Books and Reading

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

I have read quite a bit in the past month (since I last posted about books), and shockingly I really enjoyed many of the books I read, which I am sharing below.

Agatha Christie

The first book I thoroughly enjoyed was an old book. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. I had never read a book by Agatha Christie before, so I decided to start with the first book she wrote. I have to say I loved it, it reminded me of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but with a slightly different protagonist. Hercule was fun and interesting and kept me guessing right until the end. I would highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more books by Agatha Christie in the coming months, this post had me add them to my active want to read list (as separate from my never ending Goodreads want to read list).  Book Rating: 5/5

Omnivores Dilemma

One reading habit you may notice from this next book and the last book on this list are that I have started actively reading most of the books written by Michael Pollan. I am in the process of trying to adjust my food habits to be healthier, as someone who clearly loves food (sometimes too much) this is a struggle. I feel like his common sense approach and thoughtful attitude towards food is helpful for me in considering how I view what I eat. After reading this book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, I have started to make some shifts in the way I eat, trying to buy more local and sustainable pastured meat rather than conventional. I appreciated that in this book Michael Pollan shares his observations and thoughts, clearly he has an opinion, but does not try to go for the blatant shock value, that frankly would probably scare me. I though he discussed the topics in an appropriate way. I found this book to be especially relevant because I live in Iowa and the influence of industrial agriculture directly affects my drinking water, but I do think people living elsewhere would find this book interesting. My few qualms with this book were that I felt sometimes he inserted facts without giving them greater context and as a reader I found it frustrating. Book Rating: 4/5

At Home in Mitford

From my reading habits, you may also notice that I like nonfiction books, and the fiction books I do like tend to be tamer. This book is no exception. I loved At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon. This book felt like a warm hug. This book is the first in a series (I hope to continue reading). It takes place in a fictional town in North Carolina (something I did not know when I started and I assumed the main character Father Tim was actually British). We follow Father Tim through the story as he deals with helping his parishioners and yet also finding space for himself. I loved the quirky characters and the charming setting. I felt transported and grew to care deeply about the characters. Book Rating: 5/5

A Man Called Ove

Unlike the prior book, this book took me much longer to get into. I enjoyed A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I read this book after many a recommendation and because I tend to enjoy stories of old men, I plan on fully fleshing this out to its own post soon. I really had a hard time liking the main character Ove and struggled with getting into it, but after a few chapters I felt like I had a better understanding of his motivations and was able to respect him as a character. Someone once described this book to me as a book version of the film Up. I do not find it fully accurate, but it gives you the idea. The main character Ove is trying to live his life in a new world and struggles to find his place. This is the story of how he through being himself connects with his community. I really did enjoy this and found the ending to be satisfying. Book Rating: 4/5

In Defense of Food

The final book for this month is In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. This book is more actionable than any of his others. He is trying to break down our eating habits and to give us simple ways of looking at how we eat than can make a difference. In this book, Michael Pollan also explores the history behind our disordered eating and ways our cultural habits and traditions have helped us in the past and can help us now. I am currently reading Food Rules, which seems to be a shorter, less contextualized book about how to eat. If In Defense of Food seems overwhelming but you want the knowledge you may want to start there instead. I found In Defense of Food to be helpful because I really care about the context and was able to gather it from that book. Book Rating: 4/5

What have you been reading lately? Any suggestions?


3 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading Lately”

  1. I’m assuming you’re familiar with Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? If you haven’t, I’d highly recommend it . . . I devoured [;-)] her fiction as well but this one is so very inspiring if you have any, as you seem to, interest in mindful, world-conscious eating.


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