No matter what is happening during my days – working, traveling, dining out, staying in – every morning and most evenings are grounded in a good book. This has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. It’s something that makes me feel like, well, me. I’m consistently excited to add a new book to my list, and to return back to those that I have loved before. This list for early 2020 is a combination of books I’ve read thus far this year, and those that I am actively choosing to read in the near future.
Out of what I’ve read thus far, Lost Connections is the stand-out – so much so that I literally went down a rabbit hole researching the author and watching his TED Talks. I recommend starting with his TED Talk on addiction… it blew my mind. But I digress. Here are the books I am actually reading this winter, and do drop me a line if you have read or are reading any of these along with me. I’m always down to chat about a good read.
Lost Connections – We all know that we’re more medicated and over-prescribed than at any point in human history, but we’re also the least healthy and things only seem to be getting worse. Johann Hari does a deep dive into anxiety and depression in this incredibly well-written book, and by examining the cultural, psychological, and emotional roots of these conditions, calls into question the entire paradigm of how we’re trying to prescribe our way out of these issues, and unsuccessfully.
Little Women – I’ve been wanting to see the newly remade film version of Little Women, but my deal with myself was that I needed to go back and reread the original prior to my personal viewing party. I’m about three hundred pages into it right now, and while it can be a bit dry at times, the individual portraits of the four March sisters are absolutely riveting. There are also more sly moments of humor than what I remember in the initial reading from my youth, and this is what keeps me turning those pages every day.
Food Fix – I’m a huge fan of Dr. Mark Hyman’s functional medicine approach to well, everything, and listen to his podcast, The Doctor’s Farmacy, on the reg. His newest book, Food Fix, takes things a step further and weaves together the connections between food, our economy, the health of our plant, and our political landscape.
The Return – I read Hisham Matar’s A Month in Siena last year, and it was one of my favorite reads of 2019. So naturally, I went backwards and read his first book at the start of 2020. It’s the story of his childhood in Libya, his father’s kidnapping and disappearance during the Qaddafi regime, and his subsequent exodus and return to his homeland in search of his father’s memories.
A Long Petal of the Sea – I’ve been a fan of Isabel Allende since I read Daughter of Fortune many moons ago, and I actually heard about this newer book via a friend on none other than Instagram. It’s the story of an exodus from the Spanish Civil War that jumps between time and place, and I’m excited to dive in.
Between Two Fires – Perhaps not the book with the most sex appeal, but certainly one that is highly relevant to our time in history. It delves into the history and reality of the Putin machine in Russia, and what it’s like to actually exist under this regime.
Grief is a Thing with Feathers – This little wisp of a book is a short read, but is supposedly one of the most lauded books of the past few years. I stumbled upon it and was instantly intrigued – it was described as both “wildly inventive” and “moving,” and likened to Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, which I adore.
Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History – The memoir of NBC new correspondent Katy Tur during the last presidential election, we get a bird’s eye view of what it was like on the Trump campaign trail, especially as a woman. This seems especially timely for me, given our political landscape going into the next election cycle.