THE SECOND MOUNTAIN (AUDIOBOOK) BY DAVID BROOKS ★★★.5
This started out really strong, it flailed throughout the middle, and then had some good things at the end again. It’s subtitle states “The quest for a moral life,” and then the book talks about commitments we make to ourselves, our marriages, and to a community. Overall, it was more theory than actionable advice, and although there were parts that resonated with me, it did fall flat for me as a whole.
FAR FROM THE TREE BY ROBIN BENWAY ★★★★
Any story of adoption, foster care, abandonment, or child neglect is hard for me, but also worth it. I see the value in muddling through the struggle to gain a better insight into what it’s like to have adoption and foster care as part of your story. This helps me better understand the lens my child views the world from, so in this sense, this was a very good book. In another sense, where the author tried to tie up all the loose ends and create a resolution, it didn’t feel realistic. The truth is, these issues plague kids’ lives for a long time, and there are no easy answers. Those who love them can simply keep trying and keep showing up.
THE FOUR TENDENCIES BY GRETCHIN RUBIN ★★★★.5
I am really eager to gain more awareness about why I do certain things and why certain things are hard for me. This book helped me with both of these topics. Rubin categorizes everyone in 4 places: Upholder, Questioner, Rebel or Obliger & then does a great job of explaining what that means. In essence, it depends on how you react to expectations. It’s as simple as that. I was surprised by what this book revealed about me and found very helpful advice on how to parent a rebel!
MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE (AUDIOBOOK) BY LORI GOTTLIEB ★★★★
A therapist sees a therapist. This is the gist of how this memoir gets started, but Gottlieb does a great job of filling it in with loads of personal history that feels relevant, stories from her own patients, as well as therapist talk that gives you a glimpse into the methods and help that a therapist might employ to help a patient. I really liked what I learned from this book. Gottlieb is a very good story teller. Fair warning: Lots of adult language.
LEARNING TO SEE BY ELISE HOOPER ★★★★
Dorothy Lange, most famous for her Depression era photographs, was way beyond her time but the tragedies, failures, and hard choices she faced all felt relevant. I like stories of those who grapple with their creative gifts and their sense of purpose & liked learning more about Dorothy and the era of her life.