If you’ve read my post “The parenting hack that’s been a game changer for me”, you know my recent love affair with Audible. (I know, I have been living under a rock). I started listening to books while I run, run carpool (only one ear in), while cleaning, while traveling, oh my goodness, whenever I can, it’s starting to annoy my husband. “Are you listening to a book AGAIN?” 🙂
It’s inspired me in work and life to take in the beautiful writing skills of these talented authors. Since everyone loves a good book recommendation, here’s my book reviews of 2022 (so far). These are in no particular order and keep reading because there are some HUGE HITS toward the end.
1. Going There by Katie Couric. I’ve written about this book before and have to say this one captures the best and worst of the news business. It’s real, raw and fearless. She really went there and bravo to her.
2. Will by Will Smith. Another one I have been posting about but WOW. I can’t stop calling on his experiences and lessons. This is a book about life as much as it’s a book about Will Smith’s life. It challenges you to ask yourself how you show up and what do you do when the universe shows up?
3. Open Book by Jessica Simpson. By now, I began to see a growing theme of success. There are no short cuts. It’s impossible without the hardest of work. Rejection and failure is around every corner, it’s what you do when it happens that makes a difference. #justkeepgoing
4. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. I am glad I waited. She’s since had a massive cancel culture scandal and subsequent divorce. I felt it really represented how much has changed since March 2020. Things are not always as they seem and no one is perfect, even those who are teaching us how to be our best selves.
5. Vanderbilt by Anderson Cooper. I love to learn about the Guilded Age, having visited Newport, RI a number of times. This is a beautiful look at the perfectly imperfect relationship between mother and son, the illusion of happiness being associated with wealth and the great burden that can come from fame.
6. Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand. Another Hilderbrand classic paying homage to Nantucket as she always delivers on. The way she masters mystery, love and suspense is like no other! This is your beach read for the year!
7. The Storyteller by Dave Grohl. Run, do not walk to read (or listen) to this book. I don’t even like that genre of music, but his story from an awkward punk rock-loving teen to Dave Grohl (enough said) remains in the theme of successful superstars (hard work, determination, resiliency). It’s impossible without all three. I don’t mean his life as a rock star. I saw it through the lens of him as a father. He tells the story of how he flew back from Australia for 3 hours to take his girls to their daddy-daughter dance and flew right back with an epic disaster along the way (I won’t spoil it). What he wouldn’t do for his family spoke to me so deeply. I texted with a friend who had finished this book who simply said, “I’m so sad that book is over, I miss Dave.” That sums it up.
8. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave. I was new to this author, but I was quickly hooked to her style. This mystery grips you from the very first page and has you holding your breath/scratching your head until the very last page. There is so much complexity to the characters and family dynamics. This is rich with misfortune, true love and parenthood at its best and worst.
9. Ten Things I Wish I’d known- Before I Went Out into the Real World by Maria Shriver. I have wanted to read this for so long, so I was sure to have it on my list for the beginning of the year. What was so striking to me is that this book was written 20 years ago, and the same principles apply all this time later. Even through 9-11, the pandemic and everything in between, these stand the truth of time. Every parent of a graduating senior should gift this book! Her vulnerability (before being vulnerable was celebrated…thanks Brene Brown!) is stunning at times. She is a true mother at heart and made course corrections when she saw her home life suffering under the pressures of TV news. This spoke to me in so many ways and I hope it does the same for other mothers who continue to search for that dreaded word “balance”. I hope we all delete that word and realize that it doesn’t exist. We can’t win, so let’s not try and be content with our choices, then adjust them as needed. Hand on your backs mamas.
10. The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis. This newly released historical non-fiction is simply STUNNING. I can’t express how beautifully constructed and thoughtfully executed this story of The Frick Family turned out. Again, a fascination with the Gilded Age but creatively married to more modern times. This book was the last one I finished, so I thought I would round out the list with one that I couldn’t recommend more.
What about you? Any book ideas for my next 10? I would love to add your suggestions to my list! I’ve just started 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson.
My love of stories has only deepened in this new chapter of my life. I have been inspired by the stories of new friends, new opportunities and future goals. If you want to learn more about how YOUR story can evoke impact, take my storytelling quiz!