On my nightstand: March edition

Here's a look at what I've been reading this month. To see more of what I've been reading or to trade book recommendations, follow me on Goodreads. I'd love to hear about any recent literary gems you've found (or books that I shouldn't waste my time reading)!


  • Me Before You

Quite the tearjerker (and I say that as someone who does not cry easily).  This book follows the unlikely friendship-turned-something-more between a small town girl and a worldly quadriplegic.  Not only is the story good, but the questions and perspectives the author raises on euthanasia and disability make the book a worthwhile read.


  • Gone Girl

I finally read the novel everyone went crazy over the past few summers, and I found it entertaining, but certainly not deserving of the hype (but rarely can a book live up to that level of buildup).  If you want a page-turner and to experience an author play with unreliable narrators, this is your book.


  • Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace

Anne Lamott's stuff is always good, but be forewarned that much of this material is recycled.  If you have read her other work, this may be the one to skip.   But her essay on her dog Sadie gets me every time.  Her writing, as usual, is irreverent and poetic, profound and sweet and true.


  • The Things That Matter

I love Nate Berkus's design sense but not his writing.  Partly my issue was with the Kindle version of this book: the book depended heavily on pictures of other people's homes, and the images just did not translate well on my screen.  But mostly, my complaint was with the book's composition.  Each chapter traced a significant actor in Berkus's life, an organizational method that seemed promising, but we learned little about the people or emotions behind the things. 

  • The New Digital Age

Do you ever wonder what implications technology has for how countries relate to one another, how safe our futures really are, or how close we are to becoming a "Big Brother" state?  That's basically the question of this book, but the authors who answer are not alarmists but informed speculators.  The book is a thought exercise, not exactly a prediction or prescription, but it got my wheels turning about just how deeply and broadly our connectivity affects our world.

Emily Rowell Brown