It feel like March is almost two separate months. The first half was insanely busy for me. My biggest work conference of the year, Satellite, took place at the D.C. Convention Center March 9-12. Normally that week is hell and I barely have any time to myself. This year, well, it was a bit different. The week leading up to it was busier than it usually is, mostly because we had to make SO many last minute changes and adjustments to staffing, scheduling, everything. In the end, very few of my colleagues made the trip to D.C. and our schedule was a skeleton of its usual self, the meetings were sparse, most evening events (including one I had been working on for months!) canceled. Which meant that week was actually not too busy in the end and the conference was even cut short once DC decided to shut down the convention center. That Friday, I went into the office since I hadn’t been all week, but also so I could call our IT department and make sure I was all set up for remotely should we need to. That feels like ages ago, and yet, it’s barely been two weeks! I had a book on hold at the library that I wanted to pick up, so I headed to the Tentleytown and saw the signs there that the library would be closed for the next two weeks. Perfect timing, I thought, and I allowed myself to stroll the aisles of books and pick up whatever caught my eyes.
Glad I did, because the library (and life!) isn’t reopening anytime soon and now I’ve got lots of books at home to keep me company. I’m also very grateful I have a kindle right now!! With our new normal of staying at home, I did read a lot of books the second half of the March, though actually mostly audiobooks that I listened to on my now always solo-runs. Here’s a recap.
SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE by Ijeoma Oluo, non-fiction (audiobook)
This essay about race isn’t meant to be a feel good book! It’s made to make you think twice about little things you take for granted or that you think are not consequential, but do have a cumulative effect on a lot of people and contribute to the systemic racism that is prevalent in american society. I definitely encourage everyone to read (or listen to) this one!
OVER THE TOP: A RAW JOURNEY TO SELF-LOVE by Jonathan Van Ness, memoir (audiobook)
A very revealing and heartfelt memoir. I definitely think audiobook is the way to go on that one (on most memoirs really). I ended up listening to this one mostly when I was doing stuff around the house, like setting up my work from home space or cleaning up. Worth the months I waited before getting it from the library 😉
MEN WE REAPED by Jesmyn Ward, memoir
Jesmyn Ward’s memoir alternates between recounting her childhood in rural Mississippi and the biographies of five young black men she intimately, one of them her own brother, and who all died within a five years span. The vignettes are plainly written, but beautiful and place personal tragedy against the backdrop of systemic racism and poverty in the South. Sing, Unburied, Sing is one of the hardcover books I borrowed from the library before it closed and I can’t wait to read that one as well.
THE EDUCATION OF AN IDEALIST: A MEMOIR by Samantha Power, memoir (audiobook)
OK, so this book was almost 600 pages and, while it was really interesting, I was definitely ready to be done with it by like half of it. Which sadly was still before Samantha Power was appointed UN Ambassador by President Barrack Obama 😉 Nonetheless, I’m glad I read it. It was a very personal (Samantha talks candidly about her issues conceiving both of her children) and interesting (I mean, she was a woman war correspondent who debated turning down a Harvard law school acceptance…) memoir. Just a bit long…
PARIS FOR ONE AND OTHER STORIES by Jojo Moyes, fiction
I needed a lighter read to wrap up the month and Jojo Moyes’ Paris for One delivered. It’s a cute collection of vignettes (only one is actually about being in Paris alone, but it’s the longest and best one) and short stories and they all were delightful!
So 5 books in March is not bad… I do expect to go through quite a few more in April. We’re still allowed to go outside for runs here in D.C. and since it’s practically the only sport we can do I’ve been taken advantage of that and I have been getting some good audiobook listening done during my solo runs. I expect that (hopefully) to continue in April. And I do have a lot more free time now in the evening as well 😉
How have you been holding up during these first few weeks of staying at home?
ps: are we goodreads friends? <<You can find me here >>