I’m been having so much fun sharing my recent reads that I’m continuing the series! I’m excited to share my May reads with you today.
In May, I listened to:
- Life on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat by Grant Achatz. Being from Chicago, I’ve been aware of Alinea and following Grant’s story for years. It’s mind blowing to say the least. I’ve also watched the Chef’s Table episode about Grant and the Netflix documentary Spinning Plates. With that being said, I still learned quite a bit from Life on the Line and gained even more respect for Grant, who remains extremely humble, despite his staggering success.
- The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Magnolia Story is a must-read for anyone who is a fan of the show Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna take turns reading different parts of the book. It sounds cheesy, I know. But if you’re a fan of the show, you’ll believe me when I say it’s endearing. Chip and Joanna’s story is proof that you can build great success honestly from very little, all while building a loving, Christian family with strong morales and the right priorities in life.
- Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner. Hungry Heart is all over the place. It’s not quite a memoir or collection of personal stories. Weiner has a few heartfelt, well-written bits, namely her multiple miscarriages and ongoing awful relationship with her father. The rest of it simply isn’t worth reading. Hungry Heart isn’t well-written, which always bothers me, especially from someone who is a best-selling author. I’m not above tasteless humor and don’t mind reading books without a lot of substance. But Weiner got under my skin. I didn’t find her tastelessness to be funny, and her hypocracy really bothered me. How someone with such significant body image issues can judge beauty pagents year after year is beyond me.
- The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande. The Checklist Manifesto is very Malcom Gladwell, and I mean that in the best well possible. As with all of his books, Gawande does an excellent job combining research and expertise from multiple fields in such a way that it’s interesting and engaging. The Checklist Manifesto is less medical and psychology heavy than Being Mortal or Better, so if you’re looking for more general non-fiction, give it a read.
- Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain. I know most people either love or hate Anthony Bourdain. I’m not here to convince you to like Bourdain or to pretend that reading this book will give you a new appreciation for him. Kitchen Confidential is 100% Anthony Bourdain. Don’t read it knowing that you hate his snarky humor, and then write a bad review. Honestly, I like Bourdain better on shows like Parts Unknown than discussing his years of drug abuse. But this book was way ahead of its time and played an integral role in establishing the trends in the food industry we still see today.
- First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Anderson Brower. I’ve read both of Brower’s books, The Residence and First Women, now. They’re quite good, offering fascinating insight into the world of life in the White House, which we never see in mainstream or even non-mainstream news. However, I’m not sure you need to read both of them. First Women has quite a bit of overlap with The Residence. I read The Residence first and liked it more, but I suspect you’ll like whichever one you read first more.
Currently, I’m listening to The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. I know there is a lot of controversy about this book and that many people think Tim Ferriss is a giant douche. No doubt he has a huge ego, but it’s an interesting read. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts about the book next month.
In May, I read:
- As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes. As You Wish is so much fun. Like countless others, I’ve loved The Princess Bride movie for years and get a lot of joy out of knowing that it was just as much fun to make as it still is to watch today. Elwes is not an amazing writer, but he does the sweet behind the scenes production stories justice. I actually read this one, but I’ve heard many good things about the audio book.
- Dragon Teeth by Michael Critchton. Dragon Teeth is the most recent of several Critchon books that have been published following his all too early death in 2008. I’ve read almost every Michael Critchton book and enjoyed them all, including Dragon Teeth. I know there’s always speculation with posthumous publications about whether an author finished the book and if the editing will be any good. To me, Dragon Teeth reads like Critchon wrote the entirety of the book and the editing mirrors that of any popular Critchon novel. Historical fiction isn’t my thing, but Critchon does such a good job pulling you into the story and blending research with engaging narrative.
Currently, I’m reading Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout, which is part of the Nero Wolfe series. It’s been more than a decade since I got into a mystery series, and it’s been a lot of fun to pick up a new one.
My running total for 2017: 38 books. You can read more about my 2017 goals and recent progress with said goals right here.
Check out even more favorite reads on my Favorite Reads Pinterest board!
[Disclaimer: All of the book links in this post are affiliate links. Thanks for your support!]
What have you been reading lately?
I’m always looking for new recommendations!
Additional reading posts: