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First Quarter Book Report (And a Look to Quarter Two)

first quarter book report

Since this is, allegedly, a book blog, I figured I better get back around to talking about books at some point. My reading pace over the last six months has been positively glacial, which meant monthly reading wrap ups didn’t seem to make much sense. But updates once every couple of months or once a quarter? That I think I can do.

Here’s what I read between January and March of 2017:

Thanks to V.E. Schwab’s excellent Shades of Magic trilogy, my reading so far this year has been pretty heavily skewed towards fantasy/fiction, but I’ve gotten a little bit of nonfiction in there too. I thought both Hidden Figures and The Stranger in the Woods were great, definitely recommended.

One thing I would like to improve going forward is reading more diversely. I really enjoyed the variety of my reading life in 2015 and early 2016, most of which came from consciously choosing books by people of color. I haven’t done that much lately, and my reading has gotten much, much whiter because of it.

A Look Ahead to April, May and June

There is a lot of great nonfiction coming out in the next several months. Books on my radar include:

  • Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard (April 11 from Harper Perennial) — essays on the weirdness of Florida
  • Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (April 18 from Doubleday) — historical nonfiction on the birth of the FBI following the murders of members of the Osage tribe
  • Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (April 24 from Knopf) — emotional resilience in the fact of loss
  • One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaahi Koul (May 2 from Picador) — essays on being Indian and female
  • The Song Poet by Kao Kalia Yang (paperback out May 9 from Picador) — memoir of a Hmong refugee in MInnesota
  • The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (May 16 from Flatiron Books) — memoir of personal history, crime, and the law
  • The H-Spot by Jill Filipovic (May 17 from Nation Books) — on the feminist pursuit of happiness
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay (June 13 from Harper) — essays on food, bodies, pleasure, consumption, appearance and health

I will certainly not get to reading all of those, but it’s good to have goals, right? I’m also deep into a kick of personal development books, especially those concerned with finding meaning and purpose in life… no surprise there. I could probably do a couple of posts on my new obsession with widow memoirs and self-help on emotional resilience.

What books are you looking forward to over the next few months? What books should I make sure are on my radar?

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Reader Lane April 20, 2017, 7:52 am

    I’ve got Hidden Figures on my reading pile so glad to hear you recommend it. I just got No One to Envy about North Korea which I think you recommended awhile back and am…well, enjoying doesn’t seem quite the right word, but it’s eye-opening and well told. Awhile ago, I read Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup, which is a memoir about losing her husband and serving as a chaplain to search-and-rescue workers and loved its emotional honesty and flashes of humor. YMMV

  • Jeanne April 21, 2017, 6:39 am

    I don’t know if you would like Dexter Palmer’s novel Version Control–I think it’s wonderful and brilliant, but it is about different versions of the world, and the main character is able to go back to a pivotal moment in her life. Don’t know if that aspect of the plot would be good for your mental health, but it’s a great book.

  • Sarah's Book Shelves April 21, 2017, 6:54 am

    I really liked Killers of the Flower Moon (pretty fascinating/horrifying) and I’m excited to read The Fact of a Body and One Day We’ll All Be Dead as well.
    Cheers to a great Q2!

  • Mariana April 21, 2017, 7:01 am

    Hi, Kim! This is my first ever comment on your blog. Your blog made it to my bookmarks some months ago and I love the way your writing feels “honest”. I can’t really explain what it is, but keep doing it please. I’m nearly obsessed with making lists of books I want to read in the next months or so. I even use a calculator to project how many pages I can read in a month if I keep up with a certain pace (crazy, I know). I nearly always never achieve those goals, but it’s still fun to plan.

    This is not a book about grieving per se, but I think it still applies. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett came out in 2015, maybe you’ve read it already. If you haven’t, it explores the various possible versions of a couple’s relationship. It’s a book about “what ifs”. I guess this is true of all relationships.

    As for shows, I recommend Drop Dead Diva. It’s basically a show about learning to start over even when your past is still really present. It’s a sort of an old show but I just began watching it on Netflix.

    Happy reading and writing and everything else!


  • Michelle April 21, 2017, 11:32 am

    I’m pretty impressed! You still managed to read fairly diversely and had a good mix of old and new in there as well.

  • Jenny @ Reading the End April 23, 2017, 10:31 am

    Looks like a ton of awesome reading! In the next few months, I have many many desires. I’m excited for Grace and the Fever, which is about a girl who writes RPF and then MEETS ONE OF THE PEOPLE IN THE BAND SHE WRITES RPF ABOUT (sounds grand), and in a totally other vein, Twitter and Tear Gas looks super awesome. And Daryl Gregory, whom I love, has a new book out about a family of psychics. And Victor Lavalle has a new book out in May!

  • Julie @ Smiling Shelves April 24, 2017, 3:46 pm

    I read A Darker Shade of Magic, but have yet to get to the rest of the trilogy. It must be good if you blazed through it in the first quarter of the year!

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