Goodbye February, hellooooo March! This month felt like it FLEW by. I have a theory that January always feels a million years long and each month following then feels shorter and shorter. Even for a short month, this felt like a very productive month of reading! I think I spent a lot of my weekends in bed or on the couch with a book in hand. I’m slowly but surely learning more about myself and the genres I like which will help me pick better books for the future. A few people have text me for recommendations… I love doing this and if you’re on the fence on what to read next please, please, PLEASE email/DM/text me for recommendations.
I wouldn’t recommend a few books in this month’s list so keep that in mind. I finished them because I hate leaving a book half-finished but it was pretty painful. Please comment and tell me what you are reading… Your suggestions are THE BEST. And as always, follow me on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading in real time.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Historical Fiction 5/5)
Evelyn Hugo (AKA Elizabeth Taylor…) is ready to tell the world about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter, Monique, no one knows why. What follows is eight lovely and intriguing stories about Evelyn Hugo’s seven husbands… And one about her one true love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn's story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique's own in tragic and irreversible ways. THIS BOOK. Ahhhh, so good. I loved every second of it and totally devoured it. I cannot recommend this one enough!
The Kind Worth Killing (Thriller 5/5)
I LOVED this book! There are at least three or four twists that I was not expecting!!! On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché. But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse…
Educated (Memoir 5/5)
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she stepped into a classroom. Born to Mormon, survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she helped parents stockpile for the end of the world by stewing herbs for her mother in the summer and working in her father’s junkyard in the winter. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or a nurse. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. This book has my heart. It read as a fiction story and I had to keep reminding myself that it was non-fiction. The beautiful language Westover uses made the stories seem more bearable to live through although they likely were not. This is truly an incredible story that everyone should read.
The Idea of You (Light Fiction 4/5)
So, this book is totally based off of Harry Styles. I really enjoyed it but I gave it a 4, instead of a 5, because the writing was very, very juvenile. I felt almost dumb reading it because it was *so easy* to read. Anyways, if you’re obsessed with Harry Styles and/or boy bands then you’ll definitely love this! When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things. What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love.
The Last Time I Lied (Thriller 4/5)
I totally forgot I had listened to this book at the beginning of the month. It’s definitely scary, but I think it would’ve been better had I read the hardback version instead of audiobook. That being said, I’m going to try read it this year because I think I’ll like it more if I do that. Three of Emma’s friends go missing in her youth and now that Emma is a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends. Once Emma arrives at Camp, she knows all is not well and the closer she gets to the truth the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (True Crime 4/5)
“In the morning, you’ll be dead and I’ll be gone in the dark…” I really, really enjoyed this book! It shed a lot of light on the Golden State Killer and had some heartbreaking memoir passages written in. My two downsides to the book were 1) the fact that this was published before the killer was arrested and 2) that I read it as an e-book. If you read this book definitely do NOT read the e-book. There are exhibits and footnotes throughout the book which really helps with your understanding of the timeline and the cases. Highly recommend! For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area. Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
Becoming (Memoir 3.5/5)
I know, I know. I did not love this book. A lot of people did, but frankly, it was definitely not for me. I even listened to the audiobook version and YEESH… Sometimes it was slowwwww. I think the writing was really, really good, but I felt like I already knew a lot about Michelle Obama’s life? However, I really did enjoy hearing about both Presidential runs and her time in the Oval Office. Which is about 1/3 of the book. Anyway, Michelle Obama dives into her childhood in the South Side of Chicago to her years after law school as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time in the Oval Office with Barack. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. I would recommend if you’re interested, but definitely listen to it on audiobook because I don’t know how anyone finished this by reading the hardback version.
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. (Self-Improvement 3/5)
This is a very quick read. It was the book club pick, so I listened to it on audiobook. I really enjoy when authors read their own audiobooks, but this book fell flat for me. It really was not relevant for my job level and more relevant for C-level employees (i.e. CEO, CFO, COO). I wouldn’t recommend. Brené Brown spent the past two decades researching the emotions that give meaning to our lives. Over the past seven years, she found that leaders in organisations ranging from small entrepreneurial start-ups and family-owned businesses to non-profits, civic organisations and Fortune 50 companies, are asking the same questions: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders? And, how do you embed the value of courage in your culture? Dare to Lead answers these questions and gives us actionable strategies and real examples from her new research-based, courage-building programme.
When Breath Becomes Air (Memoir 2.5/5)
As stated above, I’m learning more and more about what I like to read. I think that memoirs are not my cup of tea and I only liked Educated because it read as a fiction piece. At 36 years old, on the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a naïve medical student "possessed," as he wrote, "by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life" into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.