Weekend Reading

Chad bought me the entire Harry Potter series for Christmas, so I’ve spent most of my reading time deep in the wizarding world; the books are fantastic, and I can’t believe I waited so long to jump into them! If you haven’t read the series yet, DO IT, no matter how old you may be.

In an effort to stretch out the magic and not devour all seven books at once — which isn’t really working because I’m about to start the sixth — I’m trying to pepper in new authors, fresh releases, and a bit of inspirational non-fiction. Here are a few of my latest Muggle reads that I really enjoyed!

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

I grabbed this off the shelf in a hurry one Friday afternoon before C and I headed out of town.  I liked the jacket and the theme seemed right up my alley: women breaking gender norms to find career success in a creative industry; complex coming-of-age female friendship; a healthy dose of dysfunction…

I went in pretty blind, but I’m so glad I did; this book took me by surprise and sucked me right in.

Just when you think you understand the characters and know where the story is headed, the narrative shifts and drags you deeper into each of their complicated pasts, self-destructive behavior, intense business partnership and friendship, and all-consuming artistic process.

I 👏🏼 loved 👏🏼 it. I can’t wait to read what Whitaker comes up with next.

 Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

I got this book so I could give my husband some research-backed evidence to justify my scatter-brained untidiness: “Babe, it’s not my fault I left 20 pairs of shoes scattered around the house; I can’t control the messy impulses of my creative mind!

Instead, what I got was a whole lot of insight into the ways my need for control and order in my business may inadvertently stifle the creativity and productivity of my staff. It opened my eyes to the micro-managing habits I developed over the years to keep things streamlined and efficient, and helped me realize that I need to be more open to a little chaos and disorder to encourage new ideas and nurture a sense of ownership and autonomy in my employees.

The book is organized into thought-provoking case studies and anecdotes that are easy and enjoyable to read, remember, and share.

Room by Emma Donoghue

“To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.” (Goodreads) I read the first several chapters of this book with an uncomfortable pit in my stomach. The story is narrated by Jack, and as he describes every detail of the 11’x 11′ room he shares with his mother and the activities that fill their days, you know something he doesn’t: Old Nick abducted Ma, and has held her captive in Room for seven years. I don’t want to tell you too much, because it’s one of those books you just have to experience for yourself, but it’s an emotional read that haunted me for a while after I finished it.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

A fellow-bookworm friend recommended this to me, and I’m so happy she did. At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. His deeply moving memoir chronicles his life from medical student, to accomplished neurosurgeon, to man facing his own mortality. One Goodreads reviewer summarized it better than I ever could: “A gasping, desperate, powerful little book, bigger on the inside than outside. It’s a little bit about dying, but more about being alive.” This book is a gift. But maybe don’t read it in public, unless you want to silently ugly-cry in front of strangers (which is exactly what I did when I decided to finish the last few chapters in the library one Saturday afternoon).

What are you guys reading? I’d love recommendations to add to my library list!


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  1. 5.23.17
    Julie said:

    Do you listen to podcasts? Jamie Ivey has one called the happy hour. She interviews girlfriends and they almost always end up giving book suggestions. Here’s a list of books from one of her podcasts: http://jamieivey.com/happy-hour-28-with-lindsey-paschal. I love anything by liane morairty. The invisible girls was also a great book.

    • 5.24.17

      Thank you for this! I’ve been looking for good podcasts to listen to in the car and when I get ready in the morning.

      I also love Liane Moriarty; her books are always a fun escape. I’ll add Invisible Girls to my list!

  2. 5.23.17
    marymtf said:

    PS libraries are a terrific way of experimenting without hurting the hip pocket.

  3. 5.23.17
    marymtf said:

    I’ve been watching Rowan Atkinson play a French policeman called Maigret based on books written by Georges Simenon and loved it so much that I’ve downloaded some of the books. Enjoying them just as much. (The biggest surprise was watching Atkinson play it straight. After ten minutes I forgot he was ever Mr Bean.).

    • 5.24.17

      I’ll have to check this out! I love discovering a good series and then finding out there’s a book series, too. It always feels like a bonus.

  4. 5.22.17

    I’ve been re reading the hunger games series. The message is even more powerful currently since it’s about a corrupt government pitting the rich against the poor, the old against the young and each district in a survival of the fittest.

    • 5.23.17

      I LOVED the Hunger Games series!! And I agree, it’s eerily timely right now.

  5. 5.22.17
    Lala said:

    The Animators sounds great, definitely going to have to find it.
    Going to hit up a few bookstores and scrounge through them to find a good new read.

    • 5.22.17

      It was so good! Bookstores are my favorite place to scrounge around. ;) I also renewed my library membership last year, and I’ve really enjoyed getting back into the swing of weekend library visits.

  6. 5.21.17

    All I have been reading is the Grape Grower’s Handbook and weather sites. BORING. But necessary with the new job change. I have read the Harry Potter series and agree that everyone should read them, no matter his or her age. I have been wanting to read Room, and The Animators and the “messy” book are calling my name, as well. Can’t wait to be finished pruning the vineyard, so that I can sit back and READ. Thanks for the suggestions!!! 😘😘😘

    • 5.22.17

      I totally understand being stuck in the throes of job-related reading. But it’s exciting that you’re starting a new adventure. I hope you get some time soon to jump into something a little more fun! With an amazing cocktail, of course. :)

  7. 5.21.17

    I want to read When Breath Becomes Air now!

    • 5.22.17

      It’s probably one of my favorite books from the last year!

  8. 5.21.17

    These are great reviews Keira. I just went to the used bookstore yesterday and bought a box full of books. To be fair to myself, 4 were for my children. I’m currently reading Sex With Kings by Eleanor Herman, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. All very different for my scattered mind.

    • 5.22.17

      Used bookstores are my happy place!!! We used to have one downtown near the flower shop, and when it closed several years ago, my husband and I went in and took boxes and boxes of books home. (I like to think we “rescued” them ;) )

      I also love reading several authors and genres at once. I’ll have to check out the ones you mentioned here!

      • 5.22.17

        I think you’re my long lost sister… just saying :)