Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theories and Their Surprising Rise to Powers—Anna Merlan
Scream of the White Bear—David Clement-Davies
Fall Back Down When I Die—Joe Wilkins
The Library Book—Susan Orlean
The Testaments—Margaret Atwood
Good Omens—Terry Pratcheet and Neil Gaiman
Round Ireland with a Fridge—Tony Hawks
Under the Banner of Heaven—Jon Krakauer
The Kiss Quotient—Helen Hoang
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck—Mark Manson
How to Change Your Mind—Michael Pollan
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—Michelle McNamara
The Bluest Eye—Toni Morrison
The Mysterious Affair at Styles—Agatha Christie
Mildred Pierce—James Cain
She Said—Jodi Kantor
White Fragility—Robin DiAngelo
The Courage to be Disliked—Ichiro Kishimi
The Plague—Albert Camus
I’m Still Alive—Kate Alice Marshall
Such a Fun Age—Kiley Reid
Atomic Habits—James Clear
All Systems Red—Martha Wells
Everything I Never Told You—Celeste Ng
Religion for Atheists—Alain de Botton
All My Puny Sorrows—Miriam Towes
The Fifth Season—NK Jemison
This is Your Brain on Music—Daniel Levitin
The Obelisk Gate-NK Jemison
The Stone Sky—NK Jemison
Born a Crime—Trevor Noah
Devil in the White City—Erik Larson
It Didn’t Start With You—Mark Wolynn
Shrill: Notes from a Load Woman
Dear Girls—Ali Wong
Wildlife Damage Management—Russel Reidinger
In the Garden of Beasts—Erik Larson
The Hidden Life of Trees—Peter Wohlleben
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—Ken Kesey
Blonde Roots—Bernardine Evaristo
I Have Something to Tell You—Chasten Buttigieg
How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?—NK Jemison
Rebecca—Daphne du Maurier
Leave the World Behind—Rumaan Alam
The Umbrella Academy, Volume I—Gerard Way
Shortest Way Home—Pete Buttigieg
Gideon the Ninth—Tamsyn Muir
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle—Stuart Turton
Anxious People—Fredrik Bachman
On Immunity—Eula Biss
The Searcher—Tana French
Teaching a Stone to Talk—Dillard Annie
Your Money or Your Life—Vicki Robin
The Cousins—Karen MCManus
Rakkety Tam—Brian Jacques
The Library Book. This is simply a biography of one library. That sounds dry but it’s a journey, I assure you!
Mildred Pierce. I love every adaptation of this story. I can finally confirm that the source material is great too!
The Fifth Season. Earth bending meets the apocalypse. This and its sequels are the best works of fantasy I’ve read in years.
Born a Crime. A personal account of growing up mixed-race in South Africa during apartheid.
Shrill: Notes from a Load Woman. Funny and thought-provoking.
Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westburo Baptist Church. Title says all.
Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts, both by Erik Larson. Both true, both terrifying.
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Imagine Doctor Who getting stuck in an Agatha Christie novel!!
On Immunity. A suddenly prescient primer in inoculation.
The Kiss Quotient. So…… I thought this was going to be about a woman struggling with mental illness and/or disability as she tries to form relationships, similar to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (which I enjoyed). And it’s exactly that…..but a romance novel. It wasn’t for me.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I tried to read more in the psychological field. This book capitalizes on the F word without much substance.
It Didn’t Start With You. Too often this felt like one of those reality shows where a "psychic" speaks to the dead and unearths covert family stories to impress the viewer. The author overwhelmingly relies on anecdotal evidence to back up his thesis of inherited trauma. Inherited trauma may be a real phenomenon and play a role in treating mental health afflictions. But the lack of peer reviewed publications set off my pseudoscience alarm-bells. The author excessively points to events in the lives of great-great grandparents to explain the insomnia, anxiety, and even suicidal behavior of his patients, where there likely are far more direct issues at play. Surely he's aware of them as a therapist. But their omission in the narrative implies that stress behaviors can be solely blamed on an ancestor with a tragic backstory--a foolhardy and dangerous assertion. Yes, mental health issues can be inherited (ODC, depression, etc). But events? If inherited family trauma is truly a part of gene expression, and is potent enough to manifest over multiple generations, show me the data, not just stories.
The Hidden Life of Trees. "The Hidden Life of Trees" takes complex biological concepts and puts them in layman's terms. This would be great if the terms didn't range from misleading to false. The author repeatedly disobeys a cardinal rule of science: calling supportive data "proof" and making wayward conclusions. "Tree canopies don't overlap each other. This shows that trees are friends." "Trees send each other chemical signals. Therefore they have olfactory systems." No and no. Not since "It Didn't Start with You" (which relied on anecdotal evidence) has a book so actively pissed me off. Tree ecology and the networks they use to communicate is a fascinating science. The author's personifications and verdicts insult his references and the science itself. Pseudoscience is a plague on credible, hard earned data. There is a way to explain tree relationships without calling them "friends who can smell each other." No, I don't think misleading conclusions about trees are going to harm the average reader. Deceit wasn't the authorial intent. But those seeking to learn about root networks should start with a Google Scholar search before reading these failed oversimplifications.
Rebecca. This book is fabulous, and was an ending away from making the favorite list. Without giving too much away, I’m frustrated in the same vein as I am with Jane Eyre.