What I Read: July 2016

My new goal is to do my ‘What I Read’ post on the last day of each month, but for this month, a week or so delayed will have to do. Small disclaimer: two the books I read this month were Law School related and pretty heavy content-wise, and the other two I read were the exact opposite – just some easy summer reads. It’s all about balance, right?

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Click through for my thoughts on what I read this past month. 

  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • So by now, it’s pretty obvious that I completely worship Elizabeth Gilbert, and I purposely waited for the summer to read this book because it just felt like the right thing to do. I loved this book so much that I actually edited part of my page to include a quote from it. She writes about a woman who she knew who had loved ice-skating when she was younger, but when she reached an age where she was no longer considered competitive enough to continue and succeed with it, she stopped skating altogether. Then, years later, she remembered the joy that it brought her and decided to pursue it again, purely for the joy-factor. I totally love this concept when it comes to the things that bring me joy – namely writing, photography, and cooking. It has become part of my blog’s manifesto to have this be a sacred space in which I create, and to let go of the idea that creativity has to be scored on some sort of professional or commercially successful scale in order to be worthy of pursuing. My favorite quote from the book comes from Jack Gilbert, a writing professor speaking to one of his students. He states, “Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say .” It was so good that it gave me full body chills. This was a longer review than usual, but I couldn’t help myself. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads – there were some serious gems of wisdom inside, but not every chapter was a page-turner.  [Side note: the second season of her Podcast (which has the same title as the book), just dropped this week and you can find it .]
  2. Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About American Law by Jay M. Feinman
    • This book was dense enough that I had to take my time reading and underlining it, but at the same time it was understandable and manageable to read over the course of the month. I made a decision back in May to look do some recommended reading for Law School that was not specifically assigned by my school. There were several websites and articles that I consulted with before I decided on four books (one in June, two during this month, and one for August). One thing that I particularly liked about Feinman’s book was that he divided the chapters into the classes that all law students take in their 1L year, so it gave me a good capsule on what each particular course would be about before September. A lot of cases were referenced, and I’m hoping that some of them will stick with me once I start official class readings ☺️ Overall, I gave this book 4 stars and would definitely recommend it for prospective law students.
  3. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
    • The sad news here is that I truly wanted to love this book, but it just fell flat for me. The story follows a man who runs a floating bookshop on the Seine and refers to himself as a ‘literary apothecary’ which is just about the best thing ever. Sadly, though, I just didn’t find myself wanting to keep reading this book once I started it. I just didn’t have enough investment with the characters to be moved by the story, which was disappointing. I guess it was just a case of the idea of something being more appealing than the actual thing. Overall, I gave the book 3 stars on Goodreads – I wouldn’t write it off altogether and it may very well be the perfect summer read for someone else.
  4.  The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law by Ward Farnsworth
    • I really enjoyed this book! Something about it (probably the short chapters) made it more ‘fun’ to read than the Law 101 book noted above. I will definitely be keeping it as a reference on my bookshelf and I have a feeling I’ll be referring back to it in the future. Farnsworth goes into a lot of methods of thinking that law students (and lawyers) should but do not always acquire through their education. Many times, the ways in which law courses are formatted don’t leave enough room for focusing on the different theories and analytical skill sets that are essentially the purpose of Law School. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads but would have given it 4.5 if possible. I would definitely recommend it to prospective and current law students, and even to lawyers who are out of school.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for some more varied content in these next few weeks as I get settled in Boston (think: Links + 8tracks mixes, Photography, and finally – some recipes!)

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