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SPARE by Prince Harry

My husband asked me recently why I like memoirs so much. I told him that I love getting the chance to understand someone else’s life so intimately, especially a life that is very different from my own. Hearing about someone’s experience in their own words – the challenges they’ve faced, the people who have shaped them, how they make sense of their place in the world – can be even more compelling than fiction, especially when the memoir is well-constructed and eloquently written. And that is the case with Spare, by Prince Harry. You all know what Spare is and

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SPARE by Prince Harry

My husband asked me recently why I like memoirs so much. I told him that I love getting the chance to understand someone else’s life so intimately, especially a life that is very different from my own. Hearing about someone’s experience in their own words – the challenges they’ve faced, the people who have shaped them, how they make sense of their place in the world – can be even more compelling than fiction, especially

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ZORRIE by Laird Hunt

Zorrie, by Laird Hunt, is a quiet, old-fashioned (yet recent) novel about a woman’s life in Indiana. Zorrie is young when her parents die, and she is sent to live with an aunt who is cold and unaffectionate. Orphaned again when that aunt dies during the Depression, Zorrie leaves Indiana at age 21 with nothing to her name. After a brief adventure in Illinois, she returns to Indiana, where she lives for the rest of

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A QUIET LIFE by Ethan Joella

A Quiet Life is Ethan Joella’s second novel, and it follows the same playbook as his first, A Little Hope: the story of a disconnected group of people in deep pain due to some sort of loss, trying to navigate their way toward acceptance, if not happiness. The book follows their journey through grief as their lives cross in unexpected ways. Why I picked it up: I liked A Little Hope, Joella’s first novel, quite

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BULLY MARKET by Jamie Fiore Higgins

#MeToo may have dominated the news cycle in 2017, but the hits keep coming. Last summer, Jamie Fiore Higgins released a memoir detailing the misogyny and mistreatment she endured during her almost 20 years at Goldman Sachs working her way up to managing director, a rarity for women. Bully Market: My Story Of Money And Misogyny At Goldman Sachs, is a riveting and often infuriating account of Higgins’ time at Wall Street’s most prestigious bank.

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CARRIE SOTO IS BACK by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I have a complicated relationship with Taylor Jenkins Reid (TJR) and seem to hold the opposite view of her books from most people. I really enjoyed some of her earlier novels – One True Loves, After I Do – and I liked but didn’t LOVE Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones And The Six (though I’d like to do that one over again on audio). And I really didn’t like Malibu Rising much at all, despite

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FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK by Elissa Sussman

About twice a year, I get sucked in by the description of a romance novel, and then I decide I need to read it, and I enjoy it well enough, and then I am set for romances for the next 6 months or so. Well, reset the clock, because I just finished the first one for 2023: Elissa Sussman’s Funny You Should Ask. While it follows the typical romance pattern, it was a fresh take

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WE ALL WANT IMPOSSIBLE THINGS by Catherine Newman

My first book of the new year was We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman, a book I’ve been wanting to read ever since I heard about it last summer. The subject matter is heavy: Ash and Edi, best friends since childhood, face the end of Edi’s life together as she moves into hospice care. Although Edi has a husband and young son in Brooklyn, there are no spaces in hospice in New York,

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SMALL THINGS LIKE THESE by Claire Keegan

My final read of 2022 was Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, a short book that I read on the plane from Taipei to Tokyo on New Year’s Eve. An ARC of this book has been in my house for a long time – a year? – and I decided to bring it on the trip because the reviews were so positive (and because Keegan has another acclaimed book now making the rounds called

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2022 Reading Year In Review

My reading year was mixed. Between the pandemic, two kids going through the college application process, complicated job dynamics and no beach vacation, my reading came in fits and spurts, with several dry spells mixed in. I haven’t been in the car as much either, which means fewer audiobook hours. (On the plus side, we adopted a dog in February who likes looong walks, so that helps with the audiobooks.) I had some success with

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THEY’RE GOING TO LOVE YOU by Meg Howrey

Several years ago, one of my absolute favorite authors, J. Ryan Stradal, recommended a book by Meg Howrey to me. I haven’t read The Wanderers yet, but when I started seeing Howrey’s new book around. They’re Going To Love You, I knew I wanted to read it. It’s a family drama set in the world of ballet, and it’s split between the 80s and the present-day. (Of course, this book would have already had me

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THE APPEAL by Janice Hallett

Another short vacation review. I never read mysteries, but my BFF gave me Janice Hallett’s The Appeal for my birthday and told me that I would have trouble putting it down, so I thought it would make a good plane/vacation read. And she was right! It’s a mystery told entirely through emails, texts, voicemails and other modern epistolary methods. Two young law students working for a defense attorney are tasked with going through all of

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2023 EDIWTB Reading Challenge!

Another year, another EDIWTB Reading Challenge! Welcome to our returning and new participants! My goal here is to provide a reading challenge that is 1) manageable; 2) enjoyable; and 3) helps you find and read books you like while gently expanding your comfort zone. I don’t want there to be categories that you dread or that slow down your reading pace (like the Book That Won An Award category for me in 2022 – ugh).

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SMALL FRY by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

I am on vacay in Taiwan, visiting my daughter who is studying Mandarin here on a gap year program, so this will be a short review. For the “Book On Your Bookshelf 2+ Years” category of the 2022 EDIWTB Reading Challenge, I chose Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir, Small Fry. Lisa is Steve Jobs’ daughter and Small Fry is the chronicle of their fraught relationship from her birth until his death in 2011. The book came out

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Best Books of 2022

2022 was a pretty good year of reading. I’ll post my detailed stats later in the month, but here are my standout reads. Clearly, family dramas worked for me – they always do! – and I returned to the well several times throughout the year, If you like books that span decades, dip in and out of characters’ lives, contain secrets and traumas, and leave you more empathetic than when you started, then this list

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THE LONG ANSWER by Anna Hogeland

The Long Answer by Anna Hogeland explores many dimensions of the process of getting, staying, or avoiding being pregnant, as told through the eyes of a young woman in graduate school who is pregnant with her first child. Anna, who is eager to have a child with her husband, finds herself in conversation with a number of women during her pregnancy, each with her own story to tell about their journey to motherhood. Through these

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