Okay, it’s October. September just flew by! Fortunately, I was able to squeeze in some reading time during this past month. This month I have an interesting look at the history behind the musical Chicago, a memoir from a woman trying to find her way to acceptance with her body, one where a cooking star who experiences a fall from grace, and one that makes you wonder how life would be different if you just changed one choice. All of them made me take a step back and look at society and my life. Here is September’s book list.
(Amazon links are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.)
I think I knew that the musical Chicago was based on true information. Although honestly I probably never thought that hard about it. But there was a period in Chicago’s history when it seemed like a pretty woman really could just get away with murder. The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago takes you through this time period, focusing on both the women who committed the crimes and the women who reported on it. What I find interesting is that a lot of the biases in this time period, that is that a beautiful woman who comes from a high class couldn’t possibly be held responsible for their actions, still ring true today. Women who were uneducated, not physically attractive, or basically not white were given no chance of being found not guilty. But women who were very guilty but very good looking, well they would probably get the not guilty verdict. Even today those who are seen as being lesser somehow are more likely to be found guilty. The treatment of women reporters during this time was interesting as well. These female reporters often had to walk a fine line of being feminine, but smart and good journalists. If you liked The Devil in the White City or Sin in the Second City you will want to add this one to your list too.
I grabbed Beautiful Bodies the way I often do, the cover looked interesting to me. (Yep, I judge books by their covers. When I’m at the library with the kids I have about 2 seconds to pick my books. I make snap judgments.) As a woman who has struggled with body image (perhaps I should just say as a woman then) I could totally relate to this story. Kimberly Rae Miller takes us through her entire life history with dieting, body image, and exercising. She has tried it all and has had to battle her emotions through it. What makes this book different is that she doesn’t just give her own stories, she takes a look at the ideal female form throughout history. How has it changed and how does it impact our self-image today? Spoiler alert- there is no final answer to the author’s questioning. And I love this. I don’t think there is going to be a time when we stop worrying and thinking about our bodies. But we do need to find a level of acceptance while we work towards health.
I love a good chick lit that tosses some food in there too. This one has that and gives some social media introspection fun as well. Hello, Sunshine was one that I really enjoyed. It is about a woman named Sunny who has gotten quite famous on YouTube and social media as a cook. She tells stories of her upbringing while putting together some meals. She has cookbooks, tons of followers, and a seemingly great life. But, as you might imagine, it all ends. Turns out her back story isn’t really true. Her twitter gets hacked and her secret it out. She has to pick up the pieces of her life and find out who she can trust. There is an underlying message about how we blur the line between who we really are and who we portray ourselves to be. How much of our online presence is reality and how much is just what we think it should be? The style is easy to read and fun, making this a good one to read pretty quickly.
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you just made one different choice? I think a lot of us have. in The One That Got Away Abbey gets to find out what would happen. She goes from her life of a typical stressed, tired, busy working mom to one where she instead is married to a guy from a wealthy family who is running for Congress. She is still a mom, but her life is vastly different. What I liked about this one was the one life wasn’t better than the other overall. Oh sure, the rich lifestyle had some perks, but so did the original. Each life had its pros and cons, and Abbey has to own up to her choices in each. It is a bit predictable, but I like how it showed that we can make the best of any situation. This was another fast read and it was a lot of fun. Like I said, it is easy to wonder what would have happened…
That wraps up this month’s books! What are your thoughts on them? Please leave me recommendations, I am always looking for a new read!