Book Review Round-Up: May 2019

It’s been a loooooong time! I’ve been meaning to write some new stuff, but between work, health, and life stuff getting in the way, it’s been hard to sit down to write anything. For the first time in forever I’ve reviewed some ARCs that I downloaded from NetGalley. Enjoy!

Note: Updated 6/2 to reflect the other handful of books that I read before the end of May!

The A to Z of Eating Disorders by Emma Woolf
Released September 2017
Rating 5/5

As weird as it is to say, I’m actually a fan of this book and wasn’t sure what to expect when I first downloaded it besides discussion on eating disorders. This book alphabetizes different words and concepts around eating disorders into a literal A through Z guide, with a short but succinct description of each concept that pulls the emotion out of eating disorders. There are other related concepts that are included but not specific to eating disorders, e.g. how the human body works and other related psychiatric disorders like depression.

I also appreciate that “clean eating” and “orthorexia” are included in this reference along with Celiac (Coeliac) Disease. Those of us with Celiac Disease and other diseases related to food are at risk of falling into those rabbit holes given how strict we need to be with food avoidance; it can be too easy to restrict our diet unnecessarily for fear out of becoming sick, especially when a lot of the foods we can buy commercially come from the health food marketplace or brands.

I would actually like to get a copy of this book at some point as it would make a good health reference.

A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD: Embrace Neurodiversity, Live Boldy, and Break Through Barriers by Sari Solden
Releasing July 2019
Rating 5/5

I love, love, love a good self-help book, and even better when it’s a workbook. This workbook is a must for any woman with ADHD, especially since a majority of the books available are directed at men suffering from ADHD or the spouses of male ADHD sufferers. Women sufferers have different struggles and weaknesses that we’re now just getting to hear about them, which is more important than ever given that there are a number of people who still believe women do not get ADHD!

This book is not focused on ‘fixing’ the woman with ADHD. This workbook is focused on the woman with ADHD coming to terms that it is a part of who they are and that is not something to be ashamed about (although society might try to say otherwise!). There are a lot of self-reflection and guided activities in this workbook that effortlessly blend in with each chapter, and the ‘stories’ from different women that are scattered throughout the book really bring home the point that ‘you are not alone in dealing with ADHD.’

I would highly suggest any woman with ADHD get a physical copy of this book to highlight and write in.

Buzz Books: Young Adult Fall/Winter 2019

My rating: 4/5

It was a tad disappointing with how few excerpts were in this buzz ARC as I’m trying to range out of my comfort zone genre wise. The range of choices in this ARC were pretty good, though. Although I’m not typically a fan of YA, I did find one book that I did want to pick up: Julia Drake’s The Last True Poets Of The Sea.

I really enjoyed her writing, as it made me feel like a teen again going through the uncomfortable “finding yourself” stage in life without glamorizing or romanticizing that awkward time. I want to read more! This was a great way to sample a diverse number of YA books!

Better Allies: Everyday actions to create inclusive, engaging workplaces by Karen Catlin
Released January 2019

Rating: 5/5

I’ve really enjoyed this book. As a background, I’m a mixed Asian woman. The author does a really good job at explaining privilege and how to be an ally to others. She also does a good job at explaining that although we may have hardships, we still may have privilege that affords us more opportunities than others, which is important to think about as we attempt to be allies with friends, families, coworkers, and just others in general.

As a mixed Asian woman, I do understand I have privilege that is not afforded to some of my friends and coworkers, while I also have hardships that my other friends and coworkers do not experience.

One of the biggest gripes around being an ally is actually discussed by this author: listen to the people you ally with for their input AND support them to talk for themselves. Like the example of a woman being talked over, where instead of naming her idea and summarizing her point, allow her to speak her thought so the idea is truly attributed to her. I think this book is something that people should read in general. Even as a WOC, I found ideas to take away from this book on how I could be a better ally for other people.

Saint Young Men by Hikaru Nakamura
Released April 2019 in USA

My rating: 5/5

I really like this series! I’ve read this before, and picked it up so I could have another read. It’s a slice-of-life type of manga about Jesus and Buddha living together as roommates in Japan… it’s so silly, but enjoyable to see them in stereotypical manga situations with the additional twist of them being religious icons. I’d suggest this to anyone who wants something more light hearted to read.

PREGNANT WITH A ROYAL BABY!: Harlequin Manga by Susan Meier, Motoyo Fujiwara
Released May 2019

My rating: 4/5

I’m a connoisseur of shoujo manga, and this surprisingly hit the spot for this reader. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw a lot of Harlqeuin Mangas pop up on NetGalley, but I’m now looking to request more!

I thought the artist did a pretty good job illustrating the story, and the comic flowed nicely. The art style fits the romantic/dramatic feel of the genre. I wasn’t totally crazy about the writing itself and part of the ending made me go “blehhhh,” but it was nice to have the story wrapped up within a single book instead forcing the reader to suffer through books upon books before anything gets accomplished story wise.

I don’t have a lot of time anymore to read 25+ chapter comics, and I’ve become frustrated with the series that just. never. end. I like that I could just sit down for a quick romance session and complete the story. Yay!

Married Roommates: How To Go From a Relationship That Just Survives To A Marriage That Thrives by Talia and Allen Wagner
Released April 2019

My rating: 5/5

As someone who’s been in a relationship and marriage for a long time, I wanted to review this book as I wanted to see what being “married roommates” entailed. It serves as a kind of warning for married couples to not become complacent, but also serves as insight if you do find your marriage falling into this direction.

I actually really enjoyed the mini stories: they were super authentic, and the fact that we see both sides of the issue is helpful and reminds the reader that there are two sides to every issue. There are a lot of no duh advice in here, but that doesn’t mean that maybe we forget as we run through the daily lives as married couples and need a reminder of what’s really important.

This is something that I feel that newly married couples would benefit from.

Mindfulness for Insomnia: A Four-Week Guided Program to Relax Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Get the Sleep You Need by Catherine Polan Orzech, William H. Moorcroft, PhD
Releases July 2019

My rating: 2/5

I had a really, really hard time getting through this. I found it to be a pretty dry read, and I didn’t feel inspired to really get into the method. A lot of the exercises are really more about meditation and becoming mindful of oneself, but perhaps I was expecting something different when I requested this ARC. I think this would be good for someone who wants a concrete plan to help with insomnia but not really something I’d immediately suggest to someone else with insomnia.

The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing by Anneliese A Singh
Releases August 2019

My rating: 5/5

This is meant for white people or people who have little to no understanding of racial issues and racial inequalities. I really enjoyed the fact that the author included a section on microaggressions and examples on them AND WHY THEY ARE BAD. I liked the activities as it makes the person really think about race in regards to themselves and the people they know.

I don’t like having this on ebook though. This is a book you HAVE to buy a paper copy of this book to get the best formatting to take advantage of all the activities.

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