5 Good Books: Volume 15

I’m so glad I’ve started reviewing books again! I love reading. I have to read every single night before bed to fall asleep and always have a book or my iPad so I can read on the Subway. Here are my most recent recommendations!

Educated

Educated: A Memoir (c/o): This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s a memoir about a girl who grows up in a family of survivalists who believe the world is going to come to an end. They don’t believe in public school education, the medical establishment, and Tara didn’t have a birth certificate or a record of her birthday. Tara and her siblings work on her father’s junkyard where they get injured often and Tara’s brother is physically and emotionally abusive. After Tara’s older brother takes the ACT and goes to college, she decides to study and teaches herself enough to do well on the ACT. She goes to Brigham Young University and learns about things like the Holocaust and the Civil War for the first time ever. Her professors realize how talented she is and she studies abroad at Cambridge, where she dazzles her tutor and ends up getting her Ph.D. there and also studying at Harvard. She becomes estranged from members of her family and the book is about family, education, and becoming independent. I found myself crying multiple times. It’s so well written and such an interesting view of a dysfunctional family.

White Houses

White Houses (c/o): White Houses is an intimate glimpse of The White House during and leading up to Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency through the perspective of Lorena Hickok, Eleanor Roosevelt’s girlfriend. The book chronicles her difficult childhood in South Dakota, her career as a prominent reporter, and her relationship with Eleanor. She lived in The White House as the “first friend,” gets to know President Roosevelt (and his mistress) well, and has an on-and-off relationship with Eleanor for decades. The author, Amy Bloom, read letters and books by Lorena as well as her writing. I highly, highly recommend it.

Work It

Work It: Secrets for Success from the Boldest Women in Business (c/o): Work It is an essential read for any woman navigating her career path. I worked with Carrie at Likeable Media, where she is CEO and cofounder, and her passion, enthusiasm, and warmth is evident on each page. She shares stories and advice from her personal and professional advice as well as advice from women she has met throughout her career.

Wheat Belly

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health: I started reading Wheat Belly when I decided to be better about being (mostly) gluten-free again. It is about the benefits of eliminating wheat from your diet, but it isn’t overly scientific or boring. He has treated thousands of people and shares some of the key ways that wheat affects people, even if they aren’t Celiac, like feeling lethargic, carrying extra weight around your stomach, stomachaches, rashes, and high blood sugar. He also gives suggestions for how to become wheat-free. I have much more energy and feel better when I’m gluten-free and, while I do “cheat” from time to time if I am really craving something or are out and see something I really want on the menu or am at a friend’s house, but for the most part I’m gluten-free!

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story: Nightline anchor Dan Harris had an awful panic attack on-air when he was on Good Morning America because of depression, cocaine and ecstasy usage, and anxiety from being a war reporter. He starts meditating, researching meditation, meeting with meditation experts, and finds that mediation makes people 10% happier. I enjoyed it!