I feel like I’ve released a big breath of air. The holidays are behind us and it’s time to turn over a fresh leaf with 2023. I’m definitely the person who likes the start of a new year and imagining all the possibilities it can hold. (I also love setting resolutions and following back up at the end of the year to see how I did.)
I hope the new year inspires me to pick up my reading again. I fell a bit off the tracks in December, only finishing 4 books:
- Unmasked by Paul Holes
- Gutter Child by Jael Richardson
- Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
- Glute Lab by Bret Contreras and Glen Cordoza
I know reading isn’t a competition or about the numbers, but I feel like my brain gets stagnant when I’m not reading enough. I love having a near constant input of new ideas and stories.
So, let’s get into the December reviews!
If you like listening to true crime podcasts, odds are you’ll enjoy this book.
Paul Holes (a now retired investigator) shares his story of getting involved in law enforcement and eventually identifying the Golden State Killer, as well as solving other cold cases. But the book is not all crime. Paul Holes mixes in stories from his personal life and provides a glimpse at the impact this line of work has on a person. (Spoiler: Not good.)
I personally found the whole investigative process to be fascinating, but be warned, this book does include disturbing and gruesome details about the crimes he’s investigating… so it’s not a book for everyone.
This book is bleak.
I knew from reading the description that it was going to cover tough topics, but the entire book left you feeling hopeless and frustrated.
Elimina is a ‘project child’ living on the Mainland, but upon her adopted mother’s death, she is sent to an academy to pay off her debt. (Everyone born in the Gutter is born with debt that they must pay off in order to obtain their freedom.) There she meets her peers from the Gutter, the place she would have spent her childhood if it wasn’t for the project. Elimina starts to learn more about the entire Gutter system and discovers everything her mother tried to shield her from. None of it is good.
I found this book to be slow reading at times and I wished the characters had been more developed. I feel like you didn’t really like any of the characters or agree with their choices, which I found to be frustrating.
Do you ever just know something without really understanding why you know it? Like you walk into a room and just know something is wrong, even though on the surface everything looks fine? That’s the phenomenon Malcolm Gladwell explores in this book. He shares fascinating examples of people using this gut knowledge correctly and examples of people who should have listened to their initial instinct. He also explores times when this gut feeling can be misleading and biased. Strangely enough, having more information can actually cause you to misjudge a situation and make a mistake!
If you’ve read other Malcolm Gladwell books and enjoyed them, you’ll like this one too as he follows his usual format. It definitely gives you a lot to think about and consider.
This book is a tome!
While this is falling into my December reviews, I technically started it back in June and finally finished it in December. At over 600 pages, this is basically a textbook that explores how to grow your glutes featuring detailed explanations and pictures demonstrating different exercises, as well as information on how to write your own workout plans based on your goals.
While it’s obviously glute-focused, the book does explore strength training as a whole. But considering your glutes are the biggest muscles in your body, strengthening them can have big impacts on athletic performance and even the calories your body burns at rest on a day-to-day basis.