Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose

Rating: 5/5 | If you’re looking to be inspired, learn something, and maybe also kind of sob like a baby, please read this book (or listen to Joe read it himself as an audiobook, like I did). I loved Joe Biden before this book, but now that gut feeling has been affirmed. (Click the post to read more.)

What Happened

What Happened

Rating: 4/5 | What Happened is an honest, straightforward, passionate retelling of Hillary Rodham Clinton's experiences leading up to the 2016 election. She tells us why she always loved working in public service, how and why she decided to run for President, the way it felt to have Donald Trump "loom" over her onstage, and her frustration when the media focused on one thing—emails—rather than any of the policy-related things she said or believed. I am glad that I listened to the audiobook version, as she read it herself. (Click the post to read more.)

Small Great Things

Small Great Things

Rating: 5/5 | This book was not really comfortable, but it was important. In the story, which was developed after Picoult conducted extensive interviews with both Black people as well as former white supremacists, a white supremacist father goes after a Black nurse over the death of his baby. And the world lets him. (Click the post to read more.)

Exit West

Exit West

Rating: 5/5 | This book offers a perspective on the refugee crisis happening today. It never mentions the nationality or religion of the characters by name, but these details can be easily inferred. And yes, it uses a magical element—the doors that transport you elsewhere in the world—but it's not a fantasy book. Instead, these magical doors serve as a device by which Hamid emphasizes the experiences of his characters: that "elsewhere" offers hope, but for a refugee, it's hard to feel welcome anywhere. (Click the post to read more.)