Whew. Finally getting around to this post…. in the middle of April. But I’m excited to share all about the crazy reading month of March.
Each month of 2019, the goal is to read at least 8 books. In March, I read 10. When I think about the fact that a few years ago, I struggled to read 10 books in the whole year, I’m so grateful I made reading a priority again and can’t recommend it enough.
March books were a bit all over the place: 3 memoirs, 4 nonfiction, 2 fiction, and 1 guide with lots of pretty, pretty pictures. 🙂 The heavy lean on nonfiction wasn’t intentional — it just so happened that all my holds on them came up all at once.
Here’s the scoop on the 10 books I read:
A book I never expected to actually read but was always intrigued by is Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. I was fascinated to learn about the battle between nutritionists and the food industry — and how neither side is actually promoting what’s best for our bodies. You could probably get the TL;DR version in an article somewhere, but I enjoyed this read.
The much-anticipated read of March was Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor. I’d placed a hold on it at the library a while back and finally got it — yay! While the title makes this sound extremely negative against the church, I promise it’s not. Instead, it’s the story of BBT’s experience as a pastor leaving her congregation to become a professor and navigating who she is and what her faith looks like as non-clergy. It was so enlightening and helpful.
Next up, I read a book by one of the authors I’ve really enjoyed in the past two years, Gretchen Rubin. Better than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits — to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life was Rubin’s 3rd book on how habits impact happiness. And I’m always on board for that! I’m fascinated by how other people tackle habit-making (and breaking), so I greatly enjoyed this read.
My favorite memoir of the month (and probably 2019 so far) was In Pieces by Sally Field. Oh man. So, so good. I had no idea about huge parts of her story and I have even more respect for her than I did before. This is a must-read for memoir lovers and anyone who has enjoyed Sally’s performances.
An unexpected read in March was White Houses by Amy Bloom. I don’t remember where I first saw a recommendation for this book, but I remember seeing it was promoted by Paula McLain (a favorite of mine) thinking, “Cool! I’ll read about all sorts of White House stories.” No, dummy. Read the description. This book is not what I thought it was at all — instead, it was a fictionalized account of Eleanor Roosevelt’s “First Friend” and their decades-long affair based on their letters over the years. (What!?!) I still enjoyed the book, but wasn’t a huge fan of how it was organized. Totally personal preference, though.
I finally got around to reading a favorite of Zach’s — The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It. is. so. good. I now have the other two books in the trilogy on my Kindle for when I’m done with my current library books. I’ve watched bits and pieces of the SyFy show, so I had the basic premise, but I really do love the book. Can’t wait to keep reading!
Another book that’s long been on my to-read list is Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. During my graduate program, one of our program directors (yay, Tina!) was reading Grit for the first time and kept incorporating it into our conversations. Now I know why. Duckworth’s research findings are fascinating and so helpful. I highly recommend this book to everyone — especially parents.
The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin was an absolute all-in-one-sitting guilty pleasure this month — easier to do than you think; it reads like a magazine. If you don’t follow The Home Edit on Instagram, go do it right now. You’re welcome. My organization-loving heart was so happy reading this book and I loved all the helpful tips (and gorgeous photography) throughout and can’t wait to put them to use soon.
I ended up reading another book from Gretchen Rubin at the end of the month — The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better. This actually worked out really well because it’s a deeper exploration into a discovery she made during her work on Better Than Before. Those concepts were fresh on my mind, and I’m a sucker for personality types. (For anyone who has read the book or articles about it, I’m an Obliger.) She provides helpful insights for each personality and how to navigate relationships, professional and personal, for each. It was a practical and all around good read. It also affirmed for me the importance of reading an author’s nonfiction in the order of release — this built so nicely off of Better Than Before and was worth the wait.
A fun finale to March’s reading madness was Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. What? Anna Kendrick wrote a book? you say. Don’t worry I said the same. And I must tell you: it was delightful. I have a strong affinity for memoirs from female comics (If you haven’t read Tina Fey’s Bossypants, are we even friends?) so I was glad it lived up to my high hopes (unlike, unfortunately, Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please). I’m a sucker for the scrappy-little-nobody-becomes-somebody narrative and Anna shares hers so well. I listened to the audiobook during my commute and laughed out loud at least once each car ride. Needless to say, I’m ready for Book #2.
Since we’re already halfway through April, stay tuned for April Read Feed here soon… I can’t wait to share more great books!
What have you been reading lately? I’d love to add it to my ever-growing to-read list on Goodreads or swap stories about shared reads! Comment below.