A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
YA fiction. Schoolboy conjures an ancient tree monster to help him deal with the pain of slowly losing his mother to cancer. Terribly sad. Occasionally and beautifully illustrated. A little scary, while explaining the deep complexities of life.
Leadershift by John C. Maxwell
The best leaders embrace change and change management, instead of trying to find one method that works. Stop setting hard stop goals and make constant growth your target. Have the hard conversations with your people and don't allow complacency.
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
A woman gets a job as governess for her upper class friend's stepkids. When they're angry they spontaneously combust. A weird but delicious story about female friendship and finding love in odd places. I'd highly recommend it.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Shortly after a married couple moves from New York to Missouri, the wife disappears and the husband might be to blame. I didn't like this book, despite being written by a female author I thought it was misogynistic and I saw the ending coming a long ways away.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
An optimistic story about a girl living the American dream. Hard working parents who wanted a better life for their kids, she achieves all the success in all the right educational, and then career, places. Falls in love with Barack Obama and life takes on what can only be described as a wild ride. This is the cutest, most wholesome book! It's both escapism, and a true memoir about a woman making the world a better place.
Game of Thrones Book 1 by George RR Martin
I read this because everybody reads it, and although it had some characters I liked I didn't feel like I would gain a lot as a person if I kept going. So I wikipedia'd the rest of the books to see how life turned out for my favorite and least favorite characters, and moved on.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Mother and son escape from Acapulco, Mexico after a drug cartel massacres their entire family. I read it because it was a mega bestseller. Definitely a riveting page turner. It gave me nightmares to read about this innocent family in such a corrupt, violent country, who couldn't escape to the US because we are assholes. But then I read that it's a controversial book because Latinx writers are accusing the white author of stealing minority stories and perpetuating stereotypes. FINE THEN DON'T READ IT. It's horrifying anyway!
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
Strong pioneers can't achieve everything they dream of, but find pride and strength in the places where things do turn out well. A lovely portrait of the midwest that made me feel connected to the roots of this place.
The Huntress by Kate Quinn
Historical fiction about nazi-hunters after WWII, with a LOT about the life of a queer Russian "night witch" female pilot. I loved this book!
Did I ever write about The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah? I read it last year - a mentally unstable man makes his wife and daughter to move out to middle of nowhere Alaska to be survivalists, and as life gets harder they eventually stick up for themselves. I really liked that one too. Historical fiction is a favorite genre, with lots of bestsellers so they're easy to find good ones. I like when they take me to a different place. I liked Water for Elephants, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress... do I write about all these? I don't think I have. Okay they are all good. I'll do this more often.