Read and Listen
When Covid first erupted, I couldn’t get enough of Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu. I took a mental health break in March and it felt really good. After a fast-paced work and life schedule that was starting to take its toll, it felt pretty amazing (at first) for the world to pause. Brain drain was a serious problem, though, and I couldn’t read at the same pace I typically do, or at all. Things are looking up, though, and thanks to some recommendations from my favorite independent bookstore in Houston, I haven’t been able to put a good book down for weeks.
Let’s buy these books from independent sellers, friends! I’ve linked a book store finder so you can search near you. I have an affiliate account with Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but I’m purposely not linking to those in the hope that you will support your favorite local spot! Just print this post as reference and head to your local book shop.
As an aside, have you guys seen the work of Jane Mount? I love her Ideal Bookshelf series and want to commission a painting of my favorite cookbooks. She has a fun family project where you can design your family’s ideal bookshelf. Click here to print it out.
American Dirt by Jeannine Cummins. Reads like a thriller, I couldn’t put it down. There’s been some controversy over the writing of this book, but I loved the characters and was rooting for them the entire time.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. Finished this last night! So good. A love-to-hate character, love story (or is it?) and plot twist.
The Vanishing Half: A Novel by Brit Bennett. Twin sisters who lead very different lives, read this one in a day!
The Jane Austen Society: A Novel by Natalie Jenner. Light read and such a sweet story. Felt a little like taking a vacation.
My friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel Deloache Williams. I could not believe this was real! Insane story of a female con artist set in New York City.
American Royals by Katherine McGee. I read this last summer, but if you need a super easy read, this one is like candy and popcorn. You’ll be casting the movie in your mind. And the sequel is coming out soon, so there’s that!
Dutch House by Ann Patchett. Just started listening to this one on hikes, so far so good.
Five Days Gone by Laura Cumming. Non-fiction investigation of a mom who disappears.
Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey. Easy read set in England.
Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner. World War II novel. It’s about a Polish girl and her mom trying to escape.
Unlocking Us with Brené Brown. I hope you’ve already discovered the magic of this podcast!
1619 Project. An investigative history about the start of slavery in America.
This is Criminal. I recommended this last summer, too. If you like real crime stories, it’s for you. There’s also Crime Junkie, but haven’t listened to that one yet.
Smartless. Sean Hayes, Will Arnett and Jason Bateman introduce mystery guests to the other two hosts, conversational and funny.
How I Built This. Still crazy about this podcast.
Please add your suggestions for books and podcasts below! I need some fresh meat since I’ve worked through my list. Happy last days of summer, friends!
These are some good recs! I just finished The Vanishing Half and now want to go back and read Bennet’s first novel, Mothers. I also really enjoyed The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel and am listening to Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi with my middle schooler.
I’ll be sure to check out Mothers and Glass Hotel! I have the Stamped book with me and love the idea of listening to it. Don’t miss Ibram X. Kendi on Brene Brown’s podcast. He is such a thoughtful speaker and communicator.
American Dirt was haunting! I bought it in hard back and read during our 2 weeks in Colorado. So glad I did. Love your recs!