One of the intentions I set for myself at the beginning of the year is to read more. Last year my goal was to read 25 books and I ended up reading 36. This year I am aiming for 52 which I definitely think is doable since I have been trying to listen to more audiobooks. I have found that listening to an audiobook while going on a walk is a great way to get my steps in and decompress.
Here are the ten books I read in Q1 of 2020.
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates
I listened to the audiobook version of this narrated by Melinda Gates. It was an interesting and eye opening book about issues centered around women that plague societies around the world. Melinda discusses work that is done by the Gates Foundation and other organizations to empower women that are often marginalized. Inspiring stories are told about women who persevere through tough times to make a difference in the lives of their families, their towns and the greater society. This book raises awareness surrounding issues that women face and how certain changes can make a lasting impact. Honestly, this book made me feel blessed but also made me realize that there is action that can be taken to support women even within our own communities.
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This was a great beach read! This is a romance novel following the protagonist through two love stories at different points in her life which then unexpectedly converge. She must then choose who is her true love. This was an easy read but highlights something that I always find interesting to ponder: one soul mate v. multiple potential loves.
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I really enjoyed it. This is a fictionalized account based on a true story of a family in WWII Poland. The book follows the family through various countries and continents. It is a story of survival but more importantly how family bonds and human connection can get people through some of the toughest times. The only reason I did not give it a 5 is that at times it was slightly hard to follow which character was which but once I got into the book the names were less relevant and I was able to follow by the story of each individual.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
I listened to the audiobook version of this and it was great! I highly recommend it! I think even to this day there is a stigma related to going to therapy but this book showed how approachable, engaging and transformative it can be. It follows the therapist, Lori, through her therapy sessions and as well the issues relating to some of her patients. Even though I am not going through the same things necessarily the stories are so relatable and make you really think about the human condition. I felt a deep connection with the patients. This book really makes you think about the fragility of human life but does so in a quippy, fun way that will keep you laughing.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Really enjoyed this book. It flashed between WWI and the aftermath of WWII following two women that are searching for answers. Both women are strong female leads defying the social norms of the time period they live in. This book was a page turner filled with spies, romance and plenty of sass.
Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
Wow, did I love this book! I was so enthralled that I read this entire book in one day. I love historical fiction but this one focused more on romance and relationships which I enjoyed. I appreciated the two powerful female narrators going against the social norms of their times. Truly an amazing love story filled with drama, deceit, passion and sacrifice. It kept me guessing and hooked! I didn’t even know that there are various books following the Schuyler sisters (this one is #3) so it stands alone but I will definitely be adding the other two to my list. Highly recommend!
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown
I listened to the audiobook version which was read by Brene Brown and I really enjoyed it. It was a quick listen but insightful. The book discusses true belonging and how we need to be able to stand alone in our beliefs with conviction before you will feel belonging. I liked the message and the way the book was written with a mix of research and personal anecdotes. I definitely plan to read Brene’s other books.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I heard so many great things about this book but I am in what seems to be the minority because I really didn’t love it. I had to push myself to finish this one. The story itself and plot were interesting but I really didn’t like the writing style. I have really enjoyed other books by Taylor Jenkins Reid but this one was my least favorite. The book is being made into a miniseries on Amazon which I plan to watch because I think it will be interesting to follow in this format. I heard good things about the audiobook so maybe I just don’t enjoy it in book format.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
A couple of my friends and I decided to start a book club while in quarantine and this was the first book we read. It was a rather quick and easy read but really dug into social issues such as race and privilege which are often shied away from. It was a good pick for discussion purposes and would definitely recommend as a book club pick.
Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin
I seem to be on somewhat of a historical fiction kick these days. I enjoyed this story and liked it as an easy read. The book included romance, suspense, deceit and interesting characters. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it as a must read but it was a good quarantine read on a rainy day. It transported me to the Ritz in Paris which was a nice mental escape.