The picture was an outtake of B trying to get an Instagram worthy picture for a faculty project, but I think it captures how I feel when I read books. As part of my making a conscious effort to be present, I am trying to put down my iPad more, stop the doom scrolling, and read, color, or puzzle more. With that being said, I read six books this past month! Here is my almost no spoiler review of each.


First up, The Lions of Fifth Avenue. Overall, I’m intrigued by any book involving libraries and history, and so this checked those boxes. The story was sound, I got a little dragged down in the time hops, but overall it was an interesting piece and I liked that it focused on the main narrative instead of a few side stories that could have taken over.

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler. When I was growing up, my Mom made it a point to read some of the books we were reading, and this was one of A’s recent nonfiction reads. It was excellent. It was truly a story I had never known before and I couldn’t put it down. I finished it all in almost one weekend.

Make Life Beautiful is one I mentioned in Friday Favorites a few weeks ago. It’s definitely inspiring, not just from a design perspective, but from a business/life angle as well. It gave sound advice in navigating the work-life balance, and also an understanding that having a perfect balance doesn’t really exist, and that’s okay.

Oh man, The Queen of Paris. When I was in graduate school I read a book that almost ruined me on ever eating crab meat again. I know you’re thinking, how in the world does that connect to this book? I had no idea about the history of Coco Chanel, and now that I know it’s changed the way I look at the fashion house as a whole.

So apparently my theme this month was historical fiction or nonfiction connected to World War I and II. I’ll try to expand out for next month, but I make no guarantees, ha! Paulo Coelho’s The Spy is the last account of Mata Hari who was convicted of being a spy during World War I. Her story begins similarly to Coco Chanel, but the ending is very different. If you are going to read The Queen of Paris, I would also suggest reading The Spy and compare the stories.

Last, I read Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I am so glad I got it on my kindle so I can re-read it and highlight more passages. It is a wonderful narrative. It’s honest, heartfelt, and gave me a perspective I didn’t have before of life in The White House.

Happy Reading!

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