As I said a few weeks ago, one of my New Year's resolutions was to read more books. I may not do this every month, but as my resolution has been wildly successful this month I feel like talking about the books I have read. Off we go....
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Sotomayor has a knack for telling a good story, but even through her humility about her own achievements it's evident: the woman is amazing. It's all in her official bio, but it came alive for me in her telling--her childhood in the projects as the daughter of immigrants, her father's death, her mother working to keep the family afloat, her ordeals with her diabetes. I even learned a few things to put into practical use in my own legal career. If you are an attorney, or even just a Supreme Court junkie, this is a must-read.
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling). I must start by saying that I do not read crime novels. I don't watch crime TV shows. I am blissfully ignorant of "Making a Murderer" and "Serial". But, out of sheer loyalty to J.K. Rowling, I read the first Cormoran Strike novel when it came out, and I haven't stopped gobbling up the sequels.
The bad? Like in Harry Potter sometimes the clues in these whodunnits are so subtle that there's almost no way you could really figure out the mystery before the big reveal. Like, in this latest one (mild spoiler), the only way you could have possibly solved the mystery is if you happened to know when a particular, uncommon-in-my-part-of-the-world plant is in season.
The good? The characters. Strike and Robyn are the best. Even when they're at odds with each other, you're rooting for them both. And, even though (as characters in a detective novel) they're archetypes, they're still complex and multi-layered.
I also really appreciate how J.K. Rowling, er, um...Robert Galbraith is really committed to not soft-balling the gruesomeness of violent crime. Like, in this book, he talks about how the victim's toenail polish was growing out as if she hadn't got around to a pedicure before she died. That very real detail (I have sadly observed that very thing in crime photos in a "we always think we'll have more time" way), makes the rest of the story ring all the more true.
Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West. I'm only about half through this one, but thus far it's both funny and an accurate representation of growing up with a vagina in America. Sweet Husband and I have decided to do a book swap, and I think this is one I'm going to make him read--not only to better understand the general women in his life, but also to perhaps give him some perspective on things our daughter will go through as she navigates the world.
On the docket for February, I have Hidden Figures (which I couldn't follow well on audiobook, so I'm trying a printed copy); Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists (highly recommended from a suffragette history friend); and In the Time of the Butterflies (this year's "Read Across Lawrence" selection, which also seems apropos for the times.)
Anyone reading anything good that I need to consider for the months ahead?