Here is Beth’s best of 2021 (for far) book list.
Simply a fun, light fiction read
Dial A For Aunties by Jess Q. Sutanto
If you want a hysterical book that includes murder, mayhem, the moving of a dead body, along with four crazy aunts, this is the book for you. You can read more extended, more extensive reviews at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53310061-dial-a-for-aunties?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=oaXyGEcGdy&rank=1
Coming of Age Story
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
Mary Jane is a coming-of-age story in the 70s with lots of sex, drugs, rock and roll, where the main character is caught in the crossfire of a liberal family she is babysitting for and her conservative one. If you are a child of the 70s, you will especially enjoy this book. More details at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54870208-mary-jane?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=vYfryqSr9o&rank=1
Thought-provoking non-fiction book suggestions
This One Wild and Precious Life: A Hopeful Path Forward in a Fractured World by
A thoughtfully written book with tons of references to back up Wilson’s thoughts and is full of valuable information you can refer to later. The book is part environmental, part mental illness, and part personal retreat. Maybe even a bit of self-help. You can read more about this complex book at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54112488-this-one-wild-and-precious-lifev
Designing to Create Change
MAU MC24 by Bruce Mau
Bruce Mau is a designer that uses the power of design to create change in the world. MAU MC24 includes interviews and essays from artists, designers, environmentalists, and change agents. Read more about this book at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50744382-bruce-mau?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=mxBrQbqVvm&rank=1
Becoming a Better Artist
You Are An Artist by Sarah Urist Green
PBS had a series titled The Art of the Assignment that Ms. Green created. You can watch episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmQThz1OLYt8mb2PU540LOA
The book is a collection of artist’s prompts. You do not have to draw well or own all the correct materials; you only need the desire to be creative. One of Beth’s creations is below, which was created using crayons and coloring on paper placed on a rock in our backyard. You don’t need to do all the assignments, just the ones that look fun to you. Read more reviews at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50183782-you-are-an-artist?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=UPzJPAVEzj&rank=3
Here is Dennis’s best of 2021 (for far) book list.
What Happened to Her
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
I love reading mysteries/thrillers to relax me (ha!). For some reason I find myself reading female mystery authors like Ruth Ware and Tana French. Beth introduced me to Lisa Jewell with this book. An interesting and twisted story that felt close to home with memories of the local three girls held captive on Seymour Avenue.
Where is the Real Estate Agent?
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
People at an open house showing get caught up when a failed bank robber bursts in and holds them hostage. Funny with excellent dialog and examination of our human conditions.
Cold Story for a Warm Day
One by One by Ruth Ware
The overly warm weather was tempered with this mystery which takes place in an Alps ski lodge which get buried by an avalanche, taking out power and communications. It keeps getting colder and people are dying and disappearing.
Desperate and Hopeful in Equal Measure
The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson
A challenging dystopia story in the very near future dealing with climate change. Not the usual world that is dealing with the aftermath, but a world that is dealing the climate changing now. It feels very close to home with all the disasters happening now. It is a deep, heavily researched book that everyone should try to read. I say try, because I have to read it in small amounts to keep from getting depressed. A favorite book of Barack Obama for 2020.