The third quarter of 2022 was a rough one for me. I don’t know if it’s the books or me, but it was hard to find a book that I enjoyed and wanted to read. So many of them felt like a slog and I even began questioning if I even liked reading anymore! These were the standouts for me!
What were some of your favorite reads last quarter?
* The Measure by Nikki Erlick
One seemingly innocent morning, anyone over the age of twenty-two receives a wooden box on their doorstep. Inside, the exact number of years left in that person’s life is hidden. Would you open the box or keep it closed? Would you want to know if you were a “short stringer” or a “long stringer”. And, depending on the length of your string, would that change the way you live your life and the decisions you would make? These fascinating ideas and more are all part of The Measure, and just for the simple fact that I find myself still reflecting on these topics on a weekly basis, this book will most likely be on my Top 10 of the year list. Reminiscent of The Immortalists (a book I adored), this book gave me a lot to think about. The only thing that might have made it better would to have read it with a book club because there is just so much to dissect here!
* Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
This haunting debut pulled at my heartstrings in every conceivable way. It made me sad, it made me angry, and it made me hopeful. Kiera is forced into situations she gets no say in and she’s forced to find ways to survive. More responsible than her older brother, she eventually ends up selling herself on the streets just to try to keep the roof above their heads. One night, a police officer sees her in an alley and she becomes engulfed in a massive police department scandal and coverup. Based on real life events in the Oakland Police Department, this book is hard to imagine. Mottley herself is just nineteen years old, but her voice, character development, and writing talent had me wanting more. I’m excited to see what she comes up with next!
The Change by Kirsten Miller
This was a genre mashup that felt timely, emotional, and heartwarming. Through the three main voices – Harriet, Nessa, and Jo – we embark on a journey of badass women that take it upon themselves to punish an elite group of men that have been abusing and murdering young girls. They were smart, witty, compassionate, and so supportive of each other that it was inspiring. While I still care too much what others think about me, Harriet throws caution to the wind and embraces her feminity, never giving a second thought to the simple-mindedness of those around her. And, best of all, she doesn’t take pity on herself, she gets even! Jo is a tough women who takes no crap from anyone. She can beat up the biggest of dudes and she has a fierce protectiveness and loyalty that she lavishes on those she loves. Nessa is sweet and calm, but also the heart of the group. Her softness solves the crimes and I felt like she needed to be protected at all costs. This book was so well-written that I couldn’t pull myself out of the pages. It was just the book I needed at the time.
* The Monsoon Diaries: A Doctor’s Journey of Hope and Healing From the ER Frontlines to the Far Reaches of the World by Dr. Calvin D. Sun
There’s something infectious about Dr. Sun and you feel it the second you spend any time on his instagram page. He is passionate about his job and he has a natural talent for writing. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he let strangers around the world in on his front row seat as a doctor in New York City – the epicenter of the disease in the United States. For those of us that didn’t live in an area hard hit by covid, it was comforting to gain information from someone on the frontlines. Dr. Sun experienced his own tragedy with the disease as he lost his grandfather who was in a different hospital, alone, in the city. He had to make hard choices as a doctor with little knowledge about treatments and I remember bookmarking so many of his posts for future reference, should the need arise. The book isn’t solely about covid – Dr. Sun also takes his readers along on his epic adventures exploring the world to gain wisdom and insight into life. He’s a literal breath of fresh air and he’s one of the best things that came out of covid for me!