Just like that it’s May! In a few short weeks I will be heading to California to spend a bit of time with my family in the Napa Valley region. I am definitely looking forward to the sunshine. There are some days laying out reading in the yard in the near future. I can hardly wait! Without further ramblings here are a few quick recaps of the books I read this month:
What I Read during April:
Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology| I’ve recaped a handful of books on cults and you guys kept reccomending Leah Remini’s account of her life in Scientology. At first I was apprehensive to read Leah’s tale because Jenna Miscavige’s book was so comprehensive and I figured there was no way Leah’s story could Ben as intriguing. But…my Facebook feed started to blow up with old friends from high school commenting on Leah’s show and since I don’t watch much tv but also don’t like to be left out I added the book to my reading list. I finally listened on Audible and was pleasantly surprised by how invested I was. Leah didn’t offer all that much insight into Scientology that I didn’t get in Jenna Miscavige’s book (review here) but I did enjoy reading a different perspective. Of course the unique celeb insights that Leah had surrounding Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were page turners too! I enjoyed the book for a brief overview of Scientology but reccomended Beyond Belief for a deeper portrayal of the institution.
Tell Me Three Things| If you’re a fan of cute teen love stories look no further. Every so often my heart yearns for a nostalgic tale of teenage angst and awkwardness. After the death of her mother, Jessie’s father remarries and uproots her from her life in Chicago to take her to Los Angeles. Jessie is plopped suddenly into a new life at an affluent prep school where she can’t seem to make her GAP jeans and Vans sneakers fit in. Jessie soon begins receiving emails from a boy who calls himself “Somebody Nobody”. Somebody Nobody becomes Jessie’s virtual friend and confidant as she navigates through her new world. I really liked that Jessie was dealing with bigger issues than just high school drama (as a non high school reader I need a little more to pick up a teen read). As Jessie coped with the loss of her mother and upheaval of her entire life the love story was a relatable peek into the mind of a 16 year old girl. I definitely recommend reading this book if you’re looking for a quick, sweet read that will have you replaying the best and worst moments of high school.
To Kill a Mockingbird| Can you believe I made it through 4 years of high school and 4 years of college literature courses without reading this classic? As someone who loves to read I’ve been meaning to dive into Harper Lee’s iconic tale since I was 16. I finally decided it would be unacceptable to show up to law school without having read To Kill a Mockingbird. So I’m currently about half way through and I’m definitely hooked. Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird, did it make an impact on you?
Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution| This book you guys…Oh my gosh, SO good. I am very interested in women’s rights literature and since studying Islam and the Middle East in college I’ve been very intrigued by books about women’s rights in the Middle East. It can be difficult to find reputable books on the topic. As I am neither muslim or Middle Eastern I struggle to find books that are neither white washed or culturally insensitive. Mona Eltahawy’s account wasn’t always easy to read but it packed so much power into 232 pages I couldn’t help but google the author in search of more of her work. Eltahawy’s writing covers sexual assault, child marriage, female genital mutilation and women’s activism. There is definitely controversy over her opinions (she’s calling for a sexual revolution after all) but I really appreciated reading the perspective of an activist who was raised in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Some critics mention that the book is one-sided and while I think the author attempts to reference counter arguments it is important to know going in that you are reading one journalist’s opinion based on years of her own research, reading and experience. Personally I found the author’s views enlightening and I urge more women in the United States to read about the experiences of women living in the Middle East.
As I am hoping for an abundance of reading time during my trip down South I’ve already ordered a handful of books off of Amazon. Next on my list I have The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Station Eleven and Milk and Honey. I’m also planning to listen to Everything, Everything on Audible because I’m determined to read the book before the movie comes out.