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What I’ve Been Reading Lately

I went on vacation and grounded myself from social media for ten days, so I actually finished some books! Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

I really enjoyed this one. Such a rich depiction of life in poverty stricken Brooklyn in the early 20th century. Francie, the main character, is driven, complex and creative.

The American Heiress – Daisy Goodwin

Pure fluff, but fun fluff. A historical novel reminiscent of Downton Abbey.

Shanghai Girls – Lisa See

A beautiful historical novel about the immigration experience in World War II era United States and the complex relationship between two sisters.

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

A post-apocalyptic novel about the strange connections between seemingly unconnected people after a flu epidemic wipes out most of the human population. It’s not so much an action story as a human reaction story, which I find much more interesting.

Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

This one was so irreverent and funny and totally inappropriate. Lena talks apologetically about her sex life, weird habits, and insecurities.

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith – Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott has convinced me I’m not crazy in my faith experience just because she’s so open and honest about hers. I love her transcendent moments, but I love her small, petty, human moments more.

The Ethical Slut – Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy

No, I’m not interested in sleeping with all my friends or swinging. But it turns out a book on polyamorous relationships was just what I needed for my monogamous one, because I’ve found most traditional marriage books to be utterly inadequate in addressing real-world relationship problems. Sluts don’t need to worry about gender roles or social mores, but they do worry a lot about personal boundaries, communication, practical care for themselves, and active care for others. I found a lot of good insight on these subjects.

Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates

This is important – you must read this book. You must read this book. This is where we are in race relations in this country – in all it’s complexity and ugliness – written in beautiful, narrative, poetic language. Buy it. You’re going to need to read it twice.

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