February 2021 Reading Update

This month I read:

  • Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan – This is a cute YA novel that reminded me of the world of Schitt’s Creek, the amazing tv show, created by the talented Dan Levy. In this world, like the tv show, there is no homophobia. There are boys who like boys, girls who like girls, a transgender teen who likes a boy, and boys who like girls, and everyone is okay with everyone.  It was a nice world to visit, knowing that this could be a reality in our world someday. Paul’s story of falling for Noah was a sweet look into the hearts of young teens. I didn’t know when I started the book, but this was a 10th anniversary edition and there was a fun interview with the author at the end, as well as a bonus chapter about one of the secondary characters.
  • The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi – I could appreciate some of the advice in this book, but I think it’s meant for someone who lives with a family, and young children, in their home. While the Lazy Genius principles can apply to many parts of life, most of the examples relate back to how to maintain your sanity and a semi-functional home. Since I live alone, I’m the only one to blame when the mess gets too bad! The overall premise is to “be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t… to you”. Adachi lays out 13 principles on how to be more genius. My favorites were Decide Once, Ask the Magic Question, Build the Right Routines, Put Everything in Its Place, Let People In, and Batch it. The Magic Question is “What can I do now to make life easier later?” and I’ve reflected on it in relation to cooking dinner. That is an area in which I am perpetually challenged, so I’m trying to build a new routine (half of which involves my brother cooking me dinner twice a week!) for weekly dinners. I love that she ended the book by reminding us all that we need rest – seasonally, monthly, weekly, and daily rest – and that is not just sleep or meditation, but spending time doing what you enjoy doing.
  • Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First: 10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level by Laura Tremaine – I LOVED THIS BOOK!  I loved it so much that I wrote an entire blog post about it specifically! I love Laura Tremaine and her message to share our stuff.  It matters.  It helps deepen our connections. I highly recommend this book!
  • Distant Shores by Kristin Hannah – After about a week of slogging through a book I finally decided to abandon, I needed some fun fiction reading. Since I had just watched Firefly Lane on Netflix, I remembered how much I liked Hannah’s writing and found some of her earlier books. This was a bittersweet story about Birdie and Jack, each reaching for their dreams after years of marriage where their passions fizzled out. The characters of Meghann, Birdie’s best friend, and Anita, her stepmother, make for interesting female friendships of love and support throughout Birdie’s journey to find herself again. I loved the gorgeous descriptions of Oregon’s beaches!
  • A Promised Land [audiobook] by Barack Obama – I enjoyed listening to this book, read by the author and former president; I missed his soothing voice! After over 14 hours of listening, the story hasn’t even reached the end of his first term of the presidency. He has a lot to say! I appreciated the details of running a campaign, the financial crisis he inherited upon his election, the challenges he faced with Congress and the GOP, how much people fight against climate change legislation, and the Bin Laden raid.
  • Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah – After quickly finishing the last Hannah book, I found another one available on my library app and devoured that.  Some weeks I just want easy-to-read fiction.  This story started off so differently than where it ended, which was a unique reading experience.  Micaela, a loving wife and mother, has an accident early on in the book.  Her medical challenges test the family in more ways than they were expecting. I don’t want to give away anything that happens, but I enjoyed this story!
  • To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer  – What a cute YA book! My friend Bobbie recommended this to me and I knew it would be a quick, fun read. Avery and Bett meet when their dads begin to date, but through a series of unfortunate events, nothing goes the way they hope. This reminds me of a modern day version of an old favorite movie, The Parent Trap (and by old, I mean the original!).
  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid – I loved this book! I have no idea why I bought it (I think it was a Kindle sale item someone talked about), but I was looking through my Kindle for a good fiction read this week and this was perfect. Emira, a young Black woman, is a babysitter for Alix, a white woman who is sad to have left her career-driven life in NYC for her work-from-home-while-mothering-two-children life in Philidelphia. Alix has a lot of self confidence issues, which play out in funny and not-so-funny ways throughout the story. There are also a lot of real racial issues that come up when a white family employs a Black woman as a babysitter, even in 2016, and even when that woman is dating a white man.  There are lessons to be learned about parenting, confidence, race relations, trust and friendships. We still have so much to learn here in our own country.

Fiction: 5

Nonfiction: 3

Young Adolescent: 2

Audiobooks: 1

Author is of or plot addresses a different race/ethnicity, orientation, religion than me: 3

Female author: 6

Male Author: 2

Nonbinary Author: 0

Library books: 4

Currently reading or my my TBR list soon: more by Kristin Hannah

Abandoned: The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. – I just couldn’t get into this book. Too much wordy description, not enough plot for me, as each chapter is narrated by another character. I wanted to like this book but was hating every minute of the reading, so I gave myself permission to put it down unfinished.

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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