Reading wrap-up #51

The first wrap-up of 2021! This year I’m going to participate in the PopSugar reading challenge, I made a potential TBR in this post and will indict which prompts I’m fulfilling in each review if applicable.

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.

Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson

Reading For Sanity : A Book Review Blog: Shadow Divers - Robert KursonRating: ★★★★★

Genre: Non-fiction, history, adventure

GoodReads rating:  4.31 / 5 (25,400 ratings)

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

Summary: Deep-wreck divers discover an unidentified U-boat 230 feet below the surface, “its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment… Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end.”

Thoughts: I’m an idiot and realized I forgot to include this in my last year’s wrap-up posts when I was talking about my favorite reads of the year. This has a very similar feel to other adventure books I’ve read and loved, it’s hard to believe it’s non-fiction as it reads like a thriller book. I’m not even a huge history fan but you can’t help get invested in these peoples’ research.

One by One by Ruth Ware One by One (9781501188817): Ware, Ruth: BooksRating: ★★★

Genre: Mystery, thriller

GoodReads rating:  3.73 / 5 (39,700 ratings)

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

PopSugar prompt: A book that has the same title as a song (by Enya)

Summary: When a tech company goes away to a ski resort for a retreat, people start dropping like flies mysteriously. When an avalanche caves them into the chalet, no one is safe.

Thoughts: I straight up forgot I read this book and it’s only been a few weeks since I finished it. Just goes to show how memorable these carbon-copy thrillers are, I’m getting bored. I only read it because it’s popular and know what I was going to get from it (a quick, easy read) but I wasn’t invested. This seemed like a sorry attempted to re-imagine And Then There Were NoneThe Woman in Cabin Ten is her only decent book and I might be biased as the sea setting especially interested me.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang The Vegetarian (9781101906118): Kang, Han: BooksRating: ★★★

Genre: Fiction, contemporary

GoodReads rating:  3.59 / 5 (95,000 ratings)

Medium used: Audiobook (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

PopSugar prompt: A book featuring three generations (the main character’s parents, siblings and nephew is featured)

Summary: After a vivid nightmare, Yeong-hye becomes vegetarian much to her husband’s and family dismay. She starts acting more and more strange, eventually into a complete psychosis.

Warning: This book contains mention of rape, abuse, animal death/abuse, self-harm/suicide and eating disorders.

Thoughts: I think this book gets way more crap than it deserves. While it wasn’t really my thing, I can appreciate the writing and it wasn’t straight up bad. As a vegetarian myself, it left a lot to be desired.

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics [Hardcover] [May 17, 2018] POLLAN MICHAEL: POLLAN MICHAEL, POLLAN MICHAEL, POLLAN MICHAEL: 9780241294222: BooksRating: ★★★★★

Genre: Non-fiction, science, psychology

GoodReads rating:  4.20 (nice) / 5 (45,400 ratings)

Medium used: Audiobook (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: The subtitle says everything you’ll get from this book: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. “When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people?”

Warning: This book contains themes of drug use, depression and chronic (terminal) illness.

Thoughts: Y’all ever just read a book an know it will be a five-star before the prologue is over? That was this for me. I lived, I died, I lived again for this book. This is one of those books I’ll find any excuse to talk about and recommend and will resonate with me for a long time. This will 100% be in my top 10, probably top 5 books, of 2021 and one of my new favorite non-fiction books.

Have you read any of these?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.




1 Comment

  1. January 15, 2021 / 7:23 am

    Great wrap up! I’ve actually not read (or heard of!) any of these but I’d definitely give them a go after reading your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: