What’s up, pals? November was a whirlwind; I can’t believe it’s already over! 2020 has flown by and honestly, thank God for that. (Not that you should wish away your life, but for real. 2020 has been one for the books for all of us.) This month, I finished my first semester of grad school and am headed off into a two (2)-month-long break. During that time, I think you know what I’ll be doing……. reading every book on my shel– nope. Eating mac and cheese, duh!
Anyway, here is a good ol’ November #RateMyReads. As always, books are linked through Bookshop.org, which supports tons of local indie bookshops (and me :)).
- 0 – DNF (did not finish)
- 1 – Really did not enjoy/would not recommend to people looking for a rec
- 2 – Personally did not like, but it could be good for someone who enjoys the genre or author more
- 3 – Average, nothing special jumps out at me, but a good read! Would recommend for people to try if they are looking for a rec
- 4 – Truly liked and would recommend to anyone
- 5 – GREAT, everyone must buy and read and love! (Seriously, I felt different as a person after reading this book)
- Shooting star – One book per month is picked as the “Shooting Star.” This is a book that I think everyone should read, no matter who, no matter when, no matter where!
Read #1: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin (thriller) – 4.75 stars
Rachel Krall hosts a hit true-crime podcast that has set an innocent man free. Needing to make her next season a success, she heads to a small coastal town, Neapolis, to cover a rape trial that has gained national publicity. When her work becomes chaotic, Rachel begins to find intriguing notes left for her everywhere, begging for her help in solving a 25-year-old cold case where a local girl who supposedly drowned had actually been brutally murdered. What Rachel discovers upon taking on the case will reveal the true identity of Neapolis and draw connections between the past and the present in ways no one thought imaginable.
This was a fantastic book. I read this one during Bad Bitch Book Club’s “Ghoul’s Night Out” event, and still relatively new to the thriller genre, the twists in these novels keep me turning the pages until the very end. The Night Swim was a super quick read that contained some heavy stuff – including torture, rape, harassment, sexual assault, murder, victim-blaming, guilt and thoughts of suicide, and more. Living in a small town that is *not* plagued by illegal scandals, I can’t relate to the hidden past Neapolis tries so hard to hide. However, I can attest to the gossip that goes around and the assumptions that are made in small towns, and acknowledge that in them, even once you’re dead, your reputation lives on.
Overall, I thought what Goldin did to illustrate the blame culture that surrounds survivors of sexual assault was critical to our understanding of what it means to believe someone when they are telling us about their trauma. Additionally, the fact that this story centers around a case against the successful swimmer with “Olympic potential” gives off major People v. Turner vibes, so if you decide to pick it up, you’ll have to see which jury did a better job.
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff (non-fiction; memoir) – 5 stars; Shooting Star of the month
In this memoir, Bob Goff takes us through his life as a Christian, constantly growing closer to Jesus through lessons he has learned. He gives us stories about his persistence to get into law school, meeting the love of his life (affectionately referred to as “Sweet Maria”), and taking his three children on their “ten-year-old adventures.” Goff also tells readers about people who have touched his life along the way, and how their faith inspired him to think of love as an action rather than a thing.
This was a re-read for me because I LOVE Bob Goff’s writing! His short chapters and intricate stories make you feel as if you are present for them, and he writes to you in a comical way that makes you think the two of you are best friends. (Wait, we aren’t?)
His love for his family, his friends, his faith, and those in the world he doesn’t even know compel you as a reader to think “What would love do?” This book got my shooting star for the month not because it is a religious book (even though he talks about how he believes in God, I don’t believe you need to be religious to read this book), but because it is a memoir about how to do love. Love is one of our most precious superpowers, yet it is also one of the actions most lacking in this world. Reading Love Does allows us to realize that, even as people who aren’t especially famous, genius, or extraordinary in the eyes of others, we can still be the reason someone’s life gets better.
Another light reading month for me, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve got some good ones lined up for December and I can’t wait to tell you all about them – as well as my top reads from 2020!
Be safe, healthy, and happy my friends ❤