Mallory Cywinski's book originally came across my Instagram feed, the title and cover caught my eye and so I went digging (total honesty, I judge a book by its cover). I poked around her profile and checked out the price tag and description, I added it to my carts "save for later" section and I'll be honest there it sat. Now having completed the book, I can admit I got in my own way and almost missed out on what has easily been one of my most favorite reads of the year.
Why was I not jumping to read and review this book , honestly? my personal bias. It wasn't a non fiction reference book. Truly that's it. I know my brain, I like books built for my ADHD and mom life attention span. I like to annotate, sticky note, pick up and put down without feeling lost and so I avoided "stories" over "information".
But after chatting with Mallory on and off and watching her account from afar I decided to take a leap of faith and try something new. Now to my surprise the books format actually lended itself rather well to my start and stop style ( makes sense since it was written by a mom). By the end the writing truly reminded me of a journal , Her narrative voice in combination with the way chapters were broken up , it felt like i was reading her personal journal but not in a creepy stalker ( I've been watching too much YOU) way, no this was like.. reading your own journal. relatable and honest and kind of funny.
Theres more to this book than parainvestigationnormal , as a mother Mallory shares her personal struggles with balancing life and finding personal pleasures while also being 'mom'. These are things i strongly relate to as I have three Littles of my own and so the book felt captivating on more than a spooky level.
The book is honest in that not every chapter or story is filled with spooky stories or paranormal happenings, sometimes the investigations a bust, sometimes it reveals something not paranormal but just as intriguing. It felt like a real window not only into paranormal investigation but also paranormal investigation as a women in a very male centric atmosphere.
If I HAD to pick bones with this book my only tiff was the way some chapters were broken up, it felt like as soon as we'd get deep into her storytelling a header would disrupt the flow as she went into explaining a paranormal investigation process or haunting type. It felt unnecessary and would side track me or sometimes even make me stop reading cause it felt like a 'break' point even though her narrative writing style continued quite flawlessly.
All that aside "Making Friends With Ghosts" was a refreshing change to my daily reading, i was captivated by Mallory's writing style and related to the majority if not all of her book. It was equally exciting that she calls Pennsylvania home meaning that most of the references are within an hour or so of me! Combine this fact with Mallory's writing style and how it feels like a personal journal and well , don't ask her but in my mind Mallory and I are BFF's.
Typically I photograph the books I read after I've completed them for the blog but this book went everywhere with me within days it had met bathwater, baby boogers, and crumbly snacks, the pages were worn and its honestly not pretty, but that's because i couldn't just stop where i was and bookmark for alter, not because i would lose my spot or the momentum but because I didn't want to.
I'm happy to add this book to my shelf and definitely see myself gifting it to friends in the future ( if you are said friends shhh you never read this)