March 2018 Reading List


Next up: my reading list for March.

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

I do not recommend this book at all—I made it to page 292 of 318 before giving up so believe me when I say I tried. The plot strayed so far from the initial premise of a disjointed family reuniting in Ghana for their estranged father’s funeral; I felt misled by the promotion and reviews of this book. Initially I didn’t love it because the language was too flowery and overtly poetic, but the plot was engaging enough to continue. Things quickly devolved near the end when a family secret regarding forced incest was revealed (making my stomach turn) and, simultaneously, the book came to a halt.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

This book was fantastic. The content was so unique and interesting (previous to reading Nomadland, I had no idea about the workamper revolution taking place in the United States), and the book itself was extremely well-written. I thought Jessica Bruder did an excellent job of combining anecdotes with facts; she is such a compelling storyteller. I will definitely be reading whatever she writes next. Highly recommend!

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

This was a good book. I particularly liked the exploration into the characters’ pasts and the inciting incident that brought them together. I thought the romance plot line was a bit forced and rushed, and I also thought the plot line relating to the crimes that were committed came together a little too seamlessly. Regardless, I’m interested in reading more of Isabel Allende’s work.

The Dry by Jane Harper

Darn, I was excited to read this book but I didn't really like it. It was entertaining enough for me to finish it but the end was so dark - be aware, highly sensitive readers, there was some messed up content in regards to children in the last few chapters. I loathed those parts, and wished I hadn't read them (I actually skimmed them to miss some of the gruesome bits). The beginning and middle parts of this book were good in a True Detectives sort of way, but the end came to a screeching halt—I didn't think the Ellie Deacon plot line was tied up at all, which may have been the author's intent but was definitely not satisfying for the reader. Maybe there will be some mention of Ellie in the next Aaron Falk book, Force of Nature, which, for some reason, I still may read, possibly because Jane Harper's writing is good. So, the two stars on this book are specifically for the unnecessary detail about difficult circumstances.

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

This is such a sweet story. The beginning captivated me but I thought the plot wavered a bit beginning about 75% in. I recommend this book—the writing is great, and I totally want to be friends with Ona Vitkus—but it’s not an all-time favorite.

Our Little Racket by Angelica Baker

This book was well-written and had great character development for most of the major players, but it was really slow and ultimately didn't have much of a climax or resolution. I really enjoyed following teenager Madison's journey, and there was good insight into her mother, Isabel's, life and mindset. The rest of the characters were underdeveloped; nanny Lily, in particular, was featured significantly in the beginning but insights into her life dwindled near the end. I was entertained by this book but definitely not riveted by it.

I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam

I really liked this book. I relished it and read it slowly, as there is so much information and research to digest. Laura Vanderkam defines successful women as those who are making $100,000 or more, and while she honed in on that very specific/potentially limited demographic of working women for her research, I think many of her findings apply to people in any walk of life. I also think success is classified by lots of other factors besides salary, and Vanderkam does a pretty good job of expanding upon that concept. As a nonprofit development director, I certainly don’t make six figures, yet I found lots of good gems and takeaways that I could apply to my own life. I look forward to reading more of Vanderkam’s books.

Image via The Everygirl