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Is anyone else having a hard time reading during quarantine? I feel like people either have a really easy time with it (because it’s an escape from how terrible the world is right now) or a really hard time with it (because it’s hard to focus or find the brain space for another story).
Even though I’ve been struggling with it, I still managed to finish three books this month!
This is the sequel to The Calculating Stars, which I read back in February. The first book is an alternate reality where a meteor strikes just off the coast of Washington, D.C. in the 1950s and destroys almost the entire east coast. It follows a group of female scientists as they realize that Earth is doomed and they need to excelerate their space program and colonize Mars. Except the overt sexism and racism of the 1950s is still alive and well.
The Fated Sky takes place a few years later, after a moon base has successfully been established, following the first crews to travel to Mars. I won’t say too much because it would contain spoilers for the first book, but I absolutely loved it and can’t recommend it enough.
Rating: 5/5 stars
I had a lot of hope for The Royal We after reading and loving both American Royals and Red, White, and Royal Blue. (I bought hard copies of both after reading the library copies because I knew I’d want to reread them a bunch.) Apparently Red, White, and Royal Blue was inspired by The Royal We!
It was written in 2015 (before Meghan and Harry started dating!) as fan fiction of Kate Middleton and Prince William, if Kate were American. It starts the day before the wedding, and you can tell something went wrong, but it’s unclear what. Then it goes all the way back to when the main characters, Bex and Nick, first met at Oxford.
It was a fun book, but ultimately I was disappointed. I just loved American Royals and Red, White, and Royal Blue so much, and The Royal We couldn’t hold its own against them. I’ll still read the sequel when it comes out next month, but I probably won’t buy this one for my personal library like I did for the other two.
Rating: 4/5 stars
I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and the Four Tendencies framework. I’ve been listening to her podcast, Happier, for several years now, and I’m slowly making my way through her books.
The Four Tendencies framework places people into four buckets based on how they respond to internal and external expectations. Upholders meet outer and inner expectations, Obligers meet outer expectations but resist inner expectations, Questioners meet inner expectations but resist outer expectations, and Rebels resist both inner and outer expectations. (You can take the quiz on her website; I’m an Obliger.)
They talk about the Four Tendencies on Happier all the time so I’m already very familiar with it. I’ve been reading Gretchen’s books in the order they were published, and when I got to The Four Tendencies, I honestly wasn’t sure how much I could learn from it. But boy was I wrong.
It walks through all of the tendencies, with two chapters on each. The first talks about how people in that tendency work, and the second talks about how to work with people in that tendency. I learned so much about myself while reading this book, and I’m already putting those lessons into action.
Rating: 4/5 stars