What I Read This Month: April 2019

Books Gretchen has read April 2019

For more than two years now, every Monday morning, I’ve posted a photo on my Facebook Page of the books I finished during the week, with the tag #GretchenRubinReads

I get a big kick out of this weekly habit—it’s a way to shine a spotlight on all the terrific books that I’ve read.

As I write about in my book Better Than Before, for most of my life, my habit was to finish any book that I started. Finally, I realized that this approach meant that I spent time reading books that bored me, and I had less time for books that I truly enjoy. These days, I now put down a book if I don’t feel like finishing it, so I have more time to do my favorite kinds of reading.

This habit means that if you see a book included in the #GretchenRubinReads photo, you know that I liked it well enough to read to the last page.

If you’d like more ideas for habits to help you get more reading done, read this post or download my “Reading Better Than Before” worksheet.

You can also follow me on Goodreads where I’ve recently started tracking books I’ve read.

If you want to see what I read in March 2019, the full list is here.

April 2019 Reading:

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty — A friend with similar reading tastes sent this to me as a gift—what a treat! A great book.

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay — Wonderful little essays. Elizabeth and I will interview Ross Gay for the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, so stay tuned for that.

The Beautiful No by Sheri Salata — And we’re also interviewing Sheri Salata! Stay tuned! These are many Secrets of Adulthood that she learned the hard way.

Chance, Luck, and Destiny by Peter Dickinson — Yes, more Peter Dickinson. I love thinking about chance, luck, and destiny so couldn’t wait to read this book. It’s a non-fiction collection of interesting observations of these subjects.

Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown — I wrote books called Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill and Forty Ways to Look at JFK so of course I had to read this book. Wonderful. I knew nothing about Princess Margaret so learned a lot, but more importantly, this account contains deep insight into human nature.

Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected by Nnedi Okorafor — I love Okorafor’s fiction, and was always curious to learn more about her life, so I was thrilled to get the chance to read this memoir. Short and powerful.

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons — Great book, but it was confusing to read it within a few weeks of “The City of Brass.” I kept mixing up the two titles.

Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett — I’ve read this book three times. Love it.

The Silent Strength of Stones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman — I’ve read this book three times. I love it. Why does no one ever talk about Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s work? I’m a huge raving super-fan of her books. GO READ NINA KIRIKI HOFFMAN.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney — I admire this book tremendously. You know how reviews say a book is “finely observed,” and you think, “What does that even mean?” As I was reading this book, I literally had the thought, “Gosh, this is finely observed.”

Long Life: Essays and Other Writings by Mary Oliver — The title is “Long Life” and the book is short. Very thought-provoking, with many passages that I copied into my notes (no surprise).

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner — A beautifully written, haunting book. I dog-eared many pages.

Plain Girl by Virginia Sorensen — I read this book as a child, and suddenly remembered it and felt compelled to get my hands on it. A wonderful book about an Amish family.

Midnight Fair by William Mayne — Odd. Interesting. Not quite sure what to make of this book, but I’m glad I read it. I believe I heard about it in Philip Pullman’s Daemon Voices.

Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses by Paula McLain — I did an event for San Diego’s organization for Court Appointed Special Advocates, and during the lunch, someone recommended this memoir. Fascinating. The writer and her two sisters grew up in foster care.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid — So many people told me to get this book! A great read.

Comedy Sex God by Pete Holmes — I love memoirs by comedians, and I love spiritual memoirs, and here is two in one.

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs — My sister Elizabeth told me I had to read this book. An outstanding family memoir.



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