I only have one favorite to share this week, but it was a fantastic book!
Educated by Tara Westover was the only book I read this month that I gave 5 stars to on Goodreads. Those ratings are too vague, and don’t mean much, but I don’t give a lot of books that rating.
This memoir follows Tara Westover, who grew up waiting for the End of Days. She spent her summers bottling peaches and her winters rotating emergency supplies, hoping for her family to live on when the rest of the world ceased to exist. I almost couldn’t believe this was a true story.
She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate.
She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a school, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals.
According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist.
As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen she decided to take her education into her own hands. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her Idaho mountains-to Harvard and to Cambridge.
Even through years and years of struggle to get the education she wanted, she also has to decide how to live with the family she has been given.
I was absolutely enamored by Tara’s story. It was so inspiring to see a woman with absolutely no formal education at all, on top of years of abuse and brainwashing, strive to pass her ACT, and then go on to get a PhD from Cambridge.
I won’t lie, parts of this book are extremely difficult to get through. There are scenes of extreme abuse, and graphic injuries as well. The most astounding part of this book for me was the fact that her family doesn’t believe in doctors. When someone in the family gets ill, Tara’s mother gives them herbs and essential oils to heal them. They can’t even take Tylenol. When Tara’s father is burned to the point of near death, they don’t go to the hospital. They let him ‘heal’ at home. Absolutely horrifying.
The writing is lovely, honest, and brutal. I listened to this as an audiobook the first time, and wished I hadn’t. I didn’t really enjoy the narrator’s voice. However, I was so in love with her resolve and passion I finished listening to it and promptly bought the hardcover copy.
I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who loves memoirs or a great story of resilience.
Also, update- I won’t be sharing my YouTube videos as blog posts anymore. I feel like they clog up too much of the feed on my blog, so there will be a widget on the side showcasing them.
Thanks for reading! What were your favorites books this week?