Life’s gotten a little hectic lately, so I haven’t had a chance to share recent reads. In April, I only managed to read four books, but then in May I ended up reading nine. By the time the middle of May rolled around, I figured it was easiest to wait and share them all at once. With that in mind, I kept things brief.
If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear what you thought!
I kicked off March with another fun memoir from Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me? I really enjoy her sense of humor and like hearing some of the behind the scenes of her projects. Her books are great beach reads!
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli was an unexpected find in my audiobook app telling a sweet story of two guys figuring out what they mean to each other during summer break in NYC. Great realistic fiction.
I always enjoy a good self-help read, and Dan Harris’ 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works was no exception. I wasn’t aware of most of Dan’s story and enjoyed following his journey to a more peaceful (and less stressful) life, even as a news anchor.
This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps was a pleasant surprise. She has some hilarious and deeply moving stories to tell. I listened to the audiobook and it revealed much more emotional depth than I would have perceived if reading on my own.
I love following along with Reese Witherspoon’s book club, despite the fact that I can never keep up. She recently featured The Library Book by Susan Orlean and I was immediately intrigued. This book was part memoir, part historical reporting, part “who dun it?” and is worth the read if books have special meaning to you.
The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer has received a lot of buzz — and for good reason. I read it in under 15 hours during a beach weekend and don’t regret a single moment of it. If you like following the accounts of the Greats like Hemingway, Faulkner, and others, this is a book for you.
I’m very late to the game on Arianna Huffington’s Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. It has good advice, but as one of our creative leaders explained: it’s not super helpful to hear what works for the industry moguls — they are too far removed from our day to day lives to offer advice like what was shared here. Huffington’s good intentions don’t fall flat, but do serve as a reminder of privilege.
A second Reese Book Club pick made the cut in April: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory. It was a great, quick read with an irresistible hook — another perfect pick for the beach.
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan was another random choice to fill my commute, but it’s a favorite from the month. Such a sweet story about romance, books, and how Nina’s whole life changes because of a van.
The much-acclaimed memoir from Michelle Obama, Becoming, was the latest choice for my book club at work and it absolutely lived up to the hype. I loved learning the way the Obamas met, how she handled his quick rise in politics — just to name a few great moments. Please find a way to read this book.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I managed to finish three books, including An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. I’ve seen this book’s cover everywhere so I was really looking forward to it, but it just didn’t do much for me. I don’t know what I would do to change it; I was just pretty underwhelmed.
A practical read this month was Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. He offers practical advice on how to break our addiction to our device and pursue other passion in their place. A short form version of this piece would give most people what they’re looking for in a book like this, but I appreciated the more thorough approach with research, data, and anecdotes to drive home the point.
My final success at the end of May was actually a book I started at the beginning of April and didn’t finish prior to the library due date: My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie. The audiobook is almost 24 hours long which is difficult to get through in the time frame I initially had, but I was so grateful to finish it up this week. I loved this thorough approach to Eliza Hamilton. As much as I loved I, Eliza Hamilton last year, this book was much better.
I’m so happy with how much reading I’ve enjoyed lately, and love knowing the summer is just getting started — plenty of reading in the sun to come in the months ahead!