What I Read in April

Monday, May 1, 2017

I wish I had more time to read more books. People are always asking me, "How do you have time to read so much?!" The answer is that I don't watch a ton of TV anymore, & I spend a lot of my spare time with a book (or Kindle) in hand, but it still never feels like enough time. I want to read every book. My to-read list seems insurmountable, & it is; I'll never, ever get through it. 

Yet again, this month I struggled to read, & I hate the feeling that I've been wasting precious reading time. With everything that goes along with preparing to move (which happens today!), I've been working overtime just to keep my head above proverbial water; plus, we went out of town not one but two weekends. I've just been so stressed that when it comes time to relax & unwind, I've been turning to TV & the Internet instead of getting lost in books. It's not the best habit, but I know that once we've settled into our new place, I'll get back to reading.

I read five books this month, & everything got five stars, so this was, at least, a month of quality if not of quantity. What are you reading? Comment & let me know!

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach 

Yes, this book is just as weird as the title leads you to believe, but man, did I ever enjoy it. Mary Roach is an author who specializes in science with a humorous twist, which is a darn good thing when she's writing about topics like decapitation & medical experimentation. This book is all about how dead bodies have been used throughout history for various types of research, from scientific to religious & beyond. (I did not, however, appreciate her paragraph-long dig on Cleveland.) ★★★★★ 

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

I know I'm not the target audience for this book - in her intro, the author writes, "for colored girls was & is for colored girls" - but I wanted to read it all the same. While some of it was over my head (poetry is usually a bit beyond me), I found much of it to be beautiful, powerful, & painful, a poetic telling of some of the biggest struggles women of color continue to face. ★★★★★

Working Out Loud: For a Better Career and Life by John Stepper 

I'm participating in a "Working Out Loud circle" with coworkers, & it's been a great experience so far. The whole thing is based on this book, which my colleague Larry has put into play in the workplace. We each set a goal & meet once a week to discuss & to support one another in working toward achieving our individual goals. Reading the book between meetings has helped keep my motivation high. ★★★★★   

Conviction by Julia Dahl 

This is the third book in Dahl's Rebekah Roberts series, featuring a young NYC reporter who has a complex relationship with the local Hassidic Jewish community - & this story takes a new angle, with Rebecca working to solve a case from 1992 in which a Black teen was convicted of murdering his foster family. I liked that this one was told from various angles, including the real killer's, but I felt like it was a little anti-climactic; both of the other two books had huge peak moments, & this one just... didn't. Still, I really love this series. ★★★★★ 

My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew by Abigail Pogrebin

The author is a Jewish writer, mother, & synagogue lay leader & the daughter of renowned Jewish feminist Letty Cotton Pogrebin. But despite a life of Jewishness, she wants to dig deeper, which leads her to a year of closely researching & personally observing 18 Jewish holidays, including two Shabbats & a few of the lesser-observed fast days. For me, it was a fascinating look at the many ways our diverse community observes its holidays - & it was cool to see some of my colleagues' names in print! ★★★★★

Comment to tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past.

Please note that my "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

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