☕ Book Break ☕ | Daring Greatly by Brene Brown #popsugarreadingchallenge

I’m getting back to my #popsugarreadingchallenge2019 list. I did well at the start of the year but lost a bit of steam as time went on. Does that ever happen to you?

A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter

 

I picked Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly

Have you read this one? Have you read any of her books?

I read this back when it came out and it really resonated with me. I found myself nodding in agreement as I was reading. If you haven’t read any of her work, I highly recommend her. I may not agree with every single thing she says, but there’s so much good stuff in here.

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☕ Book Break ☕ | The Aspie Girl’s Guide to Being Safe with Men by Debi Brown

~The Aspie Girl’s Guide to Being Safe with Men by Debi Brown~

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s sad such a book has to be written, but it is a hard fact that people on the spectrum are some of the most vulnerable. The characteristics of autism make those with ASD easy targets. It’s hard to stay safe when you can’t read body language and you don’t understand social interaction well.

This book is written by a woman on the spectrum to young women and girls on the spectrum. It is not bogged down by technical jargon but rather reads like a conversation imparting sisterly advice. At the same time, it is well organized. Much of the information contained in this book are things girls are assumed to instinctively know or pick up from their friends. This does not happen for people on the spectrum. Even if a person has been instructed about the topics in this book, having the unwritten safety rules organized and written out is a good idea and would probably be helpful.

If you care about a young lady on the spectrum I feel purchasing this book or one like it is needed and money well spent. This small volume is easy to understand and written in a friendly, sensitive, accessible style. This is a book about sexuality and staying safe in sexual relationships from a female aspie perspective. Have the conversation.

This is the first book I have seen on this specific topic. I haven’t seen one for guys yet. If you have please let me know in the comments.

☕ Book Break ☕ |~Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D.Vance~

~Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D.Vance~

I finally got around to reading Hillbilly Elegy. This is an interesting and eye-opening memoir. I’ve heard people compare Hillbilly Elegy by J.D.Vance and White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History by Nancy Isenberg, liking one over the other, but I found each one of these books unique in its own right. Studying our culture has always been a special fascination to me, so these types of books are right up my alley.

Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir about an a Kentucky boy with few advantages who grew up and made it good. He managed to go to an elite college, graduate, and become financially successful. This book is an exposition of his roots and a narrative of his journey. It’s also an examination of what has happened to the American dream and why so many have failed to achieve it from the perspective of an insider. It’s very thought-provoking.

I found myself growing attached to the characters in this story. Moving, at times humorous, colorful, interesting.

I think it is a much-needed read for anyone who wants to understand class in America. I would pair this with the other book, White Trash. If you’re not a voracious reader like I am, I think either one is excellent. If you prefer memoir then Hillbilly Elegy may suit your taste, if you lean more towards a broader examination of the class structure and love history, you may prefer White Trash. In all honesty, I feel they both deserve a place on your shelf.

Get both if you can.

What’s the last memoir you read?

☕ Book Break ☕ | ~Educated by Tara Westover~

~Educated by Tara Westover~

Tara Westover grew up never going to school, working in her dad’s junkyard, and assisting her mother as she prepared herbal remedies and served as a community midwife. The family practiced Mormonism and Tara’s father had strict beliefs that went beyond the mainstream. The book is about her experiences. I feel like it was it sensitively done. Often as I was reading this I had to put the book aside. It was difficult to read at times.

Is it possible to disentangle oneself from the influences of their childhood? How much do the things we experience growing up affect the rest of our lives? Familial bonds are far reaching, probably influencing us more than we realize.

Educated is a well written account, if at times stretching the limits of believability, but that is the nature of memory and Tara Westover makes note of that. I’m glad I stuck with this book because there’s something deeper here.

It made me reexamine my own childhood. While reading the narrative, I was deeply touched at times. I teared up when she was recounting a specific incident with her mother that appeared to be a restoration, giving hope for that relationship.

This is one complicated family. Her father doesn’t believe in doctors and, according to a now grown up Tara, displays signs of bipolar disorder. Paranoid, he stockpiles food and guns, ranting about the government and the Illuminati. He seems unaware of the danger he constantly puts himself and his family in, causing many injuries by refusing to take basic safety measures.

This is an important story to tell, showing how living with a parent who suffers from a mental illness can affect the entire family. By reading this account I have garnered a greater understanding of why adult children have a difficult time breaking free from their dysfunctional family.

As I read this memoir I pondered gender roles and the tragedies that can occur in a structure that allows only one member of the family to have authority.

It’s exactly the kind of book I like, one that makes you think. Educated is an excellent book for discussion and book clubs.

On a personal side note, we unschooled our children. In my opinion, what Tara is describing is not unschooling or homeschooling but is neglect. She does mention that other family members homeschool their children and those children appear to be receiving an adequate and genuine education. This memoir is not a criticism of homeschooling or religion but an account of her own experience told from her perspective.

 

☕ Book Break ☕ |~American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse~

~American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse~

“Some people light things on fire because they feel like they have to.”

This book is a telling of the true crime story of the arson in Accomack County. For a while it seemed as if the entire county would burn to ash. The is a fascinating account of the crimes committed, how the culprits managed to elude capture so long, and what set of circumstances could lead to these strange arsons.

If you have an addiction to true crime shows this one might just hook you. I could not stop reading. Well written and meticulously researched, this book was absorbing. Not just a crime story, it is an examination of the decline of a once prosperous community, a picture of what has happened all over the United States.

This is one of those strangely twisted love stories. He did it for love.

Well drawn characters. Engaging, interesting, and good storytelling. Recommended.

☕ Book Break ☕ | In A Different Key The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker

~In A Different Key The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker~
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I have read a ton of books on autism and I learned things I didn’t know reading this book. The format is an easy to follow timeline. Far from being a dry history, I found it easy to read. This is a great nonfiction book for anyone interested in learning about autism or the history of autism. The book starts with case one, Donald Triplett, and ends telling us where he is today.

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This book dispels some of the myths surrounding autism, from the “refrigerator mother” to the vaccine controversy and the false idea of a sudden explosion in autism.
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I was fascinated by the unfolding of the history. After reading, I understood more about why it has been so difficult for our society to understand autism, and the obstacles in getting a diagnosis and assistance for this condition.
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A must read for anyone working with people on the spectrum.
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This book is well researched and written in an easy to understand and engaging style. An excellent addition to your bookshelf.
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I recommend this for anyone who works with people on the spectrum and for the curiously minded. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐