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 is a book that’s getting a ton of buzz and for a good reason. The writing is stellar and evokes such thoughtful, strong characters that you’ll feel like you’re visiting them in person. This is the story of Claude who knows that he’s really a girl named Poppy and how his entire family walks through his childhood, searching for answers about how they will respond. This is not a political book or a social-minded essay, instead it’s a story about families and marriages and siblings and friendships and how we love each other through difficult things. You’ll want to talk with others after you read, so grab your book club and get started.
I love a good apocalyptic YA novel and this one looks at a whole new side of survival, through the eyes of the autistic main character. With an impending meteor strike, decisions have to be made about who is allowed to board Lifeships bound for other inhabitable planets. Denise knows that her disability makes her a less desirable candidate, especially with her addict mother and transgendered sister in tow, but can she find a way to prove her value to the survival of the human race. The story is a bit awkward in places but the author’s (who herself is autistic) description of Denise’s experience and autistic lens is one of the best I’ve ever read and in the end I enjoyed its unique addition to this genre.
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco
Since my book club finished up The Glass Castle last month, I’ve been on a memoir binge. Mastromonaco served in the Obama White House for 5 years and was part of his office as a Illinois senator as well. Her dishy inside scoop on life behind the scenes of government reads like a fun episode of The West Wing and while the story and writing can be choppy and a bit scattered, it’s worth it to get a look inside a presidency. There are echoes of Tina Fay and Mindy Kaling’s advice/lifestyle memoirs, which make this a light and quick read. Especially recommended if you are a political junky or avid fan of political podcasts. It’d also make a great college graduation gift for women just starting their careers.
Another memoir, The Sound of Gravel, is Wariner’s recollection of growing up as part of a fundamentalist Mormon (i.e. polygamist) compound in northern Mexico. One of 10 children born to her mother, Ruth recalls the difficulties of her transient life and her heroic efforts to provide stability for her siblings despite deep poverty. Huge trigger warnings on this book, as it deals heavily with physical and sexual abuse. But the redemption of the author’s story makes for a compelling read and emotional read. Ruth’s ultimate acceptance of her mother’s choices is grace-filled and tender but also demonstrates her own strength in such difficult circumstances. If you’re a fan of redemptive memoirs, this is worth reading.
You’ve probably already seen this YA book on several other must-read summer lists. After a body is discovered in Rowan’s backyard, she works to figure out just exactly what happened during a horrific and often unknown night in Tulsa in 1921. In alternating chapters, we also follow the story of William, a young man living in Tulsa during 1921 who witnesses the events firsthand. Their two stories, almost a century apart, are intertwined in a mystery that left me guessing until the very end. I love historical fiction that brings to light forgotten history and this book certainly does that. Another excellent book club suggestion!
I’d love to hear from you! Have you read any of these titles? What did you think? What’s been your favorite read this month? Leave a comment below with your book thoughts!