What I've Been Reading Lately
This month has felt busier then others and yet my reading journal records a great reading month. After a couple months of a reading slump, I was happy to read some great books this month and not just send multiple titles back to the library. Here's a roundup of what I've been reading lately as inspired by Modern Mrs. Darcy.
First up, the fiction. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg - My daughter and I read the same book and both loved it. It's been awhile since we've done a buddy read and it was really fun to share this book with her. This is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice and it was a delight. So many fun details through the setting of two exclusive boarding schools (one of which is called Pemberly), scholarship students and the snobbery of other students. I read it in two nights.
Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn - a new to me author and a new to me culture- British/Nigeran. I loved the look at a familiar city, London, through a unfamiliar culture, Nigera. Yinka is in her early thirties and as yet to 'snag a husband much to the chagrin of her mom and aunties. The book goes through the various hijinks of pursuing a husband before her cousin's wedding. It was a lighthearted read but had some deeper scenes and really celebrated the power of female and family relationships.
Someone Else's Shoes by Jojo Moyes - I love pretty much anything Jojo Moyes has written and have had this one on my request list for months. The first few chapters were a bit slow but the story really picked up and I couldn't put it down. Two ladies grab the wrong bag at the gym, one containing made-to-order red Louboutin shoes and the other nondescript black flats. The book weaves the two ladies' stories as they work through some significant issues in their marriages, careers and life. I really liked the fact that both ladies were in their forties, life wasn't perfect and it wasn't all tied up in a neat bow at the end of the book. It focused on chosen community and seeing people beneath the surface and the power of female friendship.
The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning -Shanghai, Australia and Jews escaping Nazi controlled Austria and dual timelines. This book had me intrigued with those topics. I had no idea about Jews escaping to Shanghai during World War II and loved the rich descriptions of China in the '30s and '40s and also in the contemporary story line. A pendant is all that Alexandra has connecting her to her mom who was adopted from China but in researching her mom's history, she finds all kinds of other answers for her life and her personal history.
And now the non-fiction.
Elizabeth II, A Queen for our Time by Chris Jackson - this is a gorgeous coffee table book by Getty Royal photographer of the past twenty years celebrating the Queen's life through photos. I loved the details and behind the scene stories from Chris Jackson and the small details of the Queen's life. While I was still on instagram, I loved following his account. I'm counting this as a biography for my 5 x 5 reading challenge.
Big Friendship, How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman- I am always intrigued by the idea of making and keeping friends as adults, discussing it with friends and reading books on this subject. This memoir by two close friends was so unique in its' approach to dissecting the authors' friendship and then broadening it to apply to any friendship. I particularly appreciated the chapters on working through difficult situations in friendship and how key communication is for maintaining long term relationships. As soon as I finished this book, I texted one friend to tell her to read it and returned an overdue message to another.
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff - this sequel to 84 Charing Cross Road which is just as lovely as the first book. This book is written in diary form and chronicles the author's trip to London. I loved her enthusiasm for London and her list of places she wanted to see. It's a slim book, under 200 pages but it's lovely escapist reading for a wintry day in March.
Anxiety: the Missing Stage of Grief by Claire Bidwell Smith - I've read a few books on grief since my Dad died, some have been helpful and some not. This lies in the helpful camp, the author is a grief therapist and she brings a gentle understanding in her writing but also action steps for working through various issues. I felt seen as I read this book and is one I think I will reference in the future. This one took me awhile to read with multiple renewals from the library but I'm glad I pushed through and made myself do the work of reading and adding some tools to my toolbox.
What are some great books you've enjoyed lately?