1. Wintering (Katherine May)
Katherine May initially intended this book to be more of a travel narrative. But the subtitle is “The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times.” She describes her experience dealing with darker seasons of life and the necessity for rest. She writes with beautiful language, something that I appreciate but prefer to listen to. Once I got to the chapter on cold water swimming, I got sucked in. One of my favorite quotes… “Happiness is the greatest skill we’ll ever learn.”
2. Girl Sleuth (Melanie Rehak)
If you’ve read the Nancy Drew books and have ever been curious about where she came from, then this is the book for you. It is a thorough account (over 300 pages) of who was responsible for telling the tales of her adventures. Spoiler alert, it was not the author you see on the book jackets. This book is about the people and syndicate that kept Nancy solving mysteries for several decades – the father, daughters, and ghostwriters that kept the adventures going.
3. The Professor and the Madman (Simon Winchester)
As its title might suggest, this book is about a professor and a madman who played primary roles in creating and publishing the Oxford English Dictionary. One of these men was a project manager tasked with simplifying a complicated task into manageable chunks. The other a resident of an asylum and creator of a useful strategy that landed thousands and thousands of words within the published product.
4. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (Carlo Rovelli)
Is it possible to fit seven lessons on physics into two hours of reading time? Yes, thanks to this audiobook. After absorbing some complex science ideas in Project Hail Mary, I was curious to check this book out. No, I don’t understand the wonders of the universe. But I still followed along (..ish) through these short physics lessons covering gravity, time, quantum theories, black holes, and the role we humans play in all that chaos.
5. The Binding (Bridget Collins)
A dark, forbidden love story with elements of fantasy, perhaps witchcraft. In this book’s time and place, people come to “book binders” to forget their memories. The white-hat binders keep these books and their stories safe and secret. Other binders sell them to turn a profit. The Binding is a haunting story about love lost and what it may take for two young men to remember.