Time for a reading update, friends. Really it’s just a way of keeping you entertained while I’m on vacation but I’m guessing you won’t mind. Here’s what I’ve read since we last talked about books:
I can’t say this book made me feel better about the current state of politics as it made me miss Obama even more than I already did. Still, it was nice to remember a time when I was proud of our president.
A great story and a mystery that kept me guessing pretty much until the end. Fast and easy, with a time line that alternates between the 1950s and the present day, I’d happily recommend this to fans of historical novels, romance, and New York City.
Compelling, powerful, and difficult, this is a memoir in every sense of the word. The author willingly acknowledges that her memories differ from those of her family but who among us can’t say the same? I was intrigued, horrified, and astounded at the abuses suffered by the author. If you enjoyed The Glass Castle this is not to be missed.
While there are some good messages about acceptance and friendship contained in this book, it just never really clicked for me. Stereotypes and cliches abound and the ending felt rushed.
A series of vignettes with interconnected characters, Improvement illustrates beautifully how the things we do and the choices we make impact others. Highly recommended.
A truly fabulous biography, made even better by listening to the audio read by Michelle Obama herself. While it made me long for the days when the Obamas were in charge, it also gave me hope that good people are still out there doing good things. Highly recommended.
Meditative, rambling, cerebral, and often confusing but still extraordinary. This book is definitely not for everyone but I was enchanted by the stream of consciousness and quality of the writing.
An eye-opening examination of how racism is unavoidable in our society with practical suggestions on how we can listen, learn, and do better. I highlighted many passages but I think this one is the one I really want to remember: “To continue reproducing racial inequality, the system only needs white people to be really nice and carry on, smile at people of color, be friendly across race, and go to lunch together on occasion. I am not saying that you shouldn’t be nice. I suppose it’s better than being mean. But niceness is not courageous. Niceness will not get racism on the table and will not keep it on the table when everyone wants it off. In fact, bringing racism to white people’s attention is often seen as not nice, and being perceived as not nice triggers white fragility.” This book has inspired me to commit to working on my own white fragility. Highly recommended.
I admire Maria Shriver but I can’t say I enjoyed this book. It’s repetitive and superficial and I was hoping for something more, something deeper that would make me pause and examine my own life and choices. What I got was a series of short essays that attempted to be moving but instead felt rather forced and the prayer at the end of each one just didn’t work for me.
Even after 14 books set in Three Pines, Louise Penny manages to keep the story intriguing and the characters fresh. While on the one hand reading this was like visiting with old friends, on the other there were new characters introduced and plot lines established for future books that are definitely intriguing. I was uncertain how it would feel to read about Gamache, knowing that Penny’s husband Michael, the inspiration for this character, had died. I’m relieved and happy to report that Gamache is still wise and wonderful and the personal heartbreak that’s now part of the series only made him more dear to me. The ending had me in tears and the author’s notes are profound and beautiful. Highly recommended.
That’s a pretty good variety of books for me and most I truly enjoyed. How about you? What have you read lately that you’ve loved? Or hated? I want to know it all!