• hollyrutchik

OverBOOKed September 2020

Too busy to read? Studies show those who read live longer and are smarter! Carve out some time in your busy schedule for some SHELFcare. We’ve curated a list for those who don’t have time to pick a book!



Perfect Tunes By Emily Gould


If you’re in the mood for: Music, chasing your dreams, mother/daughter stories, how to balance your passion with your life

At the new millennium, songwriter and musician Laura arrives in NYC’s East Village to live with her charismatic best friend, Callie, and chase her musical dreams. She falls hard for a gifted and tortured musician on the cusp of stardom. Their brief (and volatile) time together will shape Laura’s life indefinitely.

Fifteen years later, Laura’s daughter, Marie, falls hard for a boy whose knowledge of her history draws him to her.


Perfect Tunes is not a fairy tale. It’s an honest and emotionally gritting tale of falling in love (in all its forms) and how those loves can shape our lives and our approach to relationships. At its core, Perfect Tunes is a story about the sacrificial elements of motherhood, but it will speak to any reader who has ever had a dream and learned that, sometimes, dreams can change.


Gould’s writing is example of how the perfect song, like life, can often play on a loop until one day, a different meaning can be found in the same song you’ve been singing all along.

When Breath Becomes Air By Paul Kalanithi


If you’re in the mood for: Soul-searching, facing mortality, fatherhood, the meaning of YOUR life

When Breath Becomes Air is the memoir of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, who at 36, and the culmination of his training as a neurosurgeon, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. After years of sacrifice to become a doctor, Paul found himself on the other side of the exam table, confronted with living the rest of his life as a patient. As Kalanithi navigates a terminal diagnosis along with new fatherhood, he examines his mortality and the meaning of life itself in this stirring memoir.


Kalanithi died in 2015 while writing When Breath Becomes Air. OverBOOKed was cautious to pick up this book for fear of it being too depressing. However, through the diary of his most intimate thoughts on dying, Kalanithi has written an uplifting and encouraging instruction manual on living. Great for those facing hardship, a diagnosis, life decision or crisis, Pulitzer Prize finalist When Breath Becomes Air is one of those books that makes a great gift.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter By Erika L. Sánchez

If you’re in the mood for: Coming of age story, survival, immigrant life, perfection and imperfection

National Book Award finalist I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is a new kind of “coming of age tale” in America.

Julia is NOT the perfect daughter in her family. When an accident takes the life of her (perfect) sister Olga on the streets of Chicago, the spotlight of the family’s grief turns to Julia.

With her own failures on full display, Julia starts to examine the role she plays in her family. Maybe Olga wasn’t as perfect as she seemed? Maybe she too was playing a role? With Connor (her first love) and Lorena (her best friend) by her side, Julia sets out to find Olga’s true story and, in turn, her own identity.

Sánchez tells a story of the beauty of imperfection, and the desire to lead a way of life without leaving anything – or anyone – behind.

Notes on a Silencing By Lacy Crawford

If you’re in the mood for: a harrowing personal account, the impact of power, overcoming trauma, seeking identity, the pursuit of justice


In her memoir of abuse and assault at a private school, Crawford opens the wounds of her scars to uncover the ramifications a systematic coverup can have – both on assault victims and on our society.


In the face of pouring out her heartbreakingly painful personal accounts, Crawford’s writing sings with poignancy on both the personal and communal level. Notes on a Silencing is about the impact a moment can have on molding not only a life, but the person and the society of the person living it. Crawford’s brilliant personal and researched account of how a system failed her offers hope and affirmation to those who have experienced abuse. It also gives promise to those seeking a new sense of oneself after surviving trauma.

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