what I have been reading (march edition).

Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir Questlove Thompson (from the public library)

Goodreads kept suggesting this book to me and I have to be honest, I don’t know anything about The Roots except watching them on Jimmy Fallon. He knows a lot (A LOT) about music, but it mostly went over my head because I don’t listen to soul or hip hop or rap very much. Reading it made me realize that there’s this whole world I don’t know anything about, which is always a cool experience. Questlove was a pretty good guide – smart and trustworthy. Recommended for: people who like The Roots, music nerds, people from Philly.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (via NetGalley)

Basically all I have to say about this book is that it was a cute little romance. Very cute. If you need a cute fluffy teen read, this would fit the bill. I enjoyed it like cotton candy and it didn’t even make me feel bad afterwards. Recommended for: beach reading, airplane reading, bathtub reading.

New Life, No Instructions by Gail Caldwell (via NetGalley)

Ok, first I have to say that I don’t think I ever talked about Let’s Take the Long Way Home, which was Caldwell’s story of her relationship with her best friend, Caroline, and Caroline’s subsequent death. I read it in 2012 and it has stayed with me. I highly recommend that one – beautiful story, great writing. This one did not speak to me quite as much, mostly because it was about things I’m not as interested in, namely dogs and hip replacement surgery. But credit must go to Caldwell because I enjoyed the book despite the fact that I am decidedly not a dog person, and her description of having had polio as a child (the ultimate cause of her hip replacement) was compelling. I’m afraid I’m selling it short a little bit, because the book is about loneliness and community more than it’s about dogs, and I am a big fan of Caldwell and her writing. Recommended for: dog people, people who live alone, readers of her other work.

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (from the public library)

If the title doesn’t sound sad enough for you, the premise definitely will. And it’s a true story, so be warned. Will and his mom Mary Anne talk about books as a way to have conversations during her last months of life as she succumbs to pancreatic cancer. It’s less about the books and more about the conversations the books generate. Mary Anne is portrayed as a passionate, strong woman whose faith and family and work (social justice causes) are important to her, but she honestly seemed a little bit too good to be true. Because of that, the story didn’t hit me as hard as I thought it might. Recommended for: book clubs.

Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin by Nicole Hardy (via NetGalley)

I read this book with a growing sense of dread because I could sense what was coming. I wasn’t raised Mormon, but the messages that Nicole Hardy was sent about women are similar to those in evangelical Christian culture. So what is a smart single childless woman supposed to do when she is told that her worth in the church centers around the ideas of marriage and family (and, by extension, purity)? She leaves, of course. And what other choice did she have? It reminds me of some of the responses to the World Vision decision this week (and then the reversal), people realizing that there’s no longer a place for them in the faith in which they were raised. Despite the dread, I enjoyed this book quite a bit, both because I don’t know much about Mormonism and because I saw myself and some of my friends in parts of her story. The shedding of the confining rules and acceptance of herself is beautiful to behold. Recommended for: people who were raised in purity culture, people interested in Mormonism, people with single friends in their 30s, people who are single in their 30s.

I got some of these books from NetGalley but my opinions are my own.

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