March Reading Round Up

Long time no talk!

Last month my reading round up lived in The Mom Edit. Check it out here. But, this month it’s back on The Mere Dish for the 5 or so people who read this blog – not including my mom because she doesn’t have time for this.

In honor of Women’s Month, I decided to only read books by women authors. Here’s what I read and my thoughts (no spoilers, promise).

1. An Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power

This book is LENGTHY. Not going to lie at times it was painful and I would do the flip where you go and check how many actual pages you have left vs. how many are the annotations. I had a hard time with this book and I realized halfway through what it was; Samantha Power and I share personality traits which is hard to see on paper. She can be dramatic and so out of place with her demands and…well … yeah. I also wonder how many of Power’s traits that I found abrasive would be celebrated in a man. There’s a ton of internalized misogyny to work through obviously. My favorite parts were about her family, growing up in Ireland vs. the US, her time in Bosnia, her relationship with Barack, time in the U.N., etc. Also just reading how she juggled kids and a career. Some parts felt dry and the typical justification of decisions, but overall the book is really good. It’s worth a real. For all us idealists.

Rating: Thumbs up. Give yourself time to work through this book. Again, it’s long.

2. HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by Elizabeth Holmes

After the Power’s memoir, I needed basically a picture book and HRH filled that void. Lots of glossy photos and the examination of politics, diplomacy, etc in clothing. It doesn’t go as deep as I would have liked, but that’s probably another book. The evolution in fashion of The Queen, Diana, Kate and Meghan was fascinating though.

Rating: Pick it up for the glossy photos

3. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

People have been telling me to read this book for years and I finally did. IT IS SO GOOD. I love reading about America from an non-American perspective. Ifemelu is a character you want to root for and come to appreciate her bluntness and seeing the world through her eyes. It’s a wonderful book.

Rating: Pick it up immediately.

4. The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

My heart. This book. It’s starts a bit slow but quickly becomes a book you can’t stop thinking of, staying up way too late to finish it. It’s a story of female friendship, of the power of women and an interesting look at Korea from the perspective of Jeju women. It is historical fiction – which is one of my favorite genres. It’s early in the year, but this might be my favorite book of the year.

Review: I mean…you know. Get on that library list stat!

5. Summer Sisters by Judy Blune

This is one of Blume’s forays into adult fiction. I read it many times as an older teen and wanted to see if it held up. It’s an easy summer read. I still loved it and I’m not sure if it’s for the story of the feeling. Martha’s Vinyard has a similar feel to my summers on Cape Cod. There’s a feeling of nostalgia when reading the book. I’m glad it didn’t disappoint.

Rating: Quintessential Beach read.

6. White Ivy by Susie Yang

A story about an immigrant family, centering on their daughter – Ivy – as she tries to assimilate and achieve the American dream. Is it wealth? Happiness? Or just peace that she wants? It’s a difficult book because Ivy is a somewhat unlikable character. She is frustrating, but somewhat understandable. She’s not a protagonist you root for, which makes for an interesting read. Also, the book takes a twist and you sort of walk away not knowing what to believe.

Rating: It doesn’t fit neatly into a genre. I would recommend reading it. Let me know what you think.

And those are the March reads! Till April…

x, Meredith

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