What I’ve been reading lately: the new and the notable

What I’ve been reading lately: the new and the notable

Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately on the 15th of the month.  

I’ve been reading piles of great books lately! Today I’m sharing a handful of new releases I loved, plus a few backlist selections. This is a pretty typical mix for my reading life—it’s essential for me to mix the old with the new in order to stay satisfied with my reading life.  

This is just a sampling of the books I’ve read since our last round of Quick Lit. If you’re interested in hearing more about my recent reads, I highly recommend tuning into my podcast What Should I Read Next. In a show about books, I can’t help but discuss my current reading. 

I can’t wait to hear about your recent reads in comments. 

What I’ve been reading lately: the new and the notable

If You Come Softly

If You Come Softly

It's hard to believe this almost-classic by Jacqueline Woodson is twenty years old: the themes in this love story between two star-crossed teenagers, inspired by Romeo and Juliet and an Audre Lord poem, are as fresh as ever. Jeremiah is comfortable in his Brooklyn neighborhood. But as a Black teen attending a new Manhattan prep school, he feels less comfortable. When he meets Ellie, a white Jewish girl from a different world, they know they fit together, but everyone around them is skeptical, or downright hostile. A moving and tragic story of first love, unjust loss, and the fleetingness of time. More info →
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Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First.

Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First.

Author:
What fun to read this early and offer words of endorsement! Here's what I said: "Wise, warm, and relatable, this is the perfect read for anyone interested in exploring how to use their words to deepen their relationships." I'm so glad this is out in the world now so you can read it: I read it SO FAST because I wanted to read the story of it, but the themes and questions have stuck with me for months now. More info →
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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers Book 1)

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers Book 1)

Author:
My first Becky Chambers experience was an utter delight, and unlike anything I've read before. I've seen her name around for years, then What Should I Read Next guest Emily Van Ark's strong recommendation (in episode 259, "The formula for a 5-star read") moved this up my To Be Read list, then our producer Brenna read it and said YOU HAVE TO READ THIS NOW. I'm so glad I did! This rollicking, big-hearted, constantly surprising space opera told a great story built on big themes—friendship and love, gender and politics, mortality and prejudice. I loved these characters and look forward to seeing how the rest of the trilogy unfolds. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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Reasons to Stay Alive

Reasons to Stay Alive

Author:
When I read Haig's new novel The Midnight Library last fall, which touches on mental illness, I didn't realize he'd also written several nonfiction books about his own experience with depression. Haig says in the opening pages that he's attempting to do two things in this memoir: to lessen the stigma of mental illness by talking about it openly, and to "try and actually convince people that the bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view." I highlighted extensively, copying nearly a page worth of quotes into my journal; the one I keep returning to in my own mind is "Minds have their own weather systems." I found this to be fascinating in its content, surprising in its scope and design, packed with good words about books and reading, and life-affirming in its conclusions. More info →
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The Ex Talk

The Ex Talk

How could this podcaster resist a novel about podcasting, set in the world of public radio? In this enemies-to-lovers romance, Solomon takes the familiar fake dating trope and gives it a fun twist: in order to advance their respective careers, Shay and Dominic say “yes” to their boss’s not-quite- legit plan to co-host a tell-all podcast, where they’ll pretend to be exes and deconstruct what went wrong in their relationship. But to convince their listeners it’s real, they need to get to know each other—and that’s when it gets complicated. I loved the Seattle studio setting and sense of humor in this breezy read. Heads up for an open door scene or two. More info →
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The Echo Wife

The Echo Wife

Author:
This past year I picked up Sarah Gailey’s works for the first time, and have been so impressed at the range of their talents: westerns and magic and sci-fi, oh my! Their next book opens with a black tie gala: renowned researcher Evelyn Caldwell has to face her cheating ex-husband at the awards dinner meant to honor her, but soon discovers that’s the least of her problems. If her colleagues find out he unethically used Evelyn’s research to clone himself a more agreeable version of herself, her career is over... and that desire to cover up the truth leads Evelyn into more and more trouble, as she scrambles to cover-up a crime while questioning her right to “play God” in her work. The intimate first-person narration amps up the tension—and the enjoyment. A fun, thoughtful, and satisfying genre mash-up. More info →
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What Kind of Woman: Poems

What Kind of Woman: Poems

Author:
I usually like to go through a poetry collection slowly over time, but I had a difficult time not inhaling this collection all at once—I had to force myself to put it down! By turns witty, tender, snarky, and gutting, always relatable, and never boring. Highly recommended, whether this is your first poetry collection or your hundredth. More info →
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What have YOU been reading lately? Tell us about your recent reads—or share the link to a blog or instagram post about them—in comments. 

P.S. 15 propulsive literary mysteries that balance plot and prose, and 12 audiobooks I’ve thoroughly enjoyed lately. Plus a trick for when you’re stuck in a reading rut.

more posts you might enjoy

109 comments | Comment

109 comments

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  1. Shannan says:

    Oh, Anne. You are NOT good for my TBR. SMH. LOL. So many to add, especially that Matt Haig. I have read two of his novels and enjoyed them immensely.
    I also read A Long Way to a Dark and Angry Planet and loved it. I am on the second Wayfarer book now and am enjoying it just as much, if not more. I believe Brenna said that this one was her favorite of the two and I am seeing why. Becky Chamber’s characters are great!
    Here’s what else I read in January!
    https://shannanenjoyslife.com/2021/02/12/quick-lit-next-page-please-january-2021/

      • Heather says:

        The second of her Wayfarer books might be even better than the first! Something to look forward to. 🙂
        I just finished Passing by Nella Larsen and O. M. G. What a book! It is almost a novella, I read it easily in one morning, and is so worth it to read to the end. Hint, hint. My book buddy and I talked for almost an hour about the book and all the issues of identity and race it brilliantly reveals, with no easy answers from the book, or us. So compelling.

  2. Lis M says:

    Ahhh I love Jacqueline Woodson and I haven’t read all of her backlist either – it’s always fun to have books by an author you know you’ll enjoy. I also read Ex Talk this month and loved it. I’m super intrigued by The Echo Wife even though it feels out of my wheelhouse.

    Here’s what I have been reading recently including YOLK by Mary HK Choi (which I’m sure will be in my top books of the year), The Ex Factor (it made my public radio + podcast loving heart so happy), + The Arctic Fury (surprisingly comforting to read about Arctic experiences as we’re having a super cold snap of weather in MN). I also share my husband’s current Scottish mystery and the read alouds we’re doing with our kids.

    https://www.everyoneslibrarian.com/blog/quick-lit-february-2021

  3. Susan says:

    A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is in my bag right now and will begin it just as soon as I finish up The Switch. Surprisingly interested in that book of poems, What Kind of Woman, especially from your review. I don’t have that Woodson classic on my library shelf to read this month but another of her backlist, Another Brooklyn. Her is what I’ve been reading in January: https://susanbowers.typepad.com/in_the_storm/2021/01/what-ive-been-reading-january-2021.html

  4. Linda Stoll says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve read 2 of what will be 2021’s favorites! The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson, a nurse’s ‘intimate, poignant’ story, and Barbara Brown Taylor’s newest, Always a Guest. Both made for soothing yet moving bedtime reading.

    And my readers graciously helped me pull together a huge list of inspirational titles for a friend who’s battling cancer –
    http://www.lindastoll.net/2021/02/your-38-gifts-of-inspiration.html

    • Debbie Park says:

      Lisa! I might have found a book twin after looking at your blog and seeing your book recs! How fun! If I add you as a friend on goodreads is that the best way to keep up with your reading list? Thanks!
      Debbie

  5. “The Ex Talk” is on hold for me at the library…there are several people in line in front of me. Same with “The Midnight Library” and “Reasons to Stay Alive”.

    I’m reading my BookOfTheMonthClub pick right now: Girl A. So far, so good!

  6. Great collection of books! All sound like interesting reads to me. Most of my reading lately has been audiobooks and I’m loving incorporating the listening experience back into my reading life!

    I’ve listened to “The Right Swipe” by Alisha Rai, “Meet Cute” by Helena Hunting, “Love Her or Lose Her” by Tessa Bailey, and Drew Barrymore’s memoir “Wildflower”. I’m currently reading “Mating in Captivity” by Esther Perel for my year of health.

    https://lifesapearl.com/what-ive-been-reading-lately-february-quick-lit/

  7. Annissa Armstrong says:

    I have read some really good books lately.

    The Love Proof by Madeleine Henry
    Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan
    The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe
    The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel
    The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

    Just starting Send for Me by Lauren Fox

  8. Gina says:

    My reading year got off to a great start in January and then came to a halt when we adopted a puppy two weeks ago. I’m still getting through an eGalley of Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.
    The Ex Talk sounds like a fun book. Does anyone have any suggestions of where to find more fun closed door romances? My 16 yr old daughter isn’t quite ready for for steamy open door romances but is a huge fan of Hallmark type movies. I would love to fin those in book form for her.

    • Janice Cunning says:

      Gina I adopted a 13 month old lab mix about 7 weeks ago so I totally relate. Just getting back into my reading rhythm. Enjoying lots of walks and time at the dog park.

    • Carrie Padgett says:

      Kristan Higgins is writing women’s fiction now, but her earlier romances are lots of fun and closed door. If you want romance without sex, Susan Mae Warren’s Christiansen Family series is great. It’s a few years old so should be easy to find at the library. Hope that helps!

  9. Laura Tremaine’s book is on my list. I love her podcast!
    This month I’m sharing 4 books, 3 nonfiction, 1 fiction (our book club read) and all the nonfiction were on audio. Since I’ve been spending most of my time doing puzzles, audiobooks and Netflix are my life.

  10. Rachel E. says:

    Just finished the award-winning “A Place at the Table” by Saadia Faruqi (Yasmin series) and Laura Shovan. It was such a delight! Perfect for Grade 5-6 kids dealing with friendship and identity issues who love food!
    Faruqi and Shovan alternate chapters writing as their respective characters, Sara and Elizabeth, and it’s a wonderful story about creating and keeping friendship. I also appreciated the healthy depiction of parents who are struggling with their own issues. The authors make sure that children know they can share their worries but it’s not their job to “fix” their parents.

  11. After a year in which my reading dropped way down (difficulty focusing, less time) I have read 20+ books this year. I discovered a new to me mystery series and have read some lighter romance novels. I still use goodreads but started a second Instagram just to track my reading with star ratings and mini reviews. @nursebeanreads. I also loved Kate Barr’s poems and Laura Tremaine’s very thoughtful book on self reflection and female friendship.

  12. Debbie Burke says:

    My most favorite 2021 reads… so far:

    Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
    Shuggie Bain (Booker winner) by Douglas
    Stamped by Jason Reynolds
    A Most Beautiful Thing by Arshay Cooper (watch the documentary of the same name… book as a team… documentary as grown men 2018-2019)

    • Janice says:

      I read this awhile back and thought the author’s premise was so imaginative. I loved how the stories of ordinary people entwined with the Greek gods.

  13. Janice says:

    Gina I adopted a 13 month old lab mix about 7 weeks ago so I totally relate. Just getting back into my reading rhythm. Enjoying lots of walks and time at the dog park.

  14. Tracey says:

    The book I loved most in the past month is Wintering by Katherine May. Beautiful writing about so many things I didn’t know I wanted to learn about and things I could really relate to. It was perfect timing in a two-week cold snap in the middle of the pandemic when everyone around me and I are wintering hard.

    I also read and loved Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson this month and look forward to reading more of hers. And I also really liked A Tale for the Time-Being by Ruth Ozeki. I liked the many different topics it introduced from nuclear disaster to bullying and everything in between. It was unlike anything I’ve ever read. And I also really liked Swimming in the Dark by Tomas Jedrowski. I knew almost nothing about it and liked it.

    I’m currently reading a super-villain novel called Hench that I am surprisingly loving. It’s outside of normal genres for me but I picked it up because it’s a Canada Reads (literary game show) pick and it’s sooo good and funny so far. I’ll let you know next quick lit how it turns out!

  15. Ashley says:

    I’ve been reading The Beekeeper of Aleppo and I have to make myself put it down because it makes me cry, but it’s amazing so far. I’m also into The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow and this one I cannot stop reading!
    TBR is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.

  16. Mary says:

    February has been a good reading month.
    Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
    If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
    Fire Girl by Tony Abbott (a poignant middle grade book)
    The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner

  17. patricia says:

    I’ve been reading lately:
    The Queens Gambit by Walter S. Tevis
    Time’s Convert by Deborah E. Harkness
    The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston
    The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover by Susan Wittig Albert
    Good Behavior: The Letty Dobesh Chronicles by Blake Crouch

  18. Adrienne says:

    My recent reads are:
    * Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (3 stars) – Wile the book started out strong, with a compelling sense of “What happened?”, I think it fizzled in the last third. Plus I found the technical sailing details and nautical terms confusing and a a bit pointless.
    * The Black Echo by Michael Connelly (4 stars) – I tore through this book, the first in the Harry Bosch series, in two days because hubby and I have been watching the series “Bosch” and I wanted to know some of the back story of the character. Police procedural books are not a favorite genre for me, but this one is very good and definitely kept my interest.
    * The Muse – Jessie Burton (4 stars) – Loved this story told in dual timelines of the turmoil in Spain in the 1930’s and Odelle Bastien, who is working as a typist in an art gallery in London in 1967; the stories are connected by a mysterious painting. Wonderful!
    * The Fitting Room: Putting on the Character of Christ – Kelly Minter (4 stars). Really made me think about mercy, joy, compassion, and hope. Kelly’s writing is so good!
    * The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V. E. Schwab (25 stars) – I seriously loved this book and yes, I would give it 25 stars as it has everything I love in a story. Just read it…..
    * Oona Out of Order – Margarita Montimore (4 stars) – I loved the concept, which was so unique and very twisty, and the story is very well told. But I just didn’t like Oona so much and found her a very flawed heroine.

    Happy Reading!

  19. I read a book about Jews in hiding during the Holocaust to help my six-year-old and myself understand that our present limited social life could be a lot worse! I also read a novel about a stressed-out mom who solves all her problems by just trying harder (and I rant about it in my review!) and a sci-fi/horror novel I liked a lot.
    https://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2021/02/10/the-upstairs-room-and-other-pandemic-reading/

  20. Kristine Yahn says:

    I read the beginning of Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig and it promises to be an excellent addition to my library of “books that might help”. I’ve been walking along the suicide cliff for several years. At 73, I’ve been able to find reasons to grab when I begin to veer closer. Another is The Body Keeps the Score. I’ve read just the first part, which reframed many of my early experiences from bad memories to childhood trauma. It broke me into little pieces, which can be helpful. My fiction reading turned to romance, primarily Regency romance, when I knew I needed HEA fiction. As soon as I’m in a better spot, I’m anxious to read The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. If anyone finds themselves looking for happily ever afters with a small amount of open door, I highly recommend Mary Balogh. The Westcott series and Survivors’ Club series are my favorites.

    • Anne says:

      Kristine, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I’m glad you have a new addition to your “books that might help” collection. Thanks for telling us about it here, and for sharing your recent reads and recs. Sending love your way.

  21. Lisa says:

    I recently read ‘Kindred’ by Octavia E. Butler. This is a great book to read for Black History Month. ‘Kindred’ is a fictional time-travel novel about a black woman who goes back in time to the days of slavery. I loved it!

  22. BB says:

    I’m reading “This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing” by Jacqueline Winspear. She’s the author of Maisie Dobbs books. I find myself trying to read this slowly to savor it.

    • Laurel says:

      I really enjoyed the book too. It helped me understand the Maisie Dobbs series better. There were a lot of historical details I never knew about and I’ve read a lot of Brit Lit.

  23. Jan Slaughter says:

    The Witch’s Heart, a debut novel that reimagines Norse Mythology by Genevieve Gornichec. I would recommend this to those who enjoyed Circe by Madeline Miller.

  24. Brenda says:

    Great books I’ve read so far this year. The Galileans by Frank Slaughter. I grabbed this book from my great Aunt Virginia’s (96 yrs old) library. Loved reading a very old book and now I want to read more frank slaughter books. Also, Nobody Will Tell You This But Me, by Bess Kalb. (Costco) When you are a new grandma you need good ideas of how to be “great”. Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo is a great chapter a day read. I picked this up at fed express store. And for Valentine’s Day I had to refresh myself with CS Lewis, the Four Loves. I also am dabbling in GreenLights, McConaughey, and listening to Share Your Stuff, I’ll Go First. TBR next: The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict There is soooo much to look forward to after soaking in all your comments and recommendations.

  25. Carol says:

    “The Splendid and the Vile”by Eric Larson is a compelling non fiction read about Churchill & WWII. Also Obama’s “ A Promised Land” offers honest, straightforward insight into the 2008 campaign & the first term – written with grace & humility. I find many books in this category are interesting, but hard to
    “Stick with” to the end. Not so with these two books!

  26. Susan says:

    Started Jane Eyre this morning. Thought I had read it in high school but I’m not remembering it at all! Your post has added quite a few to my list.

  27. Beth Gross says:

    Share Your Stuff and Reasons to Stay Alive both look fascinating.

    I read Charles Martin’s The Water Keeper and I’ve just started The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate.

    I blew through Kendra Adachi’s The Lazy Genius Way. Lots of good stuff there and super readable.

  28. M A Wilson says:

    Hello everyone, I’ve been getting desperate for fresh reading,no visiting the library for over a year! No charity shop open, can’t afford trips to town to buy new SO I was delighted to discover said library does a reserve and collect service!! You can’t go in to browse but hey this is my lifeline so I had a go, using recommendations from the Chirp audiobook lists. Piranesi by Susannah Clarke is a mystifying, immersive experience, a worthy successor to Clarke’s Mr Norrell and Mr Strange. A pearl, and accomplished despite CFS. Please give this a go. I really enjoy reading Mrs Darcy’s groups meanderings by the way, another lifeline.
    All the best.

  29. Kim V says:

    The best books I’ve read recently have been The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny, and Winter Counts by Daniel Heska Wanbli Weiden.

  30. Debbie says:

    I’m currently reading Fresh Water For Flowers by Valerie Perrin and translated by Hildegarde Serle. I’m only about 100 pages into it and so far I’m loving it.

  31. Brittany says:

    I am NOT a poetry reader but I couldn’t put down Kate Baer’s book! One of my favorite reads this year so far.

    I just read “Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances” which I’d give a strong 3.5 stars, “The Thousand Doors of January” and am now starting “The Miniaturist.”

  32. Dana A says:

    I have been reading One by One by Ruth Ware. I love her books. She keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Just when you think you know what is going to happen you turn the page and find out you were so wrong!

  33. Emily Garland says:

    Well I’ve never answered one of these before, but I had to say that I’ve read a couple of really good books this month.
    1. Anne Bogel’s “Reading People” – obviously a wonderful book! I really did enjoy it, and found myself a little more understanding of my zany family from the many personality tests and strengths listings here.
    2. “The 12-Week Year” by Brian P. Moran & Michael Pennington. This revolutionized the way I am planning things at work and at home! With only a 3-month timeline, it is helping me deal with the uncertainty we’re all feeling in my job. I really enjoyed it.
    3. “My Eyes Are Up Here” by Laura Zimmermann, her debut novel for Young Adults. Oh my goodness! I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time! As a young woman who developed early, I could completely identify with this book and it’s a great, easy read. So funny! My husband was treated to many read-aloud passages before I finished it.

    Along with a bunch of fluff romances, this was my last month. 🙂

  34. Sophie says:

    I just finished Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum! I absolutely loved it. I am reading What To Say Next by Julie Baxbaum now. It isn’t as good in my opinion as Tell Me Three Things but it is still a very fun read!
    I have been loving your website and your book recommendations! Thank you!

  35. Carol Q says:

    I just finished Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta. I usually don’t read self-help books, but I really like him and who doesn’t want to increase their brain power. Although not groundbreaking, he did offer some concrete things to improve your cognitive skills. I would rate it 5-stars since it got me motivated to make some positive changes. I am currently reading Magic Lessons, which is outside by typical genre. I am using it for my 52 Books mini-challenge for a “magic book”. I am really liking it and would never had read it if I hadn’t done the challenge. I find Reading Challenges get me out of my comfort zone. I am also doing the MMD Reading Challenge.

  36. Susan says:

    I just got The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph, and I am thinking I might need to buy it so my whole family can read it. I’m listening to The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton for a book club. I couldn’t get into the printed version, but I’m loving the audiobook.

  37. Gina says:

    Just finished Deacon King Kong by James McBride. This story is set in a housing project in 1969 and mostly centers on a tight knit church community watching helplessly as their neighborhood is overrun by heroin. Somehow this book manages to be both hilarious and heartbreaking. I felt echoes of Charles Dickens in McBride’s incredibly detailed community full of unforgettable characters.

  38. Janelle Carlson says:

    My February reads have been great!
    • Walking, which was an Anne Bogel recommendation.😄 I like this book even more the longer I reflect on it.
    • The Eighth Life, a historical fiction family saga set in the country of Georgia. Its 900+ pages length was rather intimidating at first but it’s fast paced. Loved it!
    • Monogamy, a fascinating deep dive into a long-term marriage. The secrets, ups and downs, good times and grief.
    • Dust Tracks on a Road, started reading yesterday for March MMD book club!

  39. Judy says:

    I’m currently enjoying This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay and The Guest List by Lucy Foley right now. Just finished When We Were the Kennedys (liked very much) and Hollywood Park (slogged through).

  40. Samantha says:

    I’m having a slow start to my reading year but so far my favorites in 2021 are Kitchens of the Great Midwest (Stradal) and a history of coffee… Uncommon Grounds (Pendergrast)

  41. Franci Henderson says:

    I just finished reading The Oysterville Sewing Circle for the 2nd time. I really enjoy Susan Wigg’s books and chose this one for my book club because it deals with some serious issues (domestic abuse and abuse of power), but in a readable (not depressing) way. Besides that, the growth of the main characters is realistic and the love story is believable. Since I’m leading the discussion, I read it again and enjoyed it just as much the 2nd time.

  42. Claudia says:

    I read Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar, which reminded me about perspective, and read Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow, a lovely, winding tale of an ordinary life in a small town. And getting started on Deacon King Kong, by James McBride. The pandemic has reintroduced me to my tablet reading!

  43. Ashley F. says:

    I read the Happy Ever After Playlist which was such a cute Rom-Com. The Push which was very dark but I enjoyed and would recommend. A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World which was 5 stars for me!

  44. Brittany says:

    I am currently reading The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie. It’s been very encouraging for me. My little one is 8 months old and we read quite a bit. I can’t wait to get into some of my favorite stories from when I was younger though!

  45. Well, I just learned something new! I had NO IDEA that Jacqueline Woodson had been publishing books for so long, as she only came onto my radar in the past five years or so!

    I read the Matt Haig book ages ago, and I remember that although the writing style wasn’t my favorite, the ideas in it really stayed with me for a long time. I am excited to get my hands on his latest fiction—I’ve heard it’s pretty interesting!

    Here’s what I’ve been reading lately (finally catching up on some of the titles from my summer reading list from LAST year!):

    https://www.toloveandtolearn.com/2021/02/16/loving-and-learning-lately-33/

  46. Linda Brittain says:

    First I would like to say I love the photos you include and I look forward to them. I check your reading list always and listen to the podcast. I have chosen many books you have recommended and enjoyed them very much. I read A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet some time ago. Now that I know it is a series, I am going to read it again before I read the next books. I remember I really liked it. I really liked I’d Rather Be Reading and sent copies of the book to friends. This is the first time I have commented.

  47. Karen Floyd Shepherd says:

    I will be looking for Share Your Stuff, Reasons to Stay Alive, and Walking, which you mentioned in a previous post. And possibly Long Way to a Small Angry Planet for my youngest (now 31). February has so far been a slower reading month than January, thanks to what my husband refers to as my “plant porn.” Gardening catalogs. It’s time to order for spring! So far I have read Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History – Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie. Stories of princesses, real and fake, from around the world and throughout history, told with sympathy and snark. Not for children as the princesses’ sex lives are discussed frequently and there’s a lot of violence. Entertaining and sometimes horrifying. I also finished The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon. Based on an idea that was tossed around in the aftermath of WWII, of relocating the world’s Jews to Alaska on territory they could consider their own. Pushing out the Native Americans, of course, like we do. Chabon builds a very realistic, if noir, world, and an alternate world history. Part mystery and police procedural, with many characters and a convoluted conspiracy plot. I didn’t guess where it was going or where it ended up until it happened. It was a book I started years ago but had never finished. And I’ve just started Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village from Ronald Blythe’s backlist.

  48. Debra says:

    Just finished These Is My Words. I loved it. I admit at first, I wasn’t too sure. So much happens in the first 50 pages that I wasn’t sure I could handle it, but the characters are so compelling that I was hooked. Now reading With Fire on High, such a swing!

  49. Margaret says:

    The best I’ve read in quite some time, Migrations, by Charlotte McConnaghy. It’s science fiction, a love story and an adventure. Amazing!

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