Another month, another book list! Here’s what I’m excited to be reading this month:
1. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
About: In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).
In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.
2. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
About: A biographical portrait of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and some of the men who served with him in his cabinet from 1861 to 1865. Three of his Cabinet members had previously run against Lincoln in the 1860 election: Attorney General Edward Bates, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase and Secretary of State William H. Seward. The book focuses on Lincoln’s mostly successful attempts to reconcile conflicting personalities and political factions on the path to abolition and victory in the American Civil War.
3. How England Made the English by Harry Mount
About: Q: Why are English train seats so narrow? A: It’s all the Romans’ fault. The first Victorian trains were built to the same width as horse-drawn wagons; and they were designed to fit the ruts left in the roads by Roman chariots.
For readers of Paxman’s The English, Bryson’s Notes on a Small Island and Fox’s Watching the English, this intriguing and witty book explains how our national characteristics – our sense of humour, our hobbies, our favourite foods and our behaviour with the opposite sex – are all defined by our nation’s extraordinary geography, geology, climate and weather.
4. Pivot by Jenny Blake
About: In today’s economy the average job tenure is only four years, and falling. Roles change constantly. Even smart, motivated people hit professional plateaus. ‘What’s next?’ is a question we all have to answer more frequently. But how do you advance without getting stuck?
In Pivot, Jenny Blake, co-creator of Google’s Career Guru Programme, shows you how to build upon your assets – your strengths, interests and networks – to create a career with meaning and adventure. You will learn how to redirect your energy, scan for opportunities and identify new skills without falling prey to ‘analysis paralysis’ or ‘compare and despair’.
No matter your age, industry, or bank balance, pivoting is the crucial skill you need to stay agile and keep you moving forward.
5. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
About: In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England’s first African Sorcerer Royal. He leads the eminent Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, but a malicious faction seeks to remove him by fair means or foul. Meanwhile, the Society is failing its vital duty – to keep stable the levels of magic within His Majesty’s lands. The Fairy Court is blocking its supply, straining England’s dangerously declining magical stores. And now the government is demanding to use this scarce resource in its war with France.
Ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman is desperate to escape the school where she’s drudged all her life, and a visit by the beleaguered Sorcerer Royal seems the perfect opportunity. For Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic’s greatest discovery in centuries – and she intends to make the most of it.
At his wits’ end, the last thing Zachariah needs is a female magical prodigy! But together, they might just change the nature of sorcery, in Britain and beyond.
So many exciting stories to look forward to! In case you’re curious, I’ve popped the list of books I’ve read so far below. As always I’d love to hear what you’re reading too so please do leave me a comment and let me know!
The list of books I’ve read so far in 2017:
- The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
- Rather be the Devil – Ian Rankin
- Seating Arrangements – Maggie Shipstead
- Techbitch – Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
- The Big Four – Agatha Christie
- Love, Rosie – Cecelia Ahern
- The Marble Collector – Cecelia Ahern
- The Residence – Kate Andersen Brower
- Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All – Jonas Jonasson
- The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper – Phaedra Patrick
- The Girl Who Came Home – Hazel Gaynor
- Unrivalled – Alyson Noel
- Burning Glass – Kathryn Purdie
- Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
- Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo
- The Thousandth Floor – Katharine McGee
- Clean Beauty – the editors of GOOP
- Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer
- Authority – Jeff VanderMeer
- Acceptance – Jeff VanderMeer
- Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
- Spark Joy – Marie Kondo
- After You – Jojo Moyes