Lots of good books to report this month! Let’s dive right in!
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
I think this book was recommended for people who liked Gone Girl. Since I liked Gone Girl, I decided to give this a try. The premise drew me in: a woman struggling with motherhood tries to get back on her feet by taking a job as a reporter for a small town local paper. She usually writes soft, human interest pieces, but when the body of an infant is discovered, she ends up taking this hard news story. It’s a hard story for her to take on for several reasons, one personal reason in particular. And then the story unfolds from multiple vantage points, keeping you guessing who this baby belongs to, and how it ended up dead. I like these kind of twisty stories where you’re trying to figure out who did it and you’re also piecing together how all these people relate. Definitely one of those reads that I didn’t want to put down and finished in a couple days.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
So often on the podcast, the guest mentions pairing down her to-do list to only what’s essential. That message has been resonating a lot with me lately. I can’t do everything. And when I try, it’s a mess. The author advocates really thinking through what’s essential. And saying no to everything else. For people pleasers, this is going to be a tough pill to swallow. But he offers advice on how to say no and that, actually, his research shows that people are actually okay with you saying no.
A message I latched on to in the book is to really think about what you’re doing. Are you just moving from one obligation to the next without thought? Do you really need to be doing that? Why? As an upholder (based on Gretchen Rubin’s Better Then Before habits quiz), I tend to uphold things because that’s just my nature. I’ll keep a habit because it’s easy for me to maintain it, and I seldom think “is this essential? Do I even want to be doing this anymore?”
If you don’t feel overwhelmed in your life, or if you don’t feel like you need to pair down, then you probably won’t get all that much out of this book. But I love to read different perspectives on time management and personal fulfillment, so while I don’t 100% subscribe to everything in this book, it did get me thinking about what’s important to me and if I’m actually prioritizing those things.
MWF Seeks BFF by Rachel Bertsche
I LOVE books like this where the author sets out on a project and then takes us along for the ride. I also love friends, so the author’s pursuit of going on 52 friends dates with the goal of finding a new best friend for life intrigued me.
I liked the author as a person, and I wanted to be her friend. I loved how beautifully she wove her personal stories, friend date stories, and research into her book. The book felt thoughtfully put together. And there is a lot of introspection and discussion on friendship: what makes for lasting friendship, the importance of friends, the difference between what you get out of a marriage versus a friendship, etc… Lots of interesting facts and studies.
The book did feel long. She did have to get through 52 people! But I enjoyed reading about all her friend dates, and I rooted for her to find a BFF.
It also got me thinking about my friendships and the importance of nurturing those friendships.