Brooke’s Reading List

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I love to read. So much so that I memorized my library card number. (Hey, this is a judgment-free zone!) I’ve decided to share my reading list since I know some of my readers must be bookworms too. I’ll keep an updated list of what I’m currently reading, books I plan to read in the next year, and recommendations for books that blew me away. This page will be updated weekly. Happy reading!

Currently Reading

In this section, I’ll track the books I’m reading right now. I generally have two going simultaneously, one for funsies and one for online book club.

Good Economics for Hard Times* by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

This book, a Bill Gates Summer 2020 recommendation, has been on my reading list for a few months, so I’m excited to jump in finally. After only a few pages, I already feel a connection with the authors who outline how people’s opinions are likely to override facts when it comes to matters of economics. My first highlight: “Everyone gets things wrong. What is dangerous is not making mistakes, but to be so enamored of one’s point of view that one does not let facts get in the way.” I can already tell this book is going to be full of valuable insights and thought-provoking information.

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress* by Gustavo Kinrys

This is the August book of the month for online book club. I like to try and read the monthly books to participate in forum discussions so maybe one day I’ll increase my level and, therefore become eligible for higher-paid reviews. So far, this book is an elementary look at tactics to lower anxiety and stress. I feel reasonably informed on this subject but can see how it could be an excellent introductory course for someone who is learning stress and anxiety management for the first time.

Going to Read

Below are the books I’m planning to read over the next year. This list is comprised of recommendations from well-known book worms, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, podcasts, friends, and family. If you’ve read a book you think should be on my list, please let me know!

Already Read

The following are books I’ve read so far in 2020 that are worthy of recommendations.

Becoming Bulletproof *- Evy Poumpouras – This was an extraordinarily insightful and empowering book. It’s not every day we get to hear from a female Secret Service agent who served under four presidents. Her insights about personal protection, how to read people, and what’s important in life were thought-provoking. They made me want to reconsider home security and my ability to protect myself.

Harry Potter books 1-7*– J.K. Rowling – I listened to these on audiobook over two months. It’s incredible how many things you pick up on as an adult that weren’t evident as a child. I found myself repeatedly pausing on book seven because I was desperate to continue my relationship with these characters and this world.

The Goldfinch* – Donna Tartt – Dare I say it, The Goldfinch is my favorite book in an extremely long time. We follow a boy from a broken home to his journey as a troubled adult, all the while with concern over the painting he’s harboring illegally. I was captivated by this tale, likely because the writing is superb. The imagery and ability to create a level of detail you can feel is something I aspire to be able to do. There are so many lessons wrapped up in the final pages of the book that I found myself going back over them multiple times. It’s a long one, crude, very heavy, but worth it.

“And as much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic.”

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Dear Girls – Ali Wong – This book is hysterical, albeit extremely crude at times. Ali’s anecdotes about dating and life as an up-and-coming comedian had me laughing out loud throughout the book. If you like Ali’s style of comedy, you’ll love this book.

The Year of Less* – Cait Flanders – Cait Flanders shares her story of how she transitioned to living a simpler lifestyle after realizing the unhappiness that comes with too many things. I felt at times that I could have written sections of this book. It was very approachable and thought-provoking and will undoubtedly leave you wanting to simplify your own life.

Year of Yes* – Shonda Rhimes – I am a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes. I think she’s an absolute boss, and her shows are some of the best on television (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder). This book chronicles her mindset shift to saying yes to everything for an entire year and the life-changing impacts. It’s an inspirational read that makes you want to step out of your shell and face your fears head-on.

The Last Lecture* – Randy Pausch – This book, which chronicles a college professor’s last lecture after a diagnosis with terminal cancer, is a powerful look at what it means to live. If you’ve ever thought about what it means to “live like you were dying” this emotional look at Randy’s last lecture and the events leading up to will certainly make you think about the kind of legacy you’d like to leave. And perhaps even grant you the opportunity to do it before your time is up.

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