March 2021 Reading Update

I can always tell when I’ve had a stressful month because my reading list is shorter than usual.  March was a rough one for me, and most of the books I finished were read in the last two weeks and/or via an audiobook on a high speed!

This month I read:

  • The Things We Do For Love by Kristin Hannah – I love Hannah’s writing. She manages to craft stories that have heart, family, conflict, and resilience, in a variety of forms. In this story, Angie and Conlan are a married couple who have suffered the long-term loss of trying to have kids unsuccessfully. When Angie returns to her hometown to help the family business, she meets Lauren, a teenager with a hard life who has worked hard to learn scholarships to college. Angie and Lauren’s friendship helps them both grow and heal, even though the hardships they deal with alone and together. This was such a sweet story.
  • The Stranger by Harlan Coben – When I need a good fiction escape read, I go back to my favorite mystery authors, like Coben. I loved this book! Adam’s world is rocked when a stranger comes up to him and reveals a secret his wife kept from him. As Adam digs to find the truth, his wife Corrine goes missing, and everything begins to unravel. The reader learns more about the stranger, and the secrets that so many people keep. This was a good, suspense-filled mystery. Random bonus, my hometown in New Jersey is mentioned!
  • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey [audiobook] – I’m not sure why I got this book, other than a friend who told me it was decent and the romantic comedies that this actor has been in that I have enjoyed.  Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy hearing him read this random book anymore than I would have enjoyed reading it. I found it to be weird, and I was annoyed by how highly he thought of himself (from childhood on). With most celebrities books, I can usually find something endearing (childhood trauma, setbacks, unexpected success), but even with those, I found myself disliking this man throughout the entire book. Not a good read for me.
  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah – I LOVED this book! I have enjoyed many Hannah books over the last year, but this was one of my absolute favorites! I didn’t know that a story about the Dust Bowl and the Depression would end up being about strong women, family love, and speaking up for what is right. Elsa was such a beautifully crafted character, leaving her unloving parents to create a new family, and then making difficult choices on behalf of her children during one of the worst environmental times in our history. Ironically, in the afterword, the author acknowledges how odd it was to write about that time during the COVID-19 epidemic, causing similar devastation for families across our country. I highly recommend this book.
  • The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee – I highly recommend this to every American – it’s a must read that is part historical lesson and part call to action. I appreciate the historical journey that McGhee takes us on, while rooting each example within a specific city and/or industry in the US. She paints a vivid picture that helps explain the white supremacy that our country was built on, and how we can work together to make a better America. This is not easy work, but it is necessary and well past the time for us all.
  • Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison [audiobook] – I enjoyed listening to this audio book on a recent road trip I took. I appreciated all of the research studies that the author broke down, showing how some diets show “success” with manipulated data. As someone who has been on and off diets most of my life, I’ve been working to get out of the diet culture mindset for awhile now, learning to listen to my body and not Instagram influencers or health magazine editors who are also entrenched in diet culture. This is an on-going journey but I love the author’s history and messages of hope!
  • Dirt: Growing Strong Roots in What Makes the Broken Beautiful by Mary Marantz  [audiobook]- My favorite podcast recently had an interview with this author, which made me want to read this memoir. I knew I wouldn’t have much in common with the author, a religious woman raised in a trailer in West Virginia. That is why I chose to read this – to continue to learn about different lives and perspectives by listening to the stories of lives very different than mine. With that in mind, I enjoyed the author’s beautiful writing and interesting storytelling.

Fiction: 3

Nonfiction: 4

Young Adolescent:

Audiobooks: 3

Author is of or plot addresses a different race/ethnicity, orientation, religion than me: 2

Female author: 5

Male Author: 2

Nonbinary Author: 0

Library books: 3

Currently reading or my my TBR list soon: Later by Stephen King, and two Book of the Month books

About Amy's Reflections

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