reading roundup // march 2017.

i really found my reading legs this month. all the books i read were interesting and engaging, and i lucked out that they were all fast reads as well. i know my reading pace is going to slow down once summer hits and work gets crazy, so i am happy to have had such a good reading month in march.

do your best and hope for the best. if you’re improving the world — however you define that — consider your job well done.

the four-hour workweek by tim ferriss. i should begin by saying that i went into reading ferriss’ book knowing that i was not his intended target audience, but i was still curious to know what parts of his lifestyle i could incorporate into my own to increase productivity and efficiency. i did learn some interesting things, especially in regards to tackling my email inbox and in communicating more concisely and efficiently, but ultimately most of the book was lost on me in my current situation — i enjoy my job and am not looking to leave it; mine is a position that requires me to be present, so working remotely is not an option; and i have no need for a virtual assistant to help me organize my inboxes and meetings. and while i know very little of ferriss outside of this book and a few others he has written, i couldn’t quite get past the slight holier-than-thou tone to his writing. in the end this book wasn’t for me, but i can see how others might find its contents useful // 2.5 stars

in truth, we don’t know which of our acts in the present will shape the future. but we have to behave as if everything we do matters. because it might.

my life on the road by gloria steinem. i went on a book-buying spree around the third week of january, and one of my purchases was steinem’s memoir of her life on the road as an organizer, activist, writer, and speaker. through a series of anecdotes, steinem introduces us to all of the incredible people she has met during her decades of traveling, from grassroots organizers to presidential nominees, and shares the lessons she has learned from each of them. from stories of taxi drivers in the northeast to migrant farmworkers in the southwest, steinem’s book is a great reminder that everyone we meet has a story to tell, and it is only by listening to these stories and sharing our own can we spread the best of humanity // 3.5 stars

…to love is to enter into the inevitability of one day not being able to protect what is most valuable to you.

exit west by mohsin hamid. it is rare that i will pre-order a book for its hardcover release, but mohsin hamid is one of the few authors for whom i will make an exception. his debut novel, moth smoke, is one of my all-time favorite books, and the reluctant fundamentalist is a beautifully written story, so when i first heard about exit west months ago, i ordered it without knowing anything of its story but knowing that i needed to read it. one of my favorite things about hamid’s writing is how he manages to convey such depth of feeling and weave such intricate stories in such a short amount of time. his books are always short and fast to read, and yet they still evoke so many emotions. it was a pleasure and a pain to follow along with nadia and saeed, and i feel as though i will be haunted by their story for quite a long time to come // 5 stars

stories are people. i’m a story, you’re a story . . . your father is a story. our stories go in every direction, but sometimes, if we’re lucky, our stories join into one, and for a while, we’re less alone.

beautiful ruins by jess walter. this had been on my wish list for years, so i finally downloaded the kindle version a few months ago and decided it was time to read it. walter’s story spans fifty years and two continents, and it is a sweeping tale of love, life, loss, and redemption. it starts off a little slow, but before i realized it i couldn’t stop reading. i enjoyed that each chapter takes place during a different time and is told from a different character’s perspective, and even after wanting to read this for such a long time, i was surprised by how much i enjoyed it // 4 stars

currently reading: just started agatha christie’s classic murder on the orient express, which i have somehow never read.

on my wish list: so many, but i’m not allowing myself anymore book purchases until i’ve finished at least two more. let’s see how long i can hold out.

xx

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