Saturday, January 16, 2021 Reviewed by Jeni

It’s January. Time for resolutions and new beginnings. While leading a healthier lifestyle or finally sticking to a budget might be on your mind right now, I’m not going to give you a list of diet cookbooks or financial self-help selections. Instead, I thought I’d tell you about a few books that helped me see things from new perspectives and made me a kinder, more understanding person. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather see more of that in the world as long as we’re making changes. (Note: Some of these books are not easy reads. If you’ve got triggers, proceed with caution.)

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo 

You may have already read this one (along with “White Fragility” and “How to Be an Antiracist”) last year, but in case you didn’t, I highly recommend Ijeoma Oluo’s “So You Want to Talk About Race.” (The other two are great as well, if you want to learn more on the subject.) This book does an excellent job of answering a wide range of tough questions.






Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay 

Roxane Gay’s memoir “explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen” (publisher’s description). Excuse me for not writing my own description here, but that one is too perfect. In a society where we actively avoid really seeing overweight people and rarely talk about the F word (fat), this book is a revelation.






American Dirt  by Jeanine Cummins 

You will never look at news stories about migrants crossing America’s southern border the same way after reading Jeanine Cummins’ “American Dirt.” This powerful, brutal story leaves a lasting impression.







Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson 

Jenny Lawson is a master of funny writing on the subject of mental illness, and “Furiously Happy” is no exception. This book about depression and other mental disorders is a weirdly fun read with a surprisingly positive message. Her writing may not be for everyone, but if you like it, you will probably REALLY like it.







Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This book is for children, but R.J. Palacio’s story of a child with an extraordinary face and the huge difference everyday kindness makes in his life contains a reminder about choosing kindness that is appropriate for all ages. This book did not become an instant children’s classic for no reason, and it’s definitely worth a quick read if you haven’t already.






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