April: Books


I started this on January 1 after receiving the recommendation from my friend, Madison. I’ve followed Annie F. Downs for a while on social media, have seen her speak at IF:Gathering, and have read one of her previously published books. I love her approach to her life – it doesn’t quite look like she expected it to years ago, but that hasn’t kept her from thriving in her gifts and talents. 100 Days to Brave challenged my thoughts and actions, forced me to consider the weight of how God is moving, and truly made me more confident in my dreams and my place in the world around me. I appreciate Annie’s approach to the content I’m grateful for the journey. It’s so interesting to see what changes and what stays the same in 100 days!


I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Backman has written an intriguing, funny, and moving story about an 8-year old getting to know her neighbors and her family after the unexpected death of her favorite person – her grandmother. I thought this would be campy and a little boring, but it was the opposite. Backman has created fascinating worlds with his fairytales that bind together this little community.


First of all, seeing Abby (+Glennon) in real life at the Somerville Theatre (thanks Porter Square Books!) was fantastic. I loved reading this book, too. This could easily be mistaken for “just another self-help book” or “just another book for the women” but it’s not. While the 8 “rules” Abby presents change the game a little, they aren’t NEW exactly. They’re what we’ve all been thinking and needing for a while.


I really do love the Outlander collection. After a wild, crazy week (or month) at work I needed an escape. This was perfect. Zombies, oh my! But not the way you think. Gabaldon, ever the researcher and historian, delves into the class and racial structure of “new world” Jamaica, complete with snakes, charms, natural “remedies,” and crazy twists. I’m always left feeling a little more knowledgeable about history when I finish something in this saga, full of historical accuracy and literary genius. I was pleasantly surprised at her nod to Zora Neale Hurston here as well.
Bravo, once more.


A former employer gave me this book when I was last in Georgia. “It’s you, but in a book,” she said. I don’t typically read work-related books, but I gave this one a shot and…she was right. Nelson discusses taking initiative at work instead of doing just what’s listed in your job description.
To be honest, that’s how I ended up in my current job role (and in every other job I’ve had since college). Solving problems, telling stories, going the extra mile — these things bring me the most joy in work and the most stress all at once because my plate gets so full so fast, but I’m grateful for the doors this mindset has opened in my life.


I finished this book days ago, but have been mulling it over, unsure how to put my thoughts into words for this review.
J.D. Vance explores a world that, while very different from mine, hits close to home. There are many aspects of his story and culture that parallel that of my upbringing and my family. He has created a striking deconstruction of hillbilly culture and that of working-class Americans. Beyond being captivating for its narrative, the statistics and norms Vance presents are arresting in their reality. I can’t think of a demographic that wouldn’t benefit from reading this.

Follow along with all my reviews on Goodreads!


Here are a few of the bookstores I’ve visited this month!

  • Just kidding, I went to no bookstores this month, but I did get a few books from friends! You’ll see the Crazy Rich Asian saga, a new book by Ravi Zacharias, and a few others in the next month or so!