Run Fast. Eat Slow and Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow by Shalene Flanagan: I raced thru these two cookbooks and really enjoyed them. We tried a few recipes and I wish there was a way to own 1 of both together; there is some redundancy.
Home by Toni Morrison: I listened to this as an audiobook read by the author and I really enjoyed it! The subject matter can be heavy but hearing Morrison bring her own words to life was a thrill.
Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchin Rubin: I also raced thru this book. If you are a devotee to Rubin, like I am, there is not a lot of new information in this book. So much of it is in her other works or has been discussed on this podcast, I was frankly, disappointed I spent money on it. I will get wait for her next release from the library.
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo: Another book I picked up in person from Louise Erdrich’s bookstore in Minneapolis. (How I wish I could pop into that store more frequently! Although, I suppose it is good for my bank account and groaning bookshelves that I can’t!). There are some beautiful poems in this book and there were some lines that just absolutely punched me in the gut.
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: Another audiobook to the rescue! I work with a lot of data on a daily basis (sometimes I’m update millions of records a day) and I really enjoyed this take on big data. Stephens-Davidowitz has some really interesting takes on things that the Internet can tell us (specifically Google searches) – for example, Americans are significantly more racist than they admit, abortion is more common than people believe (with a terrifying increase in DIY methods) and more. If you are interested in Big Data, it is certainly worth checking out.
THIS BLOG WRITTEN ON TRADITIONAL AND UNCEDED MIAMI AND HAUDENOSAUNEEGA TERRORITY, WHERE I AM GRATEFUL TO LIVE AND WORK.
Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee: I listened to this one and I found it to be much too long. Chee focused so much on clothing – for pages at a time and while I am sure the historical research is spot on, I found it tedious and distracted from the main character.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: I devoured this. Another selection for book club, I have seen it at Target for ages and I am so grateful for the nudge to pick it up. Seriously, thrilling, amazing work.
Red Clocks by Zeni Zumas: Another book club book! I thought this would be a little more post apocalyptic that it was and I was surprised how quickly I got into this novel. Following three different women in an US where abortion is illegal and how they fight to live their lives and build (or don’t) their families was a good read. Check it out if you don’t hate women!
The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich: I’m working on being a Erdirch completist and I really enjoyed this novel. Her worlds are evocative and she builds such real, human characters.
(there are two themes this month, you’ll see!)
The Whole 30 and The Whole30 Fast and Easy by Melissa Hartwig: I really enjoyed these books and am looking forward to doing my first Whole30 soon!
Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston: We read this for book club and I A D O R E D it so much. I know there are some criticisms, especially around the incredible short re-telling of the Middle Passage but I am so grateful to hear Cudjo’s story and his voice, preserved for those of us interested in listening.
Kindred by Octavia Butler: Another book club selection, one I didn’t quite finish before our meet up but know I wanted to make sure I found the time to finish. I’m really glad it did; it certainly made me think.
What are you reading? Any must-reads before the end of the year?
This blog written on traditional and unceded Miami and Haudenosauneega terrority, where I am grateful to live and work.
Incendiary by Chris Cleave: “When a massive suicide bomb explodes at a London soccer match a woman loses both her four-year-old son and her husband. But the bombing is only the beginning. In a voice alive with grief, compassion, and startling humor, Incendiary is a stunning debut of one ordinary life blown apart by terror,” (via). I really enjoyed this book – I found the narrator compelling and heartbreakingly human. I had moments of wanting to Google the terrorist attack mentioned in the book as I surely felt it had to have really happened!
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara: I only started listening to this after the news that they caught the Golden State Killer came out – and honestly, I probably couldn’t have finished it without knowing that he was caught. McNamara’s writing is captivating and the story is a thrilling who done it.
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot: “Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma,” (via). I read this in one sitting on the plane and it was quite the read. I found it easy to fall into her mental state, which she is able to clearly get the reader to feel her fuzziness, by reading it in such a way. But I did feel like I missed some details and wanted to shout ‘Girl, run from him!’ at her several times.
Yep, a big fat goose egg! I’m not sure I’ve had a month with no finished books since I started tracking in 2013. Eck! But this month was a rough one and I’m hoping to rebound in May as there is a lot of airport time in my future.
(I can’t believe I never wrote this! These were some of my favorite books of last year!)
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine: “With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.” (via) I am not sure how this book came into my life, but I do know that once it did, I found it nearly impossible to put down. The suspense held me; I was truly surprised by a few of the twists.
A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang: This was a free Kindle First book. To be perfectly frank, I’ve stopped downloading these and this book is a good example of why. The pacing was off, the characters were poorly drawn and it could have been a full 30% shorter.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: The follow up to Six of Crows, I devoured this book. set in her Grishaverse. “Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. ” (via) I seriously think everyone who loves fantasy should check out this duology.
All the Little Children by Jo Furniss: “Struggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children—until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost.” (via) I was into this book for the first 90% but there is a final decision in the end that I found unrealistic and could not believe.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: “Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.” (via) I picked this up on the recommendation of a friend and I could not put it down. I loved it and found it engaging, fast paced and, of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s set in Ohio.
How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King: This month’s parenting book. I found some helpful nuggets and would recommend it to folks with kids in this age range.
Killman Creek by Rachel Caine: This thriller is the follow up to Stillhouse Lake, which I previously read and really enjoyed. I did hate that she set it up for another one and felt the pacing of this book was a little off – too slow to build and the climax came too late towards the end of the book. We are the characters aren’t given a chance to catch our breath after the climax hits, and given the subject matter, we all need one!
Sherlock in Love by Sena Jeter Naslund: This had been on my to-read list for ages, and after book club + Read Harder 17 last year, I’m trying to be a bit more intentional with creating room on my nightstand for stuff I want to read for pleasure. I had read Ahab’s Wife years ago and contend it a modern masterpiece so I was really looking forward to inhaling Jeter Naslund’s other work. Sadly, this did not deliver the same gut punch that did. Written in the style of a Sherlock story (which is such a cool idea!), she’s inverted his normal tropes by having him fall in love. It’s genius but it did not grab my heartstrings like I was hoping.
Prince of Cats by Ron Wimberly: This was on my list because of Read Harder 18 and while the idea is so cool (Shakespeare! with black characters, in modern times!), the truth is, I am not a comic book person and the illustration style was too cluttered or brash for me. It made it hard to focus on the words.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: The Grisha Trilogy, part 1 🙂 I simply adored her duology, Six of Crows + Crooked Kingdom and I am so happy to have this trilogy to read too. It’s an inventive and fast paced story (read it before the movie comes out).
Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh: Another one on my to-read list for years and I’m not sure it should have been there that long. My patience for cutesy blog names is shorter than a blade of grass. The recipes were fine, but not inspiring.