I’m one of those people who couldn’t read during the pandemic. It was too hard to focus. I needed big print and pretty pictures. Translation: Netflix and Pinterest.
And yet, books were my favorite form of retail therapy, so I have quite the stack vying for my attention now that I am vaxxed and traveling again, making up for lost reading time.
Great Circle – Maggie Shipstead
Recommended by both Jenna Bush Hagar AND Bob Lefsetz. Per the blurb: tells the unforgettable story of a daredevil female aviator determined to chart her own course in life, at any cost.
The Final Revival of Opal + Nev – Dawnie Walton
Another Bob Lefsetz recommendation I read flying back from visiting my daughter in Morocco. Technically not a page turner since I read it on a kindle, it was vivid and I kept seeing the limited series version in my mind and wanted more: An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.
The Sweetness of Water – Nathan Harris
Who am I to argue with Oprah?? Per Kirkus: about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever—from “a storyteller with bountiful insight and assurance”
The Sympathizer – Viet Thanh Nguyen
One of the books I downloaded but didn’t read in 2020, it’s a 2016 Pulitzer-prize winning debut: thrilling, rhythmic, political, historical, romantic, comic and astonishing…the narrator is an undercover communist agent posing as a captain in the Southern Vietnamese Army (via amazon)
Becoming Trader Joe – Joe Coulombe
Delightful, insightful business book
Dishoom – Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar, Naved Nasir
Yes, I read cookbooks. This one is a treasured gift from my friend Anjali. It’s a love letter to Bombay, beautifully written, a visual joy.
For Bread Alone – Mohamed Choukri
Not a cookbook but Choukri’s memoir of overcoming poverty and famine in the Rif mountains of Morocco, learning to read at 20 and becoming an author and professor of Arabic Literature (translated by Paul Bowles).
Morocco – Edith Wharton
Trying to hold on to my Moroccan holiday bliss by reading all things Morocco (just finished The Sheltering Sky, although that’s actually Algeria). This is Edith Wharton’s 1917 travelogue of touring with the resident general of French Morocco through Fez, Marrakech, Rabat, Tangier and the holy city of Moulay Idriss. I can’t wait to go back.
More Than Enough – Elaine Welteroth
This one’s been on my nightstand for too long.
Reborn in the USA – Roger Bennett
I’m a huge fan of Roger Bennett’s writing. Man, can he turn a phrase. His legendary soccer commentary and hijinx with Michael Davies as Men in Blazers makes me care about the sport. This is his coming of age memoir and I’m all in.
The Chiffon Trenches – Andre Leon Talley
Another hold-over from last year, I feel this needs no explanation.
The Hidden Life of Trees – Peter Wohlleben
I’m a little late to this party but I’m prepared to be amazed and deeply moved.