Reading wrap-up #33

This review will only have three books as my next review is going to be a read-a-thon! As a reminder, here is how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): Loved it
  • (★★★★): Really liked it
  • (★★★): Liked it enough
  • (★★): Didn’t care for it

Another few notes: I will warn if there are any spoilers with (start spoiler) and (end spoiler) so you know when to stop reading and pick up again if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself. I no longer go out of my way to watch adaptions, but will continue to mention them and their general critiques (from Rotten Tomatoes) in my reviews. Finally, you can always check out my book review index page if you’re looking for my extremely important opinion on any book in particular.

Troublemaker by Leah Remini

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology: Remini, Leah ...Rating: ★★★

Genre: Memoir, religion

GoodReads rating: 4.04 / 5 (51,200 ratings)

Medium used: Audiobook (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: Actress Leah Remini details her indoctrination into the church of Scientology, run-ins with its fellow celebrities and the turbulent series of events that led her to leaving.

Thoughts: I had no idea who this person was before I read this book, but often I read memoirs for their subject matter rather than the author (see: Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime). One of my favorite Louis Theroux documentaries (I feel like I mention him every post, can you tell I love him?) is his Scientology movie on Netflix and I wanted a more detailed narrative from a single member. There were some informative parts but overall this book didn’t wow me, it was quite forgettable. I think those who actually know how Leah is would enjoy it more, but I prefer Louis’s documentary.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed - BookBubRating: ★★★★

Genre: Memoir, travel, adventure

GoodReads rating: 4.04 / 5 (51,200 ratings)

Medium used: Audiobook (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: After the loss of her mother, divorce and subsequent substance problems, Cheryl hikes the Pacific Crest Trail with little experience, hoping to find herself.

Thoughts: I turned this on while I was driving from Seattle to Tucson, passing through a lot of places Cheryl probably saw herself all those years ago, which made this book especially lovely. I also related to a lot of experiences she had as I walked the Camino de Santiago largely unprepared. However, I was never more than a few miles from civilization and other people and the trail was flat and at sea level, so I didn’t feel a huge need to prepare, but I definitely should have done more research on footwear. Anyway, I knew she was a goner when she tried to hike the first leg of her journey in the Mojave desert at 11AM, as a desert dweller I know very well that hiking must start well before sunrise. It was super irresponsible to attempt such a feat with basically no preparation and a lot of times I was screaming in my mind (and a few times out loud from the privacy of my car), but at least she was self-aware. Unlike the subject of Into the Wild, who went into the Alaska wilderness in the dead of winter and made especially stupid choices, Cheryl lived to explain her choices and reflect, which I loved reading. Her past life seamlessly tied into lessons learned on the trail and this was a really great memoir.

Other adaptations: The 2014 Reese Witherspoon movie is critically acclaimed… and available on Netflix!

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the ...Rating: ★★★

Genre: Non-fiction, geography, politics, history

GoodReads rating: 4.23 / 5 (48,300 ratings)

Medium used: E-book (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: Marshall explains how geographic features such as mountains, deserts, rivers and oceans shaped a region’s history and also determine its future.

Thoughts: This is one of my dear friend’s favorite books and although history isn’t really my jam, I decided to give it a try. It was a little dry for me (this took me a week to read when most books of similar lengths take a few days if they grab my interest), but the language was easy to understand and I understand its high rating.

Have you read any of these?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: