OverBOOKed March 2020
Too busy to read? Studies show those who read live longer and are smarter! Carve out some time in your busy schedule for some SHELFcare. We’ve curated a list for those who don’t have time to pick a book!
By Nick Bare
If you’re in the mood for: motivation, tough love, goal-setting, inspiration, getting out of your own way
Do you want to go the extra mile in your workout, business goals or in life? Author and social media community founder Nike Bare (who completed Army Ranger school and served four years active duty as an infantry officer) guides the reader to discover that, usually, they’re able to achieve much more than they think. Both relatable and inspirational, 25 Hours a Day begins with mindset changes that everyone can practice. This reader will likely re-visit this book throughout different seasons of life, sharing it with friends in between readings.
By Paula McLain
OverBOOKed margin note: I was halfway through Love & Ruin when I recommended the book last month. I loved it so much, I’ve updated my recommendation!
If you’re in the mood for: a woman in a “man’s world,” ambition, star-crossed romance, an untraditional romantic heroine
If you enjoyed McLain’s bestseller, The Paris Wife, you’ll revere its follow-up, Love & Ruin. She clearly has a gift for fictionalizing actual historical figures to tell stories of women in tremulous time periods. In Love & Ruin we follow Spanish Civil War correspondent (and eventually Ernest Hemmingway’s third wife) Martha Gellhorn. A master of historical fiction, McLain uses love, infidelity, war and a strong depiction of time and place to examine a timeless hurdle: can a relationship between two fiercely independent and driven people be successful? Or can there only be one star?
If you’re in the mood for: a new classic, romantic and non-romantic love, seeking meaning, literary fiction
In this novel, spanning over four decades, Wall turns everyday questions of the human condition—along with the twists and turns of marriage, friendship and social discourse—into radiant prose. In 1963, the lives of two couples, Charles and Lily and James and Nan, become forever intertwined when Charles and James are both hired as pastors at Third Presbyterian Church in Greenwich Village. Like the two couples, the church community is divided on issues of the times. In the four central characters, readers will find elements of themselves: their doubts, their hopes (for themselves and society) and their diverse beliefs. Not solely for “believers,” The Dearly Beloved examines the role belief (whatever that may be) plays in love, life and society.
If you’re in the mood for: persistence, an unbreakable spirit, a young heroine, perspective, a coming of age tale
In modern-day Nigeria, 14-year-old Adunni is sold by her father to serve as the third wife of an older man (who wants a son). After witnessing an event that prevents her from returning home, Adunni is (unknowingly) sold into slavery and becomes a housekeeper for a wealthy woman. Through Adunni’s journey, the reader is exposed to every socioeconomic level in modern Nigeria and the oppression still facing women around the world.
Despite her unimaginable hardships, Adunni’s love for her homeland and her dream of an education are both unflappable. Her ability to seek hope in the worst circumstances transformed this reader and had me examining who I am and what I would want my own voice to be—should my everyday privileges of freedom be stripped away. Abi Daré has written a stunning debut that will stay with this reader for a long time to come. I’ll be gifting it to every reader I know.