In the past, I’ve used the turn of the year as an opportunity to share my favorite books read in the past year, but I only read 18 books in 2021 — just 17 short of your 35-book GoodReads Challenge goal! the GoodReads robot taunts me. There are still 1 days left! You can doContinue reading “What I Read in 2021”
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain My rating: 5 of 5 stars Neuroscience, the psychology of social conditioning, cultural paradigms, groupthink, the makings of successful businesspeople and leaders—all of these things come together in Susan Cain’s ultra-deep dive into introversion. Cain digs into studies, conducts herContinue reading “Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain”
Music for Wartime: Stories by Rebecca Makkai My rating: 5 of 5 stars I bought this book after attending a reading by Rebecca Makkai and connecting with her writing. This collection of short stories marries creativity and originality with compelling characters in sometimes absurd situations. Stories vary in length and subject matter, but all connectContinue reading “Book Review: Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai”
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead My rating: 4 of 5 stars A nonlinear narrative composed of straightforward, at times lyrical, writing, The Underground Railroad tells the story of Cora, a slave girl whose escape of the plantation leads to conflict and loss and love and meditations on what it means to be free. Whitehead’sContinue reading “Book Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead”
Longform stories I’ve read lately and enjoyed. Keepers of the Secrets by James Somers, The Village Voice Step into the archives at the New York Public Library and meet “the most interesting man in the world.” He’s 39 and knows the archives more intimately than many parents know their own children. Those boxes of paper artifactsContinue reading “Good reads: Quests, real and hypothetical”
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley My rating: 5 of 5 stars A private plane crashes in the middle of a short flight from Martha’s Vineyard to New York City. Before the Fall tells the stories of the characters involved: the painter who survived, swimming the four-year-old child to safety; the flight attendant and theContinue reading “Book review: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley”
Hawkins’ words don’t paint lush portraits or jump to poetic heights. They’re too busy drawing you close to the characters, especially Rachel whose perspective begins and ends the book. As you read, you immerse into the complexity that is a human being whose past she both regrets and can’t leave behind.
This post is part of a series recommending longform, narrative nonfiction (as well as other worthwhile writings). The Amateur Cloud Society That (Sort Of) Rattled the Scientific Community by Jon Mooallem, The New York Times Magazine The most quotable piece I’ve read recently, this story examines the culture of cloud-loving in a way that observes science, philosophy, andContinue reading “Good Reads: Dancing through a clouded life”
This post is part of a series recommending longform, narrative nonfiction (as well as other worthwhile writings). The Real Story of Germanwings Flight 9525 by Joshua Hammer, GQ Mental illness and airline pilots. I recently wrote a story about Taylor University’s Ethics Bowl team, and this was one of the ethics bowl cases. You see, if a pilotContinue reading “Good Reads: Mental illness, segregation, and daredevils”
It’s easy to think that bad things befall bad people, until you look at reality. These stories are not fun reads. They’re challenging. They’re discomforting. They’re real. They’re important.