I love finding new books to read and I think it’s a pretty good list. Hopefully it gives you some ideas to add to your own! I look forward to sharing my thoughts each month and promise do a do a better job than I did last. I’d love to hear any of your thoughts if you have read or decide to read any on the list. Happy reading!!


January – The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese. 

Recommended to me by a friend and trusted source. Set in India from 1900-1977, this novel tells the story of a young girl “who will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, with faith and love her only constants.”


February – At-One-Ment by Thomas McConkie.

“Across religious traditions, many people are dropping out. Thomas McConkie was one of them, leaving his home in the Latter-day Saint community and launching a spiritual search that took him deep into developmental psychology, Buddhism, and other fields of study. Along the way, he found resources that helped him discover the deep treasure hidden at the heart of the tradition he left. Thomas is a consummate teacher, a delightful writer, and a trustworthy guide who will help you get to the heart of things.” -Brian D. McLaren, author of Do I Stay Christian?


March – The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku

Born in Leipzig, Germany, into a Jewish family, Eddie Jaku was a teenager when his world was turned upside-down. On November 9, 1938, during the terrifying violence of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Eddie was beaten by SS thugs, arrested, and sent to a concentration camp with thousands of other Jews across Germany. Every day of the next seven years of his life, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors in Buchenwald, Auschwitz, and finally on a forced death march during the Third Reich’s final days. The Nazis took everything from Eddie—his family, his friends, and his country. But they did not break his spirit.

Against unbelievable odds, Eddie found the will to survive. Overwhelming grateful, he made a promise: he would smile every day in thanks for the precious gift he was given and to honor the six million Jews murdered by Hitler. Today, at 100 years of age, despite all he suffered, Eddie calls himself the “happiest man on earth.” In his remarkable memoir, this born storyteller shares his wisdom and reflects on how he has led his best possible life, talking warmly and openly about the power of gratitude, tolerance, and kindness. Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. With The Happiest Man on Earth, Eddie shows us how.”

April – Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

Well reviewed and highly recommended, this novel takes place in 1972, “when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, and find a skeleton at the bottom of a well. As the characters’ stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town’s white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community—heaven and earth—that sustain us.”


May – 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann

Highly recommended by my Father-in-law!!

“Traditionally, Americans learned in school that the ancestors of the people who inhabited the Western Hemisphere at the time of Columbus’ landing had crossed the Bering Strait 12,000 years ago; existed mainly in small nomadic bands; and lived so lightly on the land that the Americas were, for all practical purposes, still a vast wilderness. But as Charles C. Mann now makes clear, archaeologists and anthropologists have spent the last 30 years proving these and many other long-held assumptions wrong.”


June – A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them

“D.C. Stephenson was a magnetic presence whose life story changed with every telling. Within two years of his arrival in Indiana, he’d become the Grand Dragon of the state and the architect of the strategy that brought the group out of the shadows–their message endorsed from the pulpits of local churches, spread at family picnics and town celebrations. Judges, prosecutors, ministers, governors and senators across the country all proudly proclaimed their membership. But at the peak of his influence, it was a seemingly powerless woman–Madge Oberholtzer–who would reveal his secret cruelties, and whose deathbed testimony finally brought the Klan to their knees.”


July – The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

I had planned to read this one over spring break last year, but I got distracted and didn’t pick it up again. Both Hill and my dad loved this one so I’m picking it back up and look forward to the insights.

I set out to write a book about what to do to make a great work of art. Instead, it revealed itself to be a book on how to be.”—Rick Rubin


August – Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation by Megan Kate Nelson

In 1872 the Yellowstone Act was passed and the world’s first National Park was created. Megan Nelson explores the complex realities that existed at the time and the protagonists who vied for control of the stunning land. This was on my list last year but I never got to it. This year for sure!


September – King by Jonathan Eig

“Eig has pulled off a kind of miracle. Here is the King we know, think we know and ought to know. Here is the leader, the preacher, the orator, the husband, the father, the martyr, the human being—not with melodramatic halo in place, but in all his heroic, tragic Glory. Hallelujah!”—Ken Burns

October – While Time Remains: A North Korean Defector’s Search for Freedom in America by Yeonmi Park

“Park arrived in America eight years ago with no preconceptions, no political aims, and no partisan agenda. With urgency and unique insight, the bestselling author and human rights activist reminds us of the fragility of freedom, and what we must do to preserve it.”

November – What Happened to you? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

“Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand.”

“Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships. It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives.” (Oprah Winfrey)


December – The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder by David Grann

“On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as “the prize of all the oceans,” it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing nearly 3,000 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes.

But then…six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes—they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous senior officer and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death—for whomever the court found guilty could hang.”

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