I can’t believe that it’s already time again to share what I read during the month! October was a bit of a slow month for me in terms of reading, but that’s mostly because I decided to take on Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking at the end of the month, which is a whopping 487 pages. That’s definitely one of the largest books I’ve read in a long time. It ended up being totally worth it though. I hope that you enjoy my post today. Hopefully it will give you a little bit of inspiration as we go into these colder months!
First up on my list is Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle. I’ve been following Glennon for a while now on Instagram, and I love how inspiring and encouraging she is. I finally decided to pick up her popular book after I saw it on the shelf at Target. Glennon has an amazing story to tell, and I loved seeing how she used the tough times in her life to push herself to be better.
Here’s the summary: “A memoir of betrayal and self-discovery by bestselling author Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring account of how we are born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.”
Although Doyle had a pretty normal upbringing and good parents, she grew up always feeling uncomfortable in her own skin. She became bulimic at age 10, and began associating her self-worth with her beauty instead of what her abilities are. I haven’t struggled with eating disorders, but I have struggled with body image issues, and I really related to Doyle and her struggles.
Doyle’s low self-esteem eventually leads her to an alcohol addiction. I think Doyle’s story is so important, because I think so many people today don’t take addiction seriously. Sometimes, they even think that those suffering from addiction only have themselves to blame. I’ve never dealt with addiction personally, but I can totally understand how someone can feel hopeless enough to turn to substance abuse. I think it’s so important that Doyle tells her story through this memoir, because it brings a face to difficult issues like addiction.
Doyle eventually decides to get clean when she finds out she’s pregnant, and then needs to deal with all of the issues that she’s been pushing down for so long. There are moments in this book that are difficult to read about. She has been through some tough times, and it’s heartbreaking to think about the struggles she went through with both addiction and body image. Doyle does an amazing job of painting the picture for her readers and really pulling them into the story. She is incredibly honest about some really big issues, including her relationship with her husband.
Overall, I thought this was a very powerful memoir, and I don’t really have anything negative to say about it. I think everyone could learn something from this book, but more importantly, I think that everyone can relate in some way. If you’re looking for a new memoir to read, definitely check this one out, you won’t be disappointed!
Going along with this theme of empowerment, I turned next to Rising Strong by Brene Brown. This book is all about using struggle to learn something about ourselves and rise strong in the aftermath of tragedy. This book contains a ton of research, but there are plenty of anecdotal stories sprinkled throughout as well, which I really enjoyed. I’ve been all about the self-help books this year, and I was excited to get into this one.
Here’s the summary: “Living a brave life is not always easy: We stumble and we fall. It is the rise from falling that Brene Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. Brown has listened as a range of people– from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents– shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to the discomfort. The process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. This process teaches us the most about who we are.”
Because I am not one to necessarily “rise strong” after going through something tough, I thought this would be a great book to pick up. I am always looking for ways to improve myself and become a better person, and learning how to be braver and more resilient in the face of trouble definitely sounded like a good thing to me.
I thought this was a really thought-provoking and inspiring book, and I learned a lot about dealing with my emotions and how to pick myself back up after a failure. What I liked the most about this book is that Brown uses actual research to back up her thoughts, and even quotes others throughout the book. I think this is so important, because it shows that Brown really put in the research and put a lot of time and effort into putting the book together.
What I love the most about this book is the fact that Brown relates her own life story to everything she is learning through her research. I’m not one to enjoy reading through endless research and lists of facts, so I really liked that Brown broke up the research with her own personal story and what she is going through. I’m not going to lie, some of the research is a little hard to get through, but all of the stories make it so worth it and really helped me to understand what was being said.
Brown has a bunch of other books, and I’m interested to check those out as well. If you’re one of those people that likes reading self-help books, try this one out! I think there are a lot of important things in this book that would benefit everyone.
Last but not least, my final book of October was Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking. This one is another memoir, and although it is about Stephen Hawking’s life, it is told from the perspective of his ex-wife Jane. Stephen Hawking is an amazing physicist, but what I was really interested in learning about was his experiences with ALS.
Because I had a close family friend pass away from ALS a few years ago, I am always interested to find out more about the disease. I think one of the most important and interesting parts of this story was how Stephen didn’t let his disability hold him back from becoming successful in physics. But also just as important is how Jane dealt with her husband’s disability and how much it affected her life.
Here’s the summary: “Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and remarkable scientists of our age and the author of the scientific bestseller A Brief History of Time, which has sold more than 25 million copies. In this compelling memoir, his first wife, Jane Hawking, relates the inside story of their extraordinary marriage. As Stephen’s academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of a motor neuron disease. Jane’s candid account of trying to balance his 24-hour care with the needs of their growing family reveals the inner strength of the author, while the self-evident character and achievements of her husband make for an incredible tale presented with unflinching honesty. Jane’s candor is no less apparent when the marriage finally ends in a high-profile meltdown, with Stephen leaving Jane for one of his nurses and Jane marrying an old family friend. In this exceptionally open, moving, and often funny memoir, Jane Hawking confronts not only the acutely complicated and painful dilemmas of her first marriage, but also the relationship’s fault lines exposed by the pervasive effects of fame and wealth. The result is a book about optimism, love, and change that will resonate with readers everywhere.”
The beginning of this book was a little hard to get into, because Hawking really takes the time to describe everything that is happening. But once I got used to that, I found her story very interesting. Hawking is brutally honest about what life was like during the years that she was married to Stephen Hawking, and I sympathized with what she went through.
As Stephen was getting all of these awards and accolades for his work in physics, his wife was quietly suffering with all of the stress of daily life. It was heartbreaking and sad to learn about all of the hard times that they went through, but it is obvious how much Hawking loved Stephen. She didn’t even think of leaving him until he wanted to leave her himself.
At times this one was a little hard to get through because of the length of it, but overall I thought it was an interesting and honest account of Stephen Hawking and the marriage he had with his wife. I am all about the memoirs lately, and this one didn’t disappoint. I also enjoyed seeing all of the photos in the middle of the book. Stephen Hawking is famous for his work with physics, and rightly so, but I’m glad that his wife got her moment in the spotlight as well because she has such an important story to share.
I hope you enjoyed this post today! Let me know if you’ve read any good books lately, I’d love to get some more good recommendations. Happy reading!