For The Love Of Books | What I Read In February - June 2020

Well 2020, you have been "interesting" to say the very least. 

I think I went for a full month without reading a book at all (except way too much news). I was so happy once I found myself able to read again and have been going strong ever since. 

I've ordered so many books over the last month or so that I hope to read throughout the rest of the year. Many of them are non-fiction books focused on anti-racism. Books are such an amazing way to open our eyes, minds, and hearts and I'm totally here for that.  

Here's a quick look at what I read between February and June. 

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett // Whenever a book stirs up a lot of emotions for me, and makes me think about pieces of my own story in different ways, I feel so thankful at the end. I loved the intermixing of stories over time. Beautifully written. Will likely be a favorite from this year. 

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo // This book is a decent place to begin the process of unlearning + learning more about systemic racism. It's written by a white author speaking to a white audience. I'm glad I read it but will be looking for the rest of the books I read on this subject to be from Black voices. Next up related to this topic is either going to be How To Be An AntiRacist by Ibram Kendi or The Warmth Of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham // I ordered this one after seeing talk about it online - it's categorized as Young Adult. The story is set in two time periods - today and 1921 during the Tulsa Race Massacre. I thought it was well researched, written and loved the back and forth between the time periods (I think that's something I'm just a fan of generally). I wanted to read a book that talked about this piece of American history because it's something I never learned about in all my schooling - including when I was in college studying American History + Political Science. I think it's important to note that this book is written by a white woman as you may run into that criticism when reading reviews. Simply being more aware of who has written the books I'm reading and diversifying what I am reading is my goal.  

Where To Begin: A Small Book About Your Power To Create Big Change In Your Crazy World by Cleo Wade // Last night I picked this book from the shelf near my bed to read before falling asleep. It’s a quick + beautiful book with words (both poetry and prose) that ask questions and words that lead us towards love. You can read it front to back or pick it up and flip to a page and be given a gift through her use of language. The front flap of the book says, “Where To Begin is perfect for those who are ready to be a part of building a society rooted in love, acceptance, justice, and equality.” Loved it. Needed it.

A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight // Enjoyed this fast paced thriller. Good twists + turns. Perfect when you want a distraction and a can't-put-it-down story.

The Book Of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd // I finished this book last night and decided to sleep on it before writing up a review. After my walk this morning I texted a friend, "I found it so interesting to really think of Jesus' human self. I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to imagine that piece of him so clearly." I felt filled up after reading this fictional account of the life of Ana - wife of Jesus and woman with a voice. I love books that make me think and dive deeper and ask questions and this one certainly did and it was so, so welcome - I think I've been hungry for this kind of book for awhile. This will be a story that sticks with me and that I might possibly read again (which is super rare for the way I read). 

Hidden Valley Road: Inside The Mind Of An American Family by Robert Kolker // Spent part of my afternoon today finishing this book which is a fascinating true story of a family where 6 of the 12 children are diagnosed with schizophrenia and the ways their family has contributed to the scientific study of the disease. Not light reading but super interesting and important and well-written.

The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward // This was a book club pick for my local group. It's light - not my normal genre - but it was a fun "beach read" style of book.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley // Enjoyed this mainly because it finally got my back into reading again. Fast, interesting read!

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6 thoughts

  1. K8ebakers says…
    07/01/2020

    Always enjoy reading your reviews. I just finished “How to Be an Antiracist” and highly recommend it. I learned a lot. And now I’m about 3 chapters into “A Good Marriage” and am hooked. Planning on alternating between fiction and non-fiction for the rest of 2020.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. vicki_dalton says…
    07/01/2020

    I have read so many more books than usual this year because Ive Have been home a lot more.
    54 so far

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  3. JustCrazyEnough39 says…
    07/03/2020

    I keep a list on Google Drive on my phone of books I want to to read and one of the subsections of that list is “Ali Edwards recommended.” Thanks for always sharing your reads - we have similar tastes and I have gotten so many great ideas from your lists!

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  4. mmoisan says…
    07/08/2020

    Thanks Ali, I added "The Guest List" to my audible library, which has been getting a lot more use during the last several months. Unfortunately, I'm one of many that was placed on furlough back in April, so books, card making and some much needed craft room re-organization/purging have kept me busy.

    Ali, I want to pass on a book recommendation... The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. It's the second book by Helen, her first one was the The Kiss Quotient, in which the main female character has Autism. In this second book the main male character has Autism. Both are romance novels (nothing too intellectually deep, LOL), they don't have to be read in publish order. I enjoyed both of them, but The Bride Test was my favorite... it made me cry and laugh.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      07/09/2020

      Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. cornybeard says…
    07/09/2020

    I bought How to be Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell a couple of weeks ago and that is really good. It's worth getting just for the brilliant design and illustrations alone. It's primarily aimed at teenagers, but I've fount it interesting as has my eight-year-old. Currently reading Queenie which is wonderful and a great view of London life and Horse Destroys The Universe was the book that got me out of my reading funk and it is as strange as it sounds and while I enjoyed it, it's possibly a bit of an acquired taste.

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