Tuesday, November 07, 2017

What I Read | October

A look back at what I read last month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread

October was a month for reading. Thanks to a few sick days and the Dewey's 24-hour readathon, I plowed through twenty-eight books last month! There were some really good reads and some so-so ones, but they are all worth mentioning here. Before we jump into the books, I have a quick question for you...

If you are a reader and enjoy reading nonfiction books, I'm curious how you rate (give stars) those books. Since they are usually more informational and not a story with a narrative arc, do you star based on how interesting you find it, or the accuracy of the information discussed, or do you just go with a how the book makes you feel overall? I asked this question of a friend the other day and he had a whole method for how he rated his nonfiction books and now I'm curious about yours! If you are so inclined, please share in the comments below. :)

Must Read

Kill the Spider by Carlos Rodriguez | ★★★★★

Are you tired of trying to live for Christ—only to fail time and time again with the same old behaviors? Do you pray for guidance, ask for deliverance, and vow to do better, yet fail to progress?

As an author, speaker, pastor, and blogger at Ragamuffin Soul, Carlos has lived much of his spiritual life in the spotlight. But, like any Christian, his faith story has its ups and downs. He spent decades trying to figure out how to be a “better person.” Time and time again, he strived for holiness only to get caught in the web of destructive habits, behaviors and thought patterns.

But, the buck stops here. Or, rather, the spider is killed here.

In Kill the Spider, Carlos shares personal material ranging from hilarious, self-deprecating stories to passion-filled wisdom—to show others it’s not enough to try and “stop sinning.” He teaches that knocking out deep-rooted habits and issues comes by treating the issue, not just the symptoms.

In Kill the Spider, Carlos shares personal material ranging from hilarious, self-deprecating stories to passion-filled wisdom—to show others it’s not enough to try and “stop sinning.” He teaches that knocking out deep-rooted habits and issues comes by treating the issue, not just the symptoms. - Goodreads description

This was such an amazing book. From the years of following Carlos' story, I've learned that he battles with severe anxiety and one of the things that most stood out to me in this book was the raw and honest way he talks about his struggle. It was so inspiring and the theme of the book just makes so much sense to me. Great, great read.


The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc | ★★★★★

Since 2013 Mihaela Noroc has traveled the world with her backpack and camera taking photos of everyday women to showcase the diversity and beauty all around us. The Atlas of Beauty is a collection of her photographs that celebrates women from fifty countries across the globe and shows that beauty is everywhere, regardless of money, race or social status, and comes in many different sizes and colors. Mihaela's portraits feature women in their native environments, from the Amazon rainforest to markets in India, London city streets, and parks in Harlem, creating a mirror of our varied cultures and proving that beauty has no rules. - Goodreads description

This is essentially a coffee table book but it is SO stunning, I couldn't help but mention it here. If you've ever wanted to see the definition of beauty, look at these five hundred portraits of women of all colors, shapes, sizes. It is one gorgeous lesson in culture.

Other mentions for the month of October:
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay (re-read)  | ★★★★
It's Your World by Chelsea Clinton  | ★★★★
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood  | ★★★★
Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones  | ★★★★
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo  | ★★★★
Rescued by Peter Zheutlin  | ★★★★
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery  | ★★★★
The Workplace Writer's Process by Anne H. Janzer  | ★★★★
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan  | ★★★
American Oligarchy by Ron Formisano  | ★★★
After You by JoJo Moyes  | ★★★
Out of Place by Edward Said  | ★★★
Future Sex by Emily Witt  | ★★★
The Giver by Lois Lowry  ★★★
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust  | ★★★
Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin  | ★★★
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller  | ★★★
A Few Minor Adjustments by Cherie Kephart  | ★★★
Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe  | ★★☆☆

What did you enjoy reading last month?

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  1. I love seeing what books people are reading! Looks like you had a mostly good reading month, so yay for that. I don't always rate my books with a star rating, but when it comes to non fiction books, it tends to just be how well I think the book is written - information included, etc. and how it makes me feel/how interesting it is, I guess. It's a mix of things but it's fairly similar to any book I read.


  2. Thanks for the share. I've been reading a teen book series with my Niece. I must check these out when I get done.. xxoo

  3. WOW. You read a lot this month! I am very curious about Kill the Spider so I will have to check that out. I'm glad to see in your list that you enjoyed the Jim Henson biography, it is a good read! A long one, but worth it!

  4. I am super struggling to get through one book...ONE girlfriend. ONE. And look at you. Son of a b....I wish that I could just do a massive nosedive into the library but life man....it's killing me smalls. I do want to read the book by Rob Lowe but I see you've only given it 2 stars. I don't know why I am into him. Such an odd person.

  5. Wow, you got through a lot of books again.... what did you think about The Handmaid's Tale? And I am contemplating reading After You, but I heard it doesn't live up to Me Before You.

  6. The Atlas of Beauty sounds fascinating!

  7. I'm so impressed you got through this many! So I loved me before you but for some reason I could just not get through it!

  8. That's interesting. I'm learning that some people rate books on how they feel reading them, while others rate on the technical qualities and merit of the book.

  9. I have to admit, I miss some of the youth novels I used to read as a teen. Sweet Valley Twins/High was one of my favorites. :)

  10. Yes, the Jim Henson book was much longer than I expected but it was so interesting!

  11. Haha! I also don't have children, which gives me so much extra time. I think anytime you manage to squeeze ANY reading in, it's a good thing. :) The Rob Lowe book was two stars for me because it was not anything special for me. However, it would be worth trying, especially if you enjoyed the movie, The Outsiders.

  12. I really enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale. For it originally being published in 1985, it is SO relevant right now. It's definitely eye-opening.

  13. It was a gorgeous book. I'm thinking about getting a hard copy (I had a Kindle copy for review) to keep on my coffee table.

  14. I loved the first book but the second one fell short for me. I'll try the next one in the series and hopefully, the story will pick up.