I’ve been on a tear this winter… a tear through the shelves of the New York Public Library. I don’t know if it’s the cold weather or the start of a new year with new possibilities that has me so buried in books, but I felt like my imagination has been running wild and I’m not fighting it. Read on for some of the books I’ve been reading recently, and I hope you are equally as excited as I have been to be starting the new year off with some incredible stories.
Educated – This heartbreaking memoir shares the story of a woman who grew up as part of a doomsday-prepping Mormon family, how this history shaped the course of her life, and how she ultimately overcame it to become a Cambridge graduate.
Dark Matter – This futuristic sci-fi thriller came highly recommended, but I didn’t love it as much as my top sci-fi pick from the past year, Ready Player One. Dark Matter weaves a tale that explores the paths not taken in our lives, and how these paths can play out unbeknownst to us and define our past, present, and future existence.
Heat – I consistently find myself drawn to memoirs from the kitchen, and Heat was of this vein and thoroughly fascinating. When a career writer decides to take a stab at the kitchen line and goes to work at Babbo, he winds up learning much more than how to bone a duck. We learn Mario Batali’s history alongside the author’s, and see how their stories intersect and find their way into the kitchen.
Call Me By My Name – As relevant as ever, this book tells the story of a gifted African American athlete growing up in Louisiana in the 1960s, and how he perseveres as a pillar of the community despite the deeply entrenched racism in his hometown.
State of Wonder – Ann Patchett has always been a favorite of mine, and it was my mother who recommended that I read State of Wonder. While I really enjoyed the story that takes us on a journey from a medical lab in New England to Brazil and back again, Bel Canto is still my Patchett pick.
Little Fires Everywhere – I have to admit that I didn’t have terribly high expectations for Celeste Ng’s second novel, as I didn’t fall in love with her first (Everything I Never Told You). However, Little Fires was infinity better than I expected, and in truth I couldn’t put it down. It tells the story of a mother and daughter who move to a conservative Ohio town and shake it to its core, making its residents question everything that they had formerly taken for granted.
Milk and Honey – A book of poetry that spoke to my soul. Truly, Milk and Honey is a must read. It’s comprised of many short poems with varying formats, and I already want to purchase it so I can come back to my favorite poems again and again.