The Push
: Ashley Audrain
Publication Date: January 2021
Genre: thriller, fiction
Method: audiobook via TPL

What a polarizing book! It seems like readers either love it for its intensity or hate it because they found it boring. I find that I’m falling somewhere in the middle, while I found it undoubtedly unsettling, based off other people’s reviews and reactions, I thought it’d be more intense if I’m being honest. And maybe I would have if I was a mother myself, but a mother I am not. Truth be told though, I don’t think I could have read this story if I were gearing up for motherhood or already a mother because the trauma explored over the course of the book is forceful. Very interested to see review of Audrain’s 2023 release, The Whispers, before it’s release in June next year! → Exploring envy, motherhood and the intuitions that we silence, this is a novel that asks what happens when good people make bad choices

I’m Glad My Mom Died
Author: Jennette McCurdy
Publication Date: August 2022
Genre: nonfiction, memoir
Method: audiobook via TPL

I got a glimpse of Jennette’s story when she was a guest on the money-centric podcast, The Financial Confessions, back in January of 2022, which was fascinating and eye opening in its own right. Shortly after came the announcement of her memoir detailing the traumatic, toxic, and abusive relationship held with her mother, hence the eye-catching if not jaw dropping title. As expected, this was an incredible story written by an incredible writer. My heart hurts for her and the pain she’s endured. The book made it’s round in 2022 on the best of lists, for good reason. I’m fairly certain I read that Jennette was working on a debut novel which I will definitely be picking up!

Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter
Author: Shani King, Bobby C. Martin (Illustrations)
Publication Date: January 2021
Genre: nonfiction, biography
Method: hardcover via TPL

Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter is a wonderful collection and resource celebrating Black individuals in art, music, entertainment, science, medicine, sports, literature, journalism, politics, law, and activism. Would be a great book to have on any home library shelf to celebrate and reinforce that black lives matter

The Four Winds
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publication Date: February 2021
Genre: historical fiction
Method: audiobook via TPL

I finally, finally, finally read my first Kristin Hannah and it definitely lived up to the hype, though I did not cry, surprisingly. I didn’t find the topic of the Dust Bowl and The Great Depression all that interesting, but the story was very compelling with well-crafted characters. In the interview with Kristin Hannah and Julia Whalen, Kristin speaks on the success of The Nightingale and how she wanted to reimagine that story of triumph and resilience, but make it American. I’d definitely read from this author again when the mood strikes for something sad and in the realm of historical fiction. I will not, however, attempt to re-read The Grapes of Wrath. I considered it for about 2 seconds then abandoned that once I saw the audiobook was like over 20 hours long
Buzzword Readathon: December selection

Transcendent Kingdom
Author: Yaa Gyasi
Publication Date: August 2020
Genre: contemporary fiction
Method: audiobook via TPL

I can’t even write a proper review yet because I know that I need to re-read this incredible story – which I’m planning to do in February 2023 including annotating, highlighting, and tabbing, because it’s just that good. If I had to guess, I bookmarked over 20 sections in the audiobook to return to upon re-read. Very, very different from Homegoing, in my opinion, but incredibly powerful and moving. I just can’t wait to revisit this again soon. It without a doubt jumped into my top 10 reads of 2022

What’s up next on my TBR

Until next time, Meryn


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