It’s been a month!
With school starting back up (STRESSSTRESSSTRESS), the house projects I’ve been working on, my back flaring up AGAIN, and bunch of other stuff, I haven’t had much time to read, let alone time to blog. I apologize! I hate doing these catch-up posts; books deserve their own full reviews, but life happens and sometimes I just get too busy. But small reviews are better than no reviews, right? I can at least do that. 😊
Here’s what I’ve been reading the past few weeks.
Flunk.Start: Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology by Sands Hall (Counterpoint, 2018). I’m not huge on reading ex-Scientology memoirs- I still do from time to time, but I don’t find Scientology as fascinating as other religions. To me, it’s just so…boring. Clinical. Soulless. Ms. Hall spent a decade mostly in Scientology (though not super, super committed, it was still a huge part of her life), until she left and had to come to terms with the time she spent there. Lots of heavy emotion here, especially dealing with a disabling accident her brother suffered. There’s not a ton of detail, and Ms. Hall left Scientology pre-Internet, so the story is quite different than if she had recently left, but it’s still an interesting read.
Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have by Tatiana Schlossberg (Grand Central Publishing, 2019). If you like science writing with a dry, sarcastic edge, this is your book! You’ve heard of the butterfly effect, where a butterfly flaps its wings in China and causes a monsoon on the other side of the world. This effect is true for environmental effects. You stream a video in Sheboygan; it contributes to a power surge in Virginia Beach. You buy a dress in south Florida; it contributes to the desertification of Mongolia, gives a job to someone in Viet Nam, and contributes to an oil spill in the South Pacific. The same goes for that salmon you ate last night, the car you drive to work every day, and how long you keep the lights on and run your air conditioner. Everything is connected and Ms. Schlossberg will show you how (and keep you laughing with her witty asides!).
This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe As a Journey of Transformation by Alan Lew (Little, Brown, and Company, 2003). This has been on my list for ages, and with the High Holidays fast approaching, I knew it was time to finally read it. This is a book about going deeper in our lives, our thoughts, about taking a good, hard look at ourselves (which is what we Jews are supposed to do at this time of year!), apologizing for the things we’ve done wrong and making them right, and examining who we are and who we should be, and how we get there. It’s a deep, thought-provoking book, one that I wouldn’t mind owning and rereading every year at this time. (And if you have a rabbi, cantor, or Jewish professional in your life, be kind at this time of year. They’re extremely busy and overworked! Don’t bother them until after Sukkot. 😉 )
And my daughter and I finished two books, but I’ll talk about those in the monthly roundup post. Sorry to post and run, but my goodness, things are crazy lately!!!