A quick review and rating of the last 5 books I read and a look into my TBR list

Where To Begin: A Small Book About Your Power to Create Big Change in Our Crazy World
Author: Cleo Wade
Publication Date: October 2019
Genre: poetry, nonfiction, self help, inspirational, social justice
Method: audiobook via TPL

Review: Beautiful, thought provoking book of poetry and prose. I’m glad I opted for the audiobook, read by the author, Cleo Wade, which made this feel that much more special.

do not be afraid
i know
i can’t do everything
i can do
you are responsible for your actions, your reactions, and your inaction
we forget that the power to change someone’s life is always in our hands

The Scent Keeper
Author: Erica Bauermeister
Publication Date: May 2019
Genre: fiction, contemporary
Method: digital copy read on NOOK

Review: Definitely a unique concept – a story about a young girl coming of age while exploring her gift of scent and uncovering the mysteries of her past. The language and imagery was absolutely beautiful, but the story as a whole fell flat for me. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, feeling pretty neutral overall.

The Shadows
Author: Alex North
Publication Date: July 2020
Genre: thriller, horror, mystery
Method: hardback from BOTM subscription

Review: This was my second BOTM selection and it did not disappoint! Again I found my heart POUNDING at times and my anxiety rising (Detective Beck uncovering a murder scene, IYKYK). Every time I thought I’d stop reading for the night, the chapter would end on a cliff hanger and I’d force myself to keep reading, hoping for some kind of answer. But no. With every chapter ending cliff hanger, the following chapter either switched narrators, and therefore plot lines, or the time period changed – genius. Frustrating, but genius!

How to Be an Antiracist
Author: Ibram X. Kendi
Publication Date: August 2019
Genre: nonfiction, race, politics
Method: digital copy via TPL

Review: There’s no easy way to say that this book is hard to read, which is to be expected when you’re learning about systemic racism and uncovering personal bias. I found that I could only handle reading 1 chapter a day. With a mix of Kendi’s personal stories with reference to historical facts, I’ll be honest and say it was hard to get through. I definitely have learned a lot having read this book and found it very informative, but I wish I would have researched some other options and came back to this title later.

Author: Tara Westover
Publication Date: February 2018
Genre: nonfiction, autobiography, memoir
Method: digital copy via TPL

Review: I’m at a loss for words. How is it that you rate a memoir? Was this a shocking story with unbelievably horrific events and traumas? Yes. Did I want to scream every time Tara returned home? Yes. Did my mouth fall open on multiple occasions as family member after family member was manipulated into disowning Tara? YES.
This story wasn’t really enjoyable at all to unravel, but I’m so so glad I read it. I find Tara’s story so inspiring, coming from so little and fighting down barrier after barrier to bring about her own education. This memoir provided perspective and awareness to a lifestyle and upbringing I would have otherwise never known. I’ve never felt so sharply aware of my good fortune and blessing to have had the loving and supportive parents that I have. Thanks mom and dad. Because of you I have everything, and I will be everything.

Reads On Deck: books I have physical and/or digital copies at the ready

Until tomorrow, Meryn



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