A few years ago I regularly did Monthly Book Reports but that fell by the wayside. It’s hard to believe it has been so long but I think I’m going to bring them back in the form of quarterly updates with my favorites from the previous three months. For the first quarter of the year I’ve read 19 books. Some were great, others I muddled through, and I abandoned one or two. It has been good to see so many people talk about abandoning books that you can’t get into because I was a former “finisher” and it is something I still cling to and am working on. Sure, it is great to say you’ve finished a book but when you start reading and realize it wasn’t what you thought it would be, you don’t like the characters, or maybe it just move too slowly for your reading life at that point in time, abandon it! There are too many good books out there to be suffering through a book that you don’t love. My to-be-read (TBR) pile is ever growing and will only continue to grow, so unless it sticks, it goes into the abandoned pile.
Here are four books I loved this past quarter. Also, I’m making note on how I read them, audio, kindle, or paper.
The Seed Keeper by Diana Wilson – Audio
Taking place in Minnesota, we see Rosalie Iron Wing, an indigenous child make her way from growing up within an indigenous community only to be thrust into the foster system when her father dies. She loses a lot of her community and family members and even loses touch with some of her friends. Eventually she marries a white man who has a farm and Rosalie eventually gives birth to a son. She becomes interested in gardening and in writing and starts writing for the local paper. It weaves in Big Ag and the clash between a white world and an indigenous world and circles back around towards the end of the story. Really a lovely read, a bit quiet, and delves back into some of Rosalie’s family members before they were moved to reservations.
The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget – Paper
This is a juvenile fiction also based in Minnesota that I randomly picked up while at the library getting books for Forest one day. It focuses on 11-year old Fern and her impoverished family who struggle to make ends meet but supplement that with foraging and hunting on some land around where they live. It interweaves the stories from her friends, one from an immigrant family and another who is in foster care, and how they come to save the land from a fracking venture. I really appreciated the diversity and inclusion of so many relevant topics. Excellent for any 9-13 year old but also any adult who likes to read outside of a genre box!
Saints of Old Florida by Melissa Farrell – Paper
I have wanted to read this book for years, since I found out about it when it was published. I hesitated to buy it and now it has become very hard to find. Luckily, I found it at the beach house we stayed at on St. George Island a few weeks ago. Saints of Old Florida is a beautiful coffee table book that showcases all of the “Saints” along Florida’s Forgotten Coast, from Port St. Joe to St. Marks. It encompasses narratives from local fisherman, folks who came to visit on vacation decades ago and stayed, locals who grew up along the wilds of the region, and inserts beautiful photography and recipes into it all. A gorgeous book!
Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1) by Evie Dunmore- Audio
An absolute fluff romance taking place not in the typical Regency period we see so many romance novels doing right now, but a mid-Victorian era England when the early suffragette movement was trying to get off the ground. There’s a middle class bluestocking woman attending Oxford and an aloof Duke and well, it’s a floofy romance and a perfect book to escape into! Thanks for my friend Michelle for recommending it!
Now, what is everyone else reading? What should I add to my ever growing TBR pile?