My To Be Read Pile is getting OUT OF CONTROL!! Good thing I am still on maternity leave. Here is what I have to finish by the end of the year:
This is WONDERFUL! If you follow me on Good Reads Find Me On GoodReads Here, you can see all of my highlights I have made in this book so far. It’s an insane amount and I’m only on page 44.
“A dazzling novel about love, loss, and the mysteries of the mind.”
― David Ebershoff, Bestselling author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife
A family in crisis, a town torn apart, and the boy who holds the secret has been cocooned in a coma for ten years.
One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school’s back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening ―and the unspoken story he carries― will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.
Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the stillpoint of Oliver’s hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver’s mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver’s brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver’s father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver’s teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate― and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.
A moving meditation on the transformative power of grief and love, a slyly affectionate look at the idiosyncrasies of family, and an emotionally-charged page-turner, Stefan Merill Block’s Oliver Loving is an extraordinarily original novel that ventures into the unknowable and returns with the most fundamental truths.
This is heartbreaking, but beautiful. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON
An exquisite memoir about how to live—and love—every day with “death in the room,” from poet Nina Riggs, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the tradition of When Breath Becomes Air.
“We are breathless, but we love the days. They are promises. They are the only way to walk from one night to the other.”
Nina Riggs was just thirty-seven years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer—one small spot. Within a year, the mother of two sons, ages seven and nine, and married sixteen years to her best friend, received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal.
How does one live each day, “unattached to outcome”? How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty?
Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship, and memory, even as she wrestles with the legacy of her great-great-great grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nina Riggs’s breathtaking memoir continues the urgent conversation that Paul Kalanithi began in his gorgeous When Breath Becomes Air. She asks, what makes a meaningful life when one has limited time?
Brilliantly written, disarmingly funny, and deeply moving, The Bright Hour is about how to love all the days, even the bad ones, and it’s about the way literature, especially Emerson, and Nina’s other muse, Montaigne, can be a balm and a form of prayer. It’s a book about looking death squarely in the face and saying “this is what will be.”
Especially poignant in these uncertain times, The Bright Hour urges us to live well and not lose sight of what makes us human: love, art, music, words.
I am listening to this on Audible. Love it! Click the link below and get this audio book FREE!!
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
Can literature change our real world society? At its foundation, utopian and dystopian fiction asks a few seemingly simple questions aimed at doing just that. Who are we as a society? Who do we want to be? Who are we afraid we might become? When these questions are framed in the speculative versions of Heaven and Hell on earth, you won’t find easy answers, but you will find tremendously insightful and often entertaining perspectives.
Utopian and dystopian writing sits at the crossroads of literature and other important academic disciplines such as philosophy, history, psychology, politics, and sociology. It serves as a useful tool to discuss our present condition and future prospects – to imagine a better tomorrow and warn of dangerous possibilities. To examine the future of mankind through detailed and fascinating stories that highlight and exploit our anxieties in adventurous, thought-provoking, and engaging ways. From Thomas More’s foundational text Utopia published in 1516 to the 21st-century phenomenon of The Hunger Games, dive into stories that seek to find the best – and the worst – in humanity, with the hope of better understanding ourselves and the world. Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature delivers 24 illuminating lectures, led by Pamela Bedore, Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, which plunge you into the history and development of utopian ideas and their dystopian counterparts. You’ll encounter some of the most powerful and influential texts in this genre as you travel centuries into the past and thousands of years into the future, through worlds that are beautiful, laughable, terrifying, and always thought-provoking.
What I Will Be Reading Next (In No Particular Order):
Ok, I lied. This one will be my next read because I can’t wait any longer to read it. Jane Harper’s book The Dry (Click here to purchase)is a finalist for Good Reads Best Reads of 2017. It was AMAZING. So I can’t wait to read her latest book. It comes out in February.
Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?
When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.
But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?
“Force of Nature bristles with wit; it crackles with suspense; it radiates atmosphere. An astonishing book from an astonishing writer.”
―A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window
Select praise for The Dry:
“One of the most stunning debuts I’ve ever read. Every word is near perfect. Read it!”
―David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A breathless page-turner … Ms. Harper has made her own major mark.”
―The New York Times
I received this in the mail the other day and had never heard of it. When I looked it up on Amazon I was stoked to have gotten a copy! This is something that I may not have ever picked up to read on my own and now it may become a book I could never have lived without. It comes out January 18, 2018 and you CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code comes a book that unlocks the secrets of highly successful groups and provides tomorrow’s leaders with the tools to build a cohesive, motivated culture.
Where does great culture come from? How do you build and sustain it in your group, or strengthen a culture that needs fixing?
In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations—including Pixar, the San Antonio Spurs, and U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six—and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation, and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Drawing on examples that range from Internet retailer Zappos to the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade to a daring gang of jewel thieves, Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change. Coyle unearths helpful stories of failure that illustrate what not to do, troubleshoots common pitfalls, and shares advice about reforming a toxic culture. Combining leading-edge science, on-the-ground insights from world-class leaders, and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded.
Culture is not something you are—it’s something you do. The Culture Code puts the power in your hands. No matter the size of the group or the goal, this book can teach you the principles of cultural chemistry that transform individuals into teams that can accomplish amazing things together.
Advance praise for The Culture Code
“If you want to understand how successful groups work—the signals they transmit, the language they speak, the cues that foster creativity—you won’t find a more essential guide than The Culture Code. This is a marvel of insight and practicality.”—Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better
“I’ve been waiting years for someone to write this book—I’ve built it up in my mind into something extraordinary. But it is even better than I imagined. Daniel Coyle has produced a truly brilliant, mesmerizing read that demystifies the magic of great groups. It blows all other books on culture right out of the water. Read it immediately.”—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Option B, Originals, and Give and Take
This memoir looks like it is going to be a tear jerker. I look forward to curling up with a hot cup of coffee and reading this while I snuggle my three month old baby. It will be released February, 2018. CLICK HERE TO PREORDER ON AMAZON
If you’re looking for a parenting book, this is not it. This is not a treatise on how to be a mother.
This is a book about a young girl who moves to a new town every couple of years; a misfit teenager who finds solace in a local music scene; an adrift twenty-something who drops out of college to pursue her dream of making cheesecake on a stick a successful business franchise (ah, the ideals of youth). Alone in a new city, she summons her inner strength as she holds the hand of a dying stranger. Davies is a woman who finds humor in difficult pregnancies and post-partum depression (after reading “Pie” you might never eat Thanksgiving dessert the same way). She is a divorcee who unexpectedly finds second love. She is a happily married suburban wife who nevertheless makes a mental list of all the men she would have slept with. And she is a parent who finds herself tested in ways she could never imagine. In stories that cut to the quick, Davies explores passion, loss, illness, pain, and joy, told from her singular, gimlet-eyed, hilarious perspective.
Mothers of Sparta is not a blow-by-blow of Davies’ life but rather an examination of the exquisite and often painful moments of a life, the moments we look back on and say, That one, that one mattered. Straddling the fence between humor and, well…not humor, Davies has written a book about what it’s like to try to carve a place for oneself in the world, no matter how unyielding the rock can be.
While the above books are ones I have recently acquired, this next book has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to read it, I just keep getting more books and this one gets delayed due to the newer books upcoming release dates. When I am given Advanced Reader copies, it is with the expectation from the Publishers that I will read them and have my reviews ready prior to their release which puts me in a bind to get them read and reviewed asap.
Midwives came out in the late 90’s, so you can see why I am not in any rush to read and review it. But the story looks incredible so I have been meaning to check it out. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON
A contemporary classic that has sold more than two million copies and was a selection of Oprah’s original Book Club, Midwives is a compulsively readable novel that explores questions of human responsibility that are as fundamental to our society now as they were when the book was first published twenty years ago.
On an icy winter night in an isolated house in rural Vermont, a seasoned midwife named Sibyl Danforth takes desperate measures to save a baby’s life. She performs an emergency cesarean section on a mother she believes has died of stroke. But what if—as Sibyl’s assistant later charges—the patient wasn’t already dead? The ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt, forcing Sibyl to face the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience. Exploring the complex and emotional decisions surrounding childbirth, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.
So there you have it! My list of books that I plan on reading before the New Year. Wish me luck. Let me know if you read any of these along with me.
Thank you to all of the Publishers and Authors who have given me copies of their books in exchange for honest reviews.
I’m an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. When people read what I’ve written about a particular product and then click on those links and buy something from the retailer, I earn a (very small) commission from the retailer.