked to get my hands on his newest book. I’ve learned I really like science fiction – I don’t know why this surprised me, considering all the sci-fi space shows I like to watch.
I think most people have wondered, what if I could go back and fix *insert event here*, what would my life be like? Recursion dives into the horrifying consequences of time travel and how it affects our timeline, as well as everyone on Earth’s lives. There’s not a lot to say without giving away some of the story, but I highly recommend this book.
Recommended if you like: Donnie Darko, 11.22.63
Normal People by Sally Rooney – 3.0 stars
Ehhhh. This book was underwhelming. I realize I’m late to the game on this one, but decided to read it after seeing rave reviews for it. If you’re one of the few people who hasn’t read this or isn’t aware of it, it’s a love story between two young people living in Ireland, who have no communication skills and the story probably could have been tied up in a few chapters if they just used a few more words.
It was short, it was semi-entertaining, but this book also just left me feeling really bummed out. The horrible ways Marianne lets people treat her, the ways Connell can’t just ask for what he wants instead of sulking… I didn’t really connect with any of the characters or care about them. I wouldn’t read this again, but might try Sally Rooney’s other book, as her writing style is enjoyable enough.
Recommended if you like: Slow moving rom-coms and feeling sad
The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan – 1.5 stars
Okay, to preface this, I loved Brain on Fire, which is the reason I read this in the first place. The subject of the book definitely drew me in – the author is looking into a study that took place in the 1970s written about eight sane people who infiltrated mental institutions to reveal the horrors within, as well as questioning the legitimacy of psychiatric medicine. After her own brush with a misdiagnosis of “insanity”, which was actually an autoimmune disorder attacking her own brain, Cahalan is interested in “what could have been”, had she not had top-of-the-line medical care and had been stuck with her diagnosis of schizophrenia.
I love reading about mental health, I find it very interesting, but this book just dragged on and I was unbelievably bored the whole time. Around the middle, when she tracked down one of the so-called “pseudo-patients”, I thought the book was picking up, but unfortunately, the author continued to hit dead ends in her research, even finding most of the study to be false. I don’t really feel like this book had any reason to be written. I feel like it’s like when you are in high school and spend a lot of time on a research paper, but realize you’ve ended up at a dead end; you should probably start over with a new topic, but after all the time you invested, you just try to “make it work” instead. This book really missed the mark for me.
Recommended if you like: Psychology textbooks, torturing yourself
Side Life by Steve Toutonghi – stars
After struggling through The Great Pretender for two weeks, I needed to go back to fiction that would be at least tolerable – I found this while searching for other books by Blake Crouch and decided to give it a go.
Side Life is about Vin, a young tech entrepeneur living in Seattle who (for some unexplained reason) gets pushed out of the company he founded, leaving him without a job. Someone his dad knows hires him to house-sit for a woman who has gone missing, keeping Vin in the dark about everything. He discovers some technology in her basement that he believes allows a person to enter into a lucid-dream state, but when he comes out, things are… different. Some parts of this drag on a little bit too long and I found myself setting it down to come back to it, but I still finished this pretty quickly and enjoyed it.
Recommended if you like: Fringe, The Matrix
Please share some book recs for me this year! I especially love memoirs, but also enjoy any gripping fiction (sci-fi, thrillers, good drama).