Books

Book Review of Rock Needs River

While this book posits itself as an open adoption story, I would argue it centers more on Vanessa McGrady’s winding journey toward and complicated feelings about becoming a mother. And she seems to be a very good one at that. She’s a fiercely loving and protective mother, which redeems the more complicated, flawed, and frustrating parts of herself that she puts forth in this book.  - Review of Rocks Meets River by Vaness McGrady

This book was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. I started off loving it — couldn’t put down — then toward the middle I grew frustrated and almost deleted it, but I decided to push through and I’m glad that I did.

I enjoyed the writing style, each page filled with a gritty sort of honesty that makes me feel uncomfortable and cringe inside, yet draws me in more. You can feel the author’s pain and longing as she realizes that she wants to become a mother while barreling through several failed romantic relationships. Despite some misgivings, I began rooting for her and hoped that she could get it together and make her dreams of a child come true.

When she is unable to have her own biological child, she, along with her husband, adopts her daughter from a couple experiencing homelessness. Much of the book explores her unraveling relationships with her spouse and her child’s biological parents.

While beautifully written, I often found myself wanting to shake the protagonist due to a lack of self-awareness and her occasional bad behavior. I wish this was a work of fiction instead of a memoir because I think it would have quelled my anxiety over how this book might damage her relationship with her loved ones in real life, and my concern that her daughter’s story isn’t hers to tell.

While this book posits itself as an open adoption story, I would argue it centers more on Vanessa McGrady’s winding journey toward and complicated feelings about becoming a mother. And she seems to be a very good one at that. She’s a fiercely loving and protective mother, which redeems the more complicated, flawed, and frustrating parts of herself that she puts forth in this book.

Read this book for free!

I downloaded Rock Needs River through Amazon’s First Reads. Each month, Prime subscribers get early access to new releases and can typically download one or two books for free. It’s how I found two of my favorite books from last year!

No Kindle? No problem! I actually read this book on my iPhone app.

My 18 favorite books from 2018

A list of the 18 best books that I read in 2018, including Rachel Hollis's Girl Wash Your Face and Gretchen Rubin's The Four Tendencies. Many of these books would be great selections for your book club. Enjoy!

These are some of the best books that I read this past year. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry, but don’t worry I’m cheap so you don’t have to buy: all of them should be available at your local public library. Read on!

Self help-y

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you need a kick in the pants

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you need a mind and body reset

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you need personal insight

Personal finance

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you need a money mindset reset

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you want to run away to the woods

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you realize money can’t buy happiness

Couldn’t put it down

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you’ve ever wondered what your therapist is thinking

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you want a book that I read because

♛Chrissy Teigen♛ tweeted about it

Historical fiction + biographies

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you crave beautiful (and 💔) storytelling

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you’re fascinated by Americans joining the Royal Family

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you’re interested in lifestyles of the OG rich and famous

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you want a seemingly rags to riches story

Goofy chick lit

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you need a silly distraction

My 18 favorite books from 2018

If you feel like your life is a mess

Worth a mention

Hilarious, but kinda R-rated

Hilarious, but kinda R-rated

Four things I can't stop thinking about

Too many women are dying in childbirth

This post terrifies me as someone who hopes to give birth someday. US maternal mortality rates are much higher than those in the developed world, especially for black women. California is the seeming exception to the rule, leading the way to healthier outcomes for women with a 55% reduction in maternal deaths due to protocols adopted in 2006.

This book has everything. Self reflection. Deeper understanding. The answer to the questions you didn’t know you know you wanted to ask.

In all seriousness, I read this book last weekend and found it to be incredibly helpful and worth a mention in case there are any fellow Obligers reading this.

Check it out from your local library and let me know what you think. I’ve already requested a few of her other books.

My favorite pajamas of all time

They are so soft and comfy. I have worn them at least once weekly for almost a year and a half and they’re still holding up. I like to wear them with a tank underneath. (Not an announcement. I just like the length for layering)

Pro tip: buy PJs in a color that complements your skin tone. For someone pale like me, jewel tones work. Mine are in purple, which doesn’t seem to be available at the moment so go with solid green instead.

You bet your boot(ie)s

I have spent two years searching the internet and shoe stores far and wide for a pair of comfortable, cute, affordable, and waterproof-ish (because Oregon) booties. If you have a pair that you’d like to nominate, please leave a link in the comments!