I’ve been having so much fun sharing my recent reads that I’m continuing the series! I’m excited to share my June reads with you today.
Note: I know that I’m way behind on my reading updates. And I know that I never published a June goals update. I may end up writing some combined reading and goals updates later this summer.
In June, I listened to:
- Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande. Better is the third Atul Gawande book I’ve read. I’ve really enjoyed all of them. Gawande is a fantastic writer who blends medical and psychology knowledge and reference with personal narrative seamlessly, making for a great read every time. If Gawande’s style appeals to you, but you’re looking for a less medically-oriented book, I recommend The Checklist Manifesto.
- Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. I actually listened to most of Blood, Bones, and Butter back in the spring but didn’t quite finish it before my library deadline. I put the book on my to-read list after watching Hamilton’s stint on season 4 of The Mind of a Chef. Watch The Mind of a Chef stint and skip the book. Hamilton is a truly mediocre writer without one significant personal or professional story to share. You’ll get a lot more out of and think better of her watching the TV segment.
- I Remember Me by Carl Reiner. I think the world of Carl Reiner and his work. However, I just couldn’t get into this book. The stories are so random. There isn’t any logical order to the book, which makes the timeline confusing as well.
- The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. I know most people either love or hate Timothy Ferris, and there isn’t much in between. I can see how he comes off as a douche. However, I think it’s important to take this type of book with a grain of salt. You can get some great tips to improve your productivity, gain more flexibility at work, and ultimately, live a more fulfilling life without doing everything Ferriss does. The book did inspire me to turn of all my phone notifications except phone calls and text messages, which has been a game changer.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I understand that How to Win Friends and Influence People was groundbreaking for its time. I’m a bit surprised no one has ever done an updated version. While many of the principles still stand true, there are numerous examples that are really outdated. Like when you’re watching Mad Men and you know that’s what someone really would have said or done in the 1960s workplace, and you’re still like, really? It’s cringworthy at times. There is a newer version for the digital age, which I haven’t read but have to imagine addresses this issue. I also think I would get more out of How to Win Friends and Influence People as part of a class where you could discuss it and get additional materials, examples, etc. alongside it.
- Wildflower by Drew Barrymore. Drew Barrymore is so stinking cute. You already knew that, right? She shares a lot of personal stories about her wild youth, early dating years, etc. that would normally make me roll my eyes. But with Drew, it’s somehow charming. I love how she puts it all out there and doesn’t apologize for or try to cover up any aspect of her past, her passions, or her career.
- I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short. I Must Say is one of the best books I’ve read lately, audio or otherwise. It’s well-written. It’s funny (laugh out loud while you’re driving funny). It’s touching. It includes amazing celebrity stories. It includes behind the scenes stories about a wide range of TV shows and movies. His personal stories are David Sedaris-esque, and I mean that in the best way possible. Basically, I Must Say is everything you want (but so rarely get) in a celebrity memoir. It greatly increased my respect for Martin Short.
- The 1997 Masters: My Story by Tiger Woods. The 1997 Masters is a classic sports narrative that stands up to the greats like John Feinstein. Woods does a good job blending personal narrative into his golf story to give it background and depth without wallowing in unrelated content. His story of winning the 1997 Masters by such a wide, still currently unbeaten margin, remains incredible. It’s interesting to hear about it from his perspective.
- Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Untie the Strong Woman was a decent read. I was expecting a more theology-based, less personal story based book from a PhD. I can see how people connect with her personal storytelling approach, and I did enjoy some elements of her perspective.
I’m currently listening to Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks. I added it to my to-read list after reading Waking the Spirit earlier this year. It’s a little psychology/medical heavy, which makes it a bit dry at times, but it’s interesting.
In June, I read:
- The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. A light chick lit read always seems like a great choice for a vacation. Nine times out of 10, I regret devoting trip time to these type of books. The Hating Game was no exception. It’s not well-written. The characters aren’t developed. Most of the plot is completely unbelievable. People understand books like The Hating Game are a total fantasy, right? I know that’s the appeal for many people, but it’s just too ridiculous for me. Anyway, The Hating Game is definitely one to skip.
- Crossed by Allie Condie. In stark comparison, Crossed is great. Obviously, it’s pretty different from Matched and leaves a lot unresolved. But I thought it was just as good. I’m looking forward to finishing the triology, most likely later this summer.
I’m currently reading Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout. If you’ve been keeping up with my recent reads posts, you may remember that I was currently reading Fer-de-Lance when I wrote my May reads post. And now it’s mid-July. Yeah… #fail I started it on the plane back from Europe and have been reading bits here and there since then. But I still haven’t quite finished the book. It’s just been easier to fit in audio books while cleaning the house for our friends visiting, driving to and from Milwaukee, and getting outside for walks as much as possible.
What have you been reading lately?
I’m always looking for new recommendations!
Additional reading posts: