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I have been loving my new habit of turning my phone completely off at night before bed. Not on silent, not on airplane mode, not on sleep mode. Off. I swear I can literally feel the difference. Something in my brain is just like, 'Ok. It's time to settle in,' and I begin to unwind from the day. Then, I'll pick up my latest book and dive in until my eyes start to close. Ah, it's been the best change. Anyway, here are my latest reads. Side note: I'd love to do some sort of YBC book exchange or book gifting or something, where maybe we all pick a favorite book, we'll pair you up with someone and you can send each other a book? Kind of like a pen pal, but like, book buddies? I don't know. Something to think about for the future maybe, let me know down in the comments section if that sounds interesting to you, or perhaps you have a better idea for making something cool happen for the YBC Book Nerds!
Related: All the book blog posts.
1. The Nest - This book is about a dysfunctional bunch of siblings who are counting on their payout from their trust (dubbed "the nest"), but when one brother gets into a drug and alcohol fueled accident, their mother uses the majority of the money to help him. The brother swears he'll pay them all back, but then disappears. This was a quick read - perfect when you're snowed in or for an afternoon at the beach - but I was disappointed by the ending.
2. The Hideaway - This is a cute feel-good southern novel about family bonds with a hint of mystery and a little love thrown in the mix. The character development is great, and the vivid writing makes you feel like you're right in Alabama, where the majority of the novel takes place. It's a light read, a fantastic in-between read, if you typically read heavy, somewhat draining stuff like this.
3. A River in Darkness - I actually bought this as a Christmas gift for the guy I'm seeing, and he said it was so good I needed to read it. I literally read it in 24 hours. It is a fast, keep-you-up-at-night kind of read. In fact, the whole story is just so mind-blowing to me that after I finished the book, I went down an internet rabbit hole trying to learn everything I could about North Korea. I wish I could find out more about the author - where is he now? What does he do? How does he spend his days? I want to know everything, and came up maddeningly empty when I tried to search. Highly recommend this book!
4. All The Ugly and Wonderful Things - Oh boy. This book. Sigh. I am deeply, deeply sensitive to anything having to do with underaged children, and this made me feel sick, but I just couldn't put it down. It's about this girl, Wavy, whose mother and father are a drug addict and meth manufacturer respectively, and who basically couldn't care less about her. The only person in her life who seems to care about her at all is this young man, Kellen, who works for her dad. He enrolls her in school, buys her new shoes every year, and is the closest thing she has to a stable adult in her life. But of course things get weird, and they fall in love, and at this point she's probably in her pre-teens and he's in his lower twenties, and it's just an awfully uncomfortable read as you follow them through the years. But. But. But. But at the same time, you might be able to kind of see how things are not quite black and white, and blah. I don't know. It was a very well written book and the character development is excellent. It just made me uncomfortable, which perhaps is what the author intended. Notably, the section at the end has a brief interview with the author, whose life sounds quite familiar to the fictionalized Wavy in the book. I'd definitely recommend this book, but just be sure you're in a good frame of mind.
5. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone - This book was a solid meh. There were a lot of interesting points and I highlighted a couple takeaways, but I didn't feel that it was anything groundbreaking, inspirational, or contained information that I hadn't heard before. I guess, and this is partly my fault, I find that I am more drawn to books (even informational ones like this), where the author has interwoven her own personal stories of struggle, vulnerabilities, triumphs, etc. While she highlighted a little here and there, I wasn't particularly emotionally invested in her, so I found her research on belonging to be less impactful as it might've been if she'd been able to weave a cohesive narrative about her own experiences throughout.
I'd love to know your latest reads or if you have any recommendations. I hate when I don't have a book to read - I think I need to start a To Read list. Let me know what I should put on it!
PS- Be sure to tune in later today for our weekly wardrobe post!