March 2018: Book Reviews

Bonjour!  Good morning!  Today is a big day!  Today is April 1st which means it is April Fool’s Day (which I’ve never really been a fan of) but more importantly, today is EASTER SUNDAY!  I’m sure many of you have seen this meme floating around on social media lately – but I think it’s clever, and it made me laugh, so I’m sharing it here as well: I love how Easter is on April Fool's Day this year because Jesus pulled the ultimate April Fools Joke.

I traveled a lot this month which means I had a lot of windshield time to listen and learn along the way.  March was a busy month for me (doesn’t it seem like it flew by!?) but I managed to finish three books this month. As promised in my last blog post, I made a better effort this month to work on my reviews as I finished each book. SO, without further ado, here are my thoughts:

  • Tips for Living by Renee Shafransky
    • This was my January pick from Amazon First Reads (previously Kindle First) and I am so glad it was! As I started writing this review, I noticed that others have compared this book to “Gone Girl” so if you’re a fan of that book/movie, chances are you’ll enjoy this one as well.  The brain twists from this book really had me intrigued.  I’ll admit that I predicted the wrong criminal a few times while reading along.  The cover of this book is really what caught my eye – but the story was just as captivating.  As a reader, you identify with the main character and with this book that means you start to question yourself, wondering if you’ve lost control.  I really can’t say much more about this one without sharing spoilers, but if you like suspenseful books that aren’t too dark or gory – read this one.
  • Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy
    • I downloaded this audiobook about a year ago and listened to it off and on over the past year.  I finally finished it – thanks to work trip that gave me about 15 hours of windshield time.  I love that the audiobook is narrated by Amy.  As a survivor of a traumatic brain injury, not only is she strong but she is perseverant, intelligent and beautiful!  One of my favorite parts from this book is about imposter syndrome.  I’ve experienced this feeling before and it was really comforting to know that MANY other people have as well.  I love that she shared statistics and information from her past research.   One of the things Amy is most known for is her research behind “power poses” and how it can affect your hormone levels, and in turn, change your mindset to help overcome stressful situations.  One of my other favorite parts was her reflections back to a study she did to determine at what age we start identifying “powerful” posture and “powerless” posture, and other types of body language.  She realized that children from ages 4-6 were identifying “powerful” posture as masculine – and “powerless” as feminine.  Those ages seemed awfully young to me.  I really learned a lot from this book.  Her TedTalk has over 13 million views on Youtube – if you haven’t seen it yet, I would highly recommend watching it.  I’ve embedded her TedTalk so that you can watch it below.  As I started writing this review, I was a little disappointed to find that since this book was published, contrary evidence on some of the studies has been realized.  You can read more about the more recent research on the effects (or lack thereof) of “power posing” with hormone levels from Fortune.com here.  Regardless, this book and these practices have changed many lives and helped people perform to their best in stressful situations.  I would still recommend Amy’s book to friends and family members.
  • Everything We Keep: A Novel (The Everything Series) by Kerry Lonsdale
    • This. Book. UGH – SO GOOD!  I “borrowed” this book for free (as part of my Amazon Prime membership through Prime Reading) on Christmas day in 2016.  That means this little gem has been sitting in my Kindle Fire just WAITING to be read for over a year!  And as I read it, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next!  This book is contemporary fiction but based off of the relationship between a young lady and her future husband.  I feel like this book was really relatable as a female in her mid-twenties.  Aimee has to learn how to figure out what she wants and how she’s going to achieve her goals – which is surprisingly difficult considering her current situation.  Aimee is mourning the loss of her fiancé and juggling other major changes in her life.  At the funeral, a psychic approaches her to tell her that her fiancé is still alive…. WHAT!  That’s all I’m going to share about the plot – because that’s all it took to hook me into the story.  giphy-downsized.gifYou can check out the full synopsis here or watch the book trailer if you want to know more but I’m not sharing any spoilers.  I will say that I was shocked to learn that Dissociative Fugue is actually a real form of amnesia.  While I was reading this book I figured it was just something she made up for the story.  Boy, was I wrong!  As you’ve probably figured out from the link above, this book is the first in the series.  Both of the first two books in this series are Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestsellers – and I can totally see why.  I downloaded the Kindle version of Everything We Left Behind: A Novel (The Everything Series Book 2) before I even finished book 1 because I was so hooked.  I’ve already finished about a quarter of it.  The third book of the series, Everything We Give: A Novel, won’t be released until July 3, 2018.  Stay tuned for my thoughts on book two in a future post.

What were your thoughts on these great reads?!  Any suggestions of similar books that I should check out?  Leave me a comment!

I hope you had a happy Easter and until next time, happy reading!

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