I’m not quite sure what happened, but in the month of February I started reading again. I think that the baby started sleeping predictiably through the night and, with that, just comes more margin. When you aren’t sleep deprived, you are able to have an attention span and absorb more information! Go figure! Anyway, I didn’t start with any kind of agenda or plan on what to read, I just started reading books that were either recommended, had been unfinished, or sounded interesting.
The Fourth Turning – William Strauss and Neil Howe
I stumbled on this book in January. I had heard someone mention that our nation was in a fourth turning. I thought that was a very interesting phrase to use, so I looked it up and found the book. Written in 1997, the book is neither political nor religious, but Howe and Strauss focuses on how cycles of history create a predictable pattern that spans every 100 years. Mirroring seasonal changing, nations also go through four turnings about every 25 years…the High (Spring), the Awakening (Summer), the Unraveling (Autumn) and the Crisis (Winter). This book is a unique blend of history and demographics that almost create a family systems book for generational American history. The authors explain that each generation has an archetypal role to play in each season, and this theory really connected the dots for me as we see the conflict play out between the Baby Boomers and younger generations. I appreciated that the book was written 24 years ago because it makes it truly apolitical and gives a perspective that stands outside of time when you read it. Highly recommend.
To get the book, go here: https://rstyle.me/+KOgpQsKZ_gdV1tsT2xT_kQ
To tune into Neil Howe’s podcast go here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/demography-unplugged-with-neil-howe/id1499513587
The Fellowship of the Ring – JRR Tolkien
Ah…Tolkien…sometimes you just need some Hobbits in your life. I’ve read The Fellowship before, but it had been awhile. So, when my favorite online book club said that they would be discussing The Lord of the Rings, I was excited to revisit it again! I actually listened to it on Audible, which was a delight. Rob Inglis narrates and does a beautiful job of distinguishing the voices, singing Tom Bombadil’s songs and speaking Elvish. It was totally worth the 1 credit at Audible. The insight from the book discussion was profound. So, it really has been a really enriching experience this time around.
You can find the audio book here: https://rstyle.me/+tfz7caDlvZXy3jcl0YoRTw
You can join the Patreon book club here: https://www.patreon.com/closereads
The Time In Between – Maria Duenas
This was a novel that I started when I was pregnant, got really into reading it, and then stopped reading it because the third trimester hit me pretty hard! But I picked it up again and it was a fantastic read. It follows the journey of a young seamstress who travels from Madrid to follow her lover to Morocco during the onset of the Spanish Civil War. Spanish history is not something I am familiar with at all, so I kind of enjoyed being clueless…it allowed the historical fiction play out without any spoilers. The translation is beautiful, and Duenas brings her background as an academic to give you a fully immersive historical experience. Do not, under any circumstances, get the audio book because it is so painful to listen to. I bought it on Audible and tried to listen to it, but the narrator (bless her) was so monotone that it totally distracted from the beauty of the translation. I promptly returned it. If you really want to nerd out, it was made into a tv series (I think on Netflix) but so far I can’t find it with the subtitles. Let me know if you find it!
You can find the book here: https://rstyle.me/+6eKnaMH4IllEmGGz6HYV-g
Educated – Tara Westover
This was a beautifully written book that inspired a completely separate post!
You can find my thoughts on it here: http://www.pursuingthebeautiful.com/2021/02/11/points-of-connection-with-educated-by-tara-westover/