It can be totally overwhelming to pick a new book, and when reading time is limited I want to make sure that my choices are going to be well worth it. About once a month, I share my reading list in the hopes that it makes your reading list a bit easier to navigate and, more importantly, helps you discover books you really love. After all, life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy!
I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share my reading list this month.
On My Nightstand This Month
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This was our book club pick for March and it was an interesting one. Magical realism, tragic family dynamics, southern gothic style, all set in rural Mississippi. The book tells the story of a family who is touched by just about all the major social problems of today. Racism, drugs, prison, poverty…you name it and this book draws that into the story, and while it’s a difficult read, it’s also hopeful and illuminating into the deep wounds of the past and how they shape the future. I would recommend this for fans of literary fiction who want a deep and meaningful read. It’s also a great discussion if your book club likes to tackle challenging topics.
When Marisol’s grandmother dies, her last wish is to return to her homeland of Cuba to have her ashes spread. What Marisol doesn’t expect is to discover things about her grandmother’s life as a wealthy Cuban debutant that have long remained hidden. The book alternates between the story of Marisol’s visit to modern day Cuba and grandmother Elana’s flight from the island during Castro’s revolution. The first part of the book is a little slow and Cleeton’s background as a lawyer and global studies major makes for a some wordy historical explanations, but the ending of the book was more action packed and there’s a fun twist as well. If you’re interested in historical fiction, this reads a lot like Susan Meissner’s books.
How to Fix a Broken Record: Thoughts on Vinyl Records, Awkward Relationships and Learning to Be Myself by Amena Brown
I heard Amena Brown and her new book on a podcast with Jen Hatmaker where the two discussed their own experiences as women in ministry. In an effort to hear more from women of color I was excited to pick up this book. This is Brown’s collection of essays from the silly to the profound about her own experiences with marriage, her work as a spoken word artist, and her faith. You can feel her poet’s talent for word choice in many of the pieces and I bet this would be a great audiobook. This would make a great gift for a recent grad as many of her stories are about discovering yourself as a single woman and newlywed.
Hanna Casey’s life as a rural Irish librarian is designed to keep the world out and especially the memories of her past mistakes. But when local politics threatens to topple her quiet world, she finds herself leading the community she’s long tried to ignore. I found the writing for this book a little flat at times and I didn’t love the ending since it felt a bit unfinished, but the characters grew on me and it’s a sweet story about place-making and small communities. It has a bit of a Three Pines feeling in places (without all the murders) and it also reminded me of Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner with it’s British Isles location.
What was your favorite read this month? Have you read any of these books before? I’d love to hear what’s on your nightstand so leave a comment below!