I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. Sometimes life gets in the way and I go for months without picking up a book (or my Kindle) but other times I go on a reading spree, sometimes at the cost of sleep, social activities, and even school work…
I get it from my mom. One of the reoccurring memories I have of when I still lived at home is my mom and I both sitting down at the kitchen table, about to eat breakfast on a Sunday morning. We exchange pleasantries for a few minutes, the usual “How was your week?” and such, then almost in a choreographed movement, we both pick up our books and read while eating breakfast. I love it. Some might say, “Oh, but that’s rude! What kind of quality time is that??” And to that I say, well, THIS:
is still much, much better than this:
In any case, just wanted to share a few of the sleep-depriving, all-encompassing books I’ve read recently.
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian by Andy Weir was a book recommended by one of the Chief Engineers at my job. A few days after he recommended it, my co-worker had apparently downloaded it and told me he had finished it in a weekend. It’s written in a form of a logbook by the main character, Mark Watney, who is an astronaut that got inadvertently left in Mars after his team thought he had died during a bad sand storm. The book follows Mark’s life on Mars as he struggles to find ways to survive until either the next Mars mission brings another set of astronauts or he is able to somehow contact earth.
I am not a scientist, nor am I a space engineer (although I used to work on a military GPS program) but I can tell that the author did a really good job in researching the technical details. Now, that does not mean that the book is heavily technical to the point that your eyes start to droop from terminology that is not commonly used. On the contrary, the author manages to explain it in such a way that it is both relatable and humorous. I love the main character! Especially because I have a co-worker whose name is very similar to his!
Burned by Karen Marie Moning
I’ve been obsessed with Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series for a number of years now so when I received an email notification that my pre-purchased book of the latest in the series was now available, I stayed up until 1 in the morning reading it. I felt dead the next day. I don’t care, it was worth it! I thought the series was over after book 5 but apparently not! The latest is called Burned and it is the 7th book. Don’t be fooled by the rock-hard abs on the cover, it is not a romance novel! Well. I’d say it’s fantasy bordering on romance novel. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little romance anyway!
The story follows a young woman named Mac who starts off by trying to find the ones responsible for her sister’s death. She’s this bubbly, blond, rainbow girl from the south who does her nails and always coordinates her outfit. Then she gets thrown into a hot mess of a situation in Ireland and is faced with the realization that there is such a thing as fae, who are these non-human beings who do not necessarily have good will towards humans. The story goes beyond the murder of her sister into a world she had not even known existed. SO GOOD.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Prior to my trip back to the Motherland, I had been talking to my aunt and uncle about my situation. I have 3 options: (1) Stay at my current job; (2) Take the government job in LA; or (3) Take the job in NY. At the time, I was oscillating heavily between options 2 and 3, which meant that at some point, I would have to go through negotiations. I am terrible at negotiations. How terrible? This is my second job out of college and I had not negotiated, like, AT ALL. I see myself as a strong, independent woman yet here I am, a statistic! I, like so many other women, do not feel empowered enough to say, “Hey, I am worth much more than what you are offering me and as such, I decline your offer.”
One thing that my uncle has told me is not to be so down on myself. I see where I’ve made my mistakes, now it’s time to move on. Best believe I will be negotiating this time around though! In any case, he let me borrow Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which was extremely helpful to me. It helps knowing I’m not the only one who feels this way and more importantly, it helps knowing that it’s ok to feel this way. For any woman out there who has ever felt like a fraud whenever she gets praised at the office, feels intimidated at the prospect of negotiating a salary, or feels like she doesn’t deserve to sit at the table, I highly recommend this book. Ladies, it is time we lean in and sit at the damn table!
I’m pretty sure there were other books that I devoured, but those are the ones that stand out the most. I also have at least three books recommended by my friends and I cannot wait to get to those! This weekend I plan on going up to Santa Barbara for some quality alone time and I see myself walking to the beach and getting my read on. I can’t wait!