Winter Reading List

Happy New Year!  With another Covid surge in full swing and a snowstorm coming our way in New England, it looks like we are going to need to hunker down once again. It’s certainly a test of our collective endurance.  But it’s also an opportunity to renew ourselves and make the most of our time indoors.  To that end, I want to share my Winter Reading list with you.  Below are some of my favorites, mostly from the past six months (I snuck in one fiction book that I read awhile ago but loved so much I decided to share it here). So get that cup of tea or hot chocolate going, snuggle up under a fleece blanket, and dive into one of these books!

Books that inspired me to think bigger, try new things, and clear a path to make it happen:

Books that have deepened my understanding of politics, including why our country is so polarized and the enduring legacy of racism:

  • Pelosi by Molly Ball
    • Nancy Pelosi is a bad-ass.  (Without her, there would have been no Affordable Care Act.)  Read this book to learn more about one of our biggest unsung heroes and how being a mother of five helped shape her approach to politics.
  • Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl
    • Fascinating case studies of how three states (Missouri, Kansas and Tennessee) have made public policy choices that hurt people’s health (limiting gun control, cutting back public education, and not expanding health care), and how preserving white privilege has driven those choices.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
    • Incredible story of how one dying Black woman’s cells were preserved and used to further scientific research that has saved lives, while her own family struggled with poverty and lack of health care. Raises many compelling (and unresolved) ethical issues.

And some good fiction, for good measure: 

  • The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    • A beautiful book that opened my heart and mind to what it’s like to “graduate” from foster care and try to forge a connected life.
  • The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
    • An atmospheric page turner with memorable characters that takes place in and around a boarding school in a remote English seaside town.  Has undertones of “The Secret History.”

Each book I share in my reading lists has had great impact on me. If any of my suggested reads has also impacted you, or if you have a recommendation for a book that you think should make my next list, feel free to share with me – thank you!

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