What I read in May

I finished three very different books in May. 

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (★★★★★)

I was not aware of the controversy around the book and its author when I started reading it. American Dirt follows the story of Lydia and her eight-year-old son, Luca, as they flee from the cartel after surviving a violent shooting that murders their entire family. Lydia decides that their only hope is to leave Mexico by way of La Bestia, the migrant trains that travel north toward the United States. In spite of everything said about the novel, I found it to be riveting, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and hard to put down. I also once over couldn’t help but feel empathy for all the people in the world who are forced to pick up their lives and leave everything they know behind in search of safety. While the book is fictitious and its ending a bit too tidy, it raises awareness for the plight of migrants, and if nothing else, that makes it worthwhile and important IMHO. Now let’s also go and read more authentic voices on this topic.

The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas (★★★★☆)

Should Rose have a baby or not? That is the central question of this book, which is explored in 9 different scenarios with various different outcomes. This is a really well-thought-out and poignant look at what motherhood might mean for a woman and how that decision will impact a woman’s life. The freedom to decide if one feels the calling to motherhood or not is still something that is not easily granted to women in our society
I thought Freitas did a great job dealing with the nuanced feelings of such a life-altering decision, and how it can impact the relationship with your spouse and extended family. As someone who didn’t have children, I could very much relate to some of the feelings/thoughts around this topic.

I really enjoyed Freitas’ writing style, however, the one thing I found challenging was the format. It was hard to keep track of the 9 different scenarios, although, ultimately it wasn’t that important as the themes and reflections of each scenario came through. 

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron  (★★★☆☆)

I had heard about the Enneagram before but hadn’t really dived into the topic much, so I thought I’d learn a bit more by reading this book.

This book was informative, don’t get me wrong, but not as helpful in identifying my Enneagram type as I was expecting; it’s just an overview of each type, from a lite Christian perspective (although that didn’t bother me as much, even as a non-Christian). I identified with different aspects of different Enneagram numbers and at the end, still wasn’t really sure what my main type is.

It seems to me that it’s pretty normal to fluctuate between different types depending on the situation. I ended up taking a  couple of online Enneagram tests after reading this book and I am somewhere between a 1, 2, 6, and 9. Doesn’t nail it down exactly, does it? I might have to mull this over a bit more. Have you identified your main Enneagram type? How did you arrive at this conclusion?

What did you read in May? Anything you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment, and then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch.

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed the 9 Lives book. I thought it was really well done. I tried to keep track of the different lives for awhile and then gave up when I realized it wouldn’t have that much bearing on my enjoyment of the book! The author chose to not have children so it made sense that she handled this topic so incredibly well.

    I read and liked The Road Back to You. I am 100% an Enneagram 1. I felt like reading that book helped me feel confident that was the right type for me. 9, 1, and 2 all fall into the same sort of sphere of types so my hunch is that you are one of those types? But that’s just my theory!

    1. You’re right, ‘The 9 Lives of Rose Napolitano’ was so well done.

      You’re probably not too far off that I am somewhere between a 9, 1, and 2 on the Enneagram … I’ll definitely keep exploring this a little more.

  2. I’m an Enneagram 2w3. Anddddd, yeah, people are SUPER into finding out more about it and there are Instagram accounts that dive into each type of personality, but I, for whatever reason, don’t seem to care too much. Hahaha.

    That first book looks pretty great though! Going to download it now!

    1. Thanks for sharing your Enneagram type. I think it’s interesting and I’d like to figure out what I am LOL but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not super-important. Just curious!

  3. All books sound interesting and Amercian Dirt as crossed my path a couple of times now. I did do an online enneagram test and I think I was 4 or 6. My sister is a coach and she has read up on the topic lately and I asked her to give me her books once done. I haven’t seen her in so many month so I don’t know which one it is. She is very into it and said it is one of the better systems as it grows with you.

    1. I’d love to hear more about the books that your sister read/recommends about the Enneagram!

  4. Darn, I’m sorry The Road Back to You didn’t help you figure out your Enneagram type! I will say that after reading the book, I was fluctuating between 4, 6, and 9 but ultimately settled on 9 because reading that chapter was so enlightening and felt like reading something so personal to my experience! 9s travel to 6s in stress, and can have a 1 wing (I’m a 9w1!), while 1s can have a 9 or 2 wing, so it makes sense that you’re fluctuating between all of these numbers. My favorite Enneagram teacher, Sarahjane Case, is very quick to point out that we have ALL of the numbers in us (and 9s feel this much more deeply than any other number), but, of course, there is one primary number that we gravitate to, based on our experiences/nature.

    I love the way she talks about typing yourself, too! She says that your primary number is the one that you feel you need to do/be in order to be loved. For me, as a 9, I feel I have to keep the peace and lessen my opinions around others. 1s feel that they have to be perfect in everything they do, 2s feel that they need to give, give, give to others, and 6s feel that they need to be incredibly loyal and supportive.

    Maybe try a different Enneagram book to see if it sheds any light on these numbers for you (Sarahjane Case has a book called The Honest Enneagram that might be a better fit for you!) – or not, lol. Not everyone loves the Enneagram and that’s quite alright! It has helped me in my life immensely, but it’s not for everyone. :)

    1. Thanks for this feedback, Stephany. I think I just have to mull this over a little bit more… it does make sense to me that I fluctuate between numbers and maybe I just have to pay attention a little bit more deeply to find my “main number”. I am definitely intrigued – not discouraged – to learn more!

  5. Nine Lives sounds interesting – I don’t think I’d seen any other information on the plot. As another child-free person, I’m kind of intrigued! I might have to check that one out – thanks!

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