July 2018 books

July 2018 books

Educated: A MemoirEducated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply astonishing. On the face of it, this is a story of triumphing, at great cost, over horrible life circumstances. And that story is riveting. But hovering around the edges of that story are decent, caring, well-meaning people who touch Tara's life in really heartwarming (if still slightly tragic, and often only temporary) ways. I finished the book inspired by not only Tara's drive and determination, but also the actions of those peripheral characters - to do better, and watch out for others, and try to see a need and fill it.

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Escape from AleppoEscape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A bit over earnest, but endearingly so. This book overcomes a common hurdle of Kid Going Through Hardship in Foreign Land stories, in that it successfully shows how such kids are really just like you. You! The kid (or person) reading this book! Really. There is a lot of detail about Aleppo and Syria in this book and while at times it was a little heavy-handed, it really brings the story to life. At first, I worried the story would be too ham-fistedly anti-Assad (I mean, he IS the bad guy, but it's complicated, but it's also a children's book, so how deep do you go, etc.), but in the end there was more nuance represented in the supporting characters. I think a kid could read this book and understand how war is more gray than black and white, especially for families just trying to survive.

There is a pretty cool Ayman Mohyeldin cameo in this book, by the way!

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Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)Obsidio by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SO MUCH FUN!!! I liked this book (the series finale) the best. Two books' worth of build-up plus high stakes, serious swoon, and Smart Teenagers In Charge made for one of my favorite reading experiences so far this year.

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AutoboyographyAutoboyography by Christina Lauren
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this book to get a different perspective on LGBTQ issues in Mormonism (it's about a bisexual teen at Provo High School). I got what I wanted out of it, but when it was over I found myself thinking more about Sebastian's story and how I'd like to know more about him. That's a different book, I suppose!

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August 3rd, outsourced

Wooden houses in Turku

Wooden houses in Turku