I’m in between jobs this week and have zero FOMO about using it to read, relax and recharge locally before I throw myself into my next gig. I could have escaped to the beach or mountains, but I think my body and brain needed more of a staycation vibe. It’s no surprise, then, I’ve got some recommended reading this week:
“China Rich Girlfriend” – Kevin Kwan: The second book in the “Crazy Rich Asians” trilogy gives us a deeper look at the characters introduced in book one. I preferred this plot, probably because it didn’t have to spend so much time explaining familial connections, and Kwan really shines in his detailed descriptions of the ultra-lavish lifestyles. 4/5 stars, because I still crave more realistic dialogue (less “Har-har!”) between Rachel and Nick.
“The Woman in the Window” – A.J. Finn: This one has been all over my Goodreads suggestions and friends’ lists, and I’m a sucker for all of these “girl,” “woman,” “lies,” etc. titles. The main character is a recluse who witnesses a terrible crime nearby… or does she? I anticipated most of the twists but still enjoyed the storyline and characters, so it also gets a 4/5 stars.
“Fates and Furies” – Lauren Groff: Another one feverishly favored all over reading lists, this book is one I actually don’t recommend. I found the two main characters extremely unlikable and the writing so contrived, I couldn’t wait to be done with it. The Florida and New York connections were somewhat redeeming, as was the final third of the novel. Still, not enough to redeem it, so it’s a 2/5 stars from me.
“The Best Way to Save Someone from Suicide”: And finally, the holiday season is no stranger to suicide, particularly as the conversation around mental health continues to grow. But how do you help someone? This piece is heartbreaking, enlightening and well worth the read. As always, there are resources available (including me!) for anyone suffering.
There are approximately 1,913 running through my head right now, but nothing could stop me from posting tonight. At the top of the list is one main thing: National Suicide Prevention Week.
It shouldn’t take high-profile deaths to shine a light on the deep problem affecting millions each year. But I’m relieved to see more information and conversation happening around mental health, depression and measures to prevent suicide rates from rising.
I’m running out of ways to say how messed up the world is. I read about the Virginia shooting on my way into work, only to learn around 9am (from my desk) about the UPS shooting in San Francisco, five blocks from my office. We were told to stay inside, and our security staff remained on high alert until the area was clear and the shooter was confirmed in custody.
Trying to make sense of these people’s motives feels futile: It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on, how you feel wronged by your employer — any of it. Lives are lost at the hands of others, who very clearly need help and healthy ways to express their anger.
Hot on the heels of the Pulse anniversary, my heart shattered today when I called my mom and heard her crying. I can’t imagine what these families are feeling, to know they aren’t able to hear their loved ones respond and say they’re OK.
I don’t have the answer to gun violence and/or control. It’s a complicated issue, obviously, and I don’t believe the answer is as simple as a sentence or two. What I do believe is that violence is not the answer. Hurting others doesn’t solve these problems. Pointing blame is pointless.
So it feels tone deaf to share about the week I’ve had, when others aren’t as lucky. Instead, I suggest you call your loved ones — for no reason at all, except to say hello — and to hug those you can a little tighter.
This playlist has been my inspiration all week, and it’s worth a listen if you’re in need of comfort. As always, if you need more than music, there are organizations to help.