Hey guys! One goal of mine this year is to share with you the books that I’ve read. I love hearing what others think about novels, so I’m hoping this will help you decide what to open next (or not to)! This month I read Girl, Wash Your Face and The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Completely different books, but both were really good reads in my opinion. This year is my year of self-discovery, so I am trying to read one self-improvement book and one guilty pleasure book per month. We’ll see how that goes as the year goes on, but that’s the plan as of today. 🙂
Disclaimer: I’m not a book reviewer. This is not within my typical writing bubble. But – I want to share what I’m reading each month. My goal is to finish two books per month, so this might help me hold myself accountable.
Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Summary: “In this book, each chapter tackles a different lie Rachel has believed, the authentic examples from her own life illustrating those lies, and then the methods she used (or wish she had used) to defeat those lies. These are big, vulnerable topics like ‘I Should Be Farther Along By Now’ and ‘I Will Never Get Past This’. Rachel doesn’t want this book to change your life. She wants you to read this book, and then feel strengthened so you change your life.”
My thoughts: Alright, so I had been hearing about Girl, Wash Your Face for awhile, but there were so many mixed reviews. Then, one of my best friends gave her thoughts after reading it and I decided to give it an open-minded shot. Within the last month or so, I have been going through some pretty big life changes, so I figured it was as great of a time as any. I got my trusty highlighter so I could highlight some of my favorite take away pieces and went to town. This one took me a little to get through, as do most self-improvement books. Rachel is very open with her own struggles to show you a place where she came from and “thrived.” She does often bring religion into it, which can be difficult to connect with if you are not very spiritual yourself. But you can still take away the points and relate them your own way to your life. Honestly, I skipped the chapter about being a mom because that’s just not where I am in life right now.
Each chapter is a different “lie” you or society tells you to bring you down. Lies such as, “I’m not good enough,” “Loving him is enough for me,” and “I don’t know how to be a mom” are just a few of the 20 “lies” we constantly justify ourselves with. My personal favorites were the “I will never get past this” and “I’ll start tomorrow.” Both of these were able to speak to me and were easy to relate with situations happening in my own life.
If you’re looking for life-altering, new strategies and ideas to improve your overall life, then don’t look here. If you’re looking for reassurance that you’re not the only one that has gone through or felt what you’re feeling right now, then this is the book for you. Nothing about this book is ground-breaking, but rather excellent reminders of the way you should approach things and get a little kick in the butt.
If you go into this book with an open mind knowing what you’re getting, I recommend it. You will be able to find something that relates to your struggles now, in the past, or in the future. I am sure when I am going through things in life, I will refer back to Girl, Wash Your Face.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Summary: “In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners. Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism–but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive. One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her. A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.”
My thoughts: I read The Tattooist of Auschwitz in about three days. This genre and era of novels is one of my favorites and once I start, I tend to not stop until it’s done. The feel and the ambiance of this book aligns with others in its’ category in regards to story line, endings, and flow, but I really enjoyed the story within. The main character in The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Lale, was a Slovakian Jew who was given the job of tattooing numbers on prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Meaning he worked under the political wing of the SS and received “extras” such as his own room and additional rations of food, which he mostly shared with others. It details the hardships, the love story, and how one person’s love for another helps them fight to another day.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on a true story, which always tears at my heart. The end has a note from Lale’s son and even some excerpts from the author’s time with Lale while researching for the novel. I fully recommend reading cover-to-cover for author’s notes and epilogues. The ending of this story is a little abrupt, but I didn’t mind because it’s all related to a true story and embellishing for the sake of literature wasn’t necessary.
Is it perfect? No. When it comes to true stories meeting fiction, I like to know where the clear line between fiction and non-fiction is…which you don’t really get with this novel. However, I 100% recommend this book.
Have you read either of these? What’s on your “next up” list for good reads? Comment your recommendations!
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