Well friends I did a ton of reading this month! Sometimes I struggle to pick up something off my stack, while other times I get into a topic and I just have to read everything about it. I’m not going to overwhelm you with all of that, so here is what I read last month that I would recommend putting on your next library list!
Memoir is one of my absolute favorite genres, so I enjoyed this book so much that I probably read it in about four sittings. Tara Westover’s story is about overcoming an abusive and cultish childhood void of any formal education. She goes on to get into BYU, earn multiple ivy league degrees and become an accomplished writer. I love stories with redemptive themes, especially where they center on women. This book reminded me a lot of Hillbilly Elegy.
The Way We Eat Now
This is just the kind of book I love to have on my nightstand. I am drawn towards writers that like to zoom out and examine current culture, especially when it pertains to food! (I sometimes wonder why this is…I think it has to do with my full-time job of feeding little humans.) Bee Wilson does a great job of analyzing food culture through history up to the way we eat now. It’s funny how normalized “foods” like protein powders and bars can begin to sound so strange described in the context of food history! If you are a Michael Pollan fan (and I am), you’ll like this.
The Body Keeps the Score
This is another book my dad recommended I read. Dr. Van Der Kolk has some really ground-breaking research on exactly how traumatic events leave imprints on the brain. As the title implies, they have found trauma actually alters physiology. Dr. Van Der Kolk has dedicated his life to understanding this process. In the first part of the book he explains the science, while in the second part he explores therapies that he has found effective. I found it incredibly fascinating, albeit heavy because in order to explain how trauma works, he has to share detailed stories from his patients. I actually had to stop the book and take a break about three quarters of the way through. And as a Christian, I am still sorting out what I think about some of the therapies. However, I feel like it really opened my eyes to what trauma victims live with on a day-to-day basis and gave me more compassion for people that have been through the horrifying (and yet all to common) experiences of war and abuse.