April was a strong reading month for me. I’m working hard to stay up-to-date with my reading to reach my 2023 challenge to read 200 books. So far, it seems I’m staying pretty caught up. I’ll be thrilled if I hit the mid-year mark on schedule.
My Favorite Books of April 2023
I read 16 books in April. Of those, I gave three nonfiction and one fiction book perfect grades. It’s pretty unusual for me to enjoy that many nonfiction books in a month. It’s always exciting when different things hit.
Just the Nicest Couple
Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica was the fiction book I gave a perfect grade in April.
The book is about a seemingly perfect couple, Mia and Jack. The couple seems to adore each other and their regular life in the small town of Willow Creek. Mia, a school teacher, is surrounded by friends each day and adored by her students. And she and Jack finally have the secret they’ve been hoping for. Mia is pregnant.
Life seems to be pretty ideal for Jack and Mia until their friend Jake Hayes goes missing. At first, Jake’s wife, Nina, a teacher with Mia, thinks her husband may have left her after a fight. She hopes he’s just blowing off some steam, but then he doesn’t come home for days and days. Then the police find his abandoned car — a prized possession.
It looks increasingly likely that something happened to Jake. As Nina tries to solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearance, she begins wondering just how much Mia and Jack may know.
I Never Thought of It That Way
I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times by Mónica Guzmán is a mic drop book.
The book explores how divided we’ve become as Americans and why that might be. It provides specific examples of the things that divide us (many of which are political and societal views) and how we make assumptions about who others are or why they believe a certain way as a result of their stances.
I thought the most important aspect of this book wasn’t necessarily the idea that we may not be as far apart as we think we are. Instead, to me, the most important consideration is who benefits from us thinking we sit at opposite poles.
The Mountain is You
The Mountain is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage into Self-Mastery by Brianna Wiest had some chapters that hit hard. I’ll be buying this book for my personal library and rereading at least part of it. You know a book is good when I want to highlight and write in it.
The book is about self-sabotage and how we get in our own way. Perhaps more importantly, it explains why we do this and how to move on from it.
I always love a good self-development book, but this one really hit the mark for me.
White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao is a book every white woman needs to read. Jackson and Rao are the founders of Race2Dinner, an organization that facilitates conversations between white women about racism and white supremacy.
A friend recommended the book, which is about what Jackson and Rao have learned through lived experience and hosting these dinners. We couldn’t stop talking about it as I was reading. I honestly think we could have hours-long conversations about it.
I have to tell you that, as a white woman, this book will probably make you angry and uncomfortable at times. These women will certainly call you out on your racist nonsense. But reading it with an open mind will help you consider your thoughts and actions and how to improve them.
My only criticism about the book is that I wanted stronger action items. The authors spend a lot of time identifying subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways that white women are racist and uphold racism. I wish there was more advice on what to do when these situations arise. Recognizing the problem is one thing, but we all know taking action and changing behavior is quite another.
Three nonfiction and one fiction book as favorites signify a great reading book. I hope you found something on the list to read and love. I’d love to chat with you about any of them. As always, happy reading!
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