I started my new job in June and as a result, did not have much time to read books. I still managed to read 5 books, out of which one was an audiobook, one was a collection of 3 short stories and two were graphic novels.
I read the following books in June –
The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron – 4 stars –
I am a highly sensitive person and my son is one too. This book was on my TBR from several years. I mostly read this book because it says it can help us “thrive in this insensitive world”. I would say this book was great in identifying traits of highly sensitive people (which I did not fully associate with). I loved how I was able to relate a lot of traits though. But there is not much about surviving in this world. Some tips were useful but half of her tips were about being out there and socializing or taking time off and recuperating at home alone. I was expecting more from this book but most of the advice were common sense. The last two chapters were only about psychotherapy and medication. If you had a great childhood like me, I don’t think this book would be of much help, other than understanding how sensitive people are different from others. I made plenty of notes from this book and I am hoping that some of them will be helpful to me. It will help me understand my son better I guess.
Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick and others – 3 stars –
I picked this series as it is nominated for Hugo awards this year. I liked the concept and the idea behind this series a lot. It’s a dystopia feminist series where women who do not comply with rules set by a patriarchal society are sent to a different planet which serves as a prison. Some men who are called ‘fathers’ regulate these rules and punish women who have shown male traits like being violent. I loved the scene where a husband gets rid of his wife just so that he can be with his girlfriend.
My only problem with this book was the nudity. Way too many panels with naked women which really wasn’t necessary. Too many shower scenes and like other reviews have mentioned, the characters weren’t developed very well. There is no bonding between the “non-compliant (N.C)” women and they hardly interact with each other.
So I liked few aspects of this book and disliked few. I read the next volume to see if the authors had improved in terms of the story telling and characterization.
Bitch Planet, Vol. 2: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick and others – 4 stars –
Much better than the first volume for sure. Less nudity, even though it was still there. I am still unsure why shower scenes and naked women are required for this story. But otherwise, I liked the plot in this one and definitely plan to continue with this series. Next volume will be interesting as now all the women in prison are free and President Bitch is backing the revolution.
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover – 5 stars –
My first Colleen Hoover book. I got an audiobook from my library and the narrator was great. I was ready to give this book 2 stars after reading the first 100 pages since it looked like a typical romance novel. But once I crossed the first half or so, I fell in love with it. This is a powerful novel, gut wrenching and heart breaking. But what brought tears in my eyes were author’s notes at the end. I knew that this book was about domestic violence but I had no idea it would be this realistic going in. Must must read. Best book on domestic violence I have ever read. After DNFing multiple books back to back, I am happy to have found a favorite book.I loved so many quotes from this book. I had to pause the audiobook to mark few passages in the book.
”Preventing your heart from forgiving someone you love is actually a hell of a lot harder than simply forgiving them.”
”How easy is it for humans to make judgements when we’re standing on the outside of a situation.”
”Five minutes of witnessing him at his worst couldn’t make up for even five years of him at his best.”
“Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break.”
The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – 4 stars –
This book had 3 short stories from this author.
1. The yellow wallpaper – 4 stars – about a woman going through postpartum depression and how nobody understands that she is suffering from mental illness. I heard this is partly autobiographical.
2. The rocking chair – 5 stars – a spooky story about two friends who move into a new house.
3. Old water – 4 stars – about a girl whose mother wants her to marry a poet.
All these 3 stories are feminist and progressive considering the time period when they were written. I loved all the 3 stories. They were gothic (which is my favorite genre when it comes to classics) and spooky – especially the second story was pretty scary. Loved all the stories. Definitely want to read other works by this author.
With vacation and travel to Europe and India, I am pleasantly surprised you were able to finish reading 5 books.
Couple of these were audiobooks that I listened to during my commute and few were comics. 🙂
Many self-help books end up being too general. They might be more of an inspiration than actual help. But very few of the books give real insights. It’s worth investing in those others, for the sake of the few.
Totally agree with you. Self help books mostly have a lot of fillers and are usually not very helpful.