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2021 First Quarter Book Recommendations

Hello ladies and gentleman and all people in between,

I know it has been quite sometime since I’ve shared my thoughts with you. I could sit here, behind the screen, and try to explain my absence. There is simply too much difficulty in lying to you, my beloveds. For you, I only enjoy speaking the truth, or I remain silent. While my silence may have not been noticed, I know my avid book reading has been.

By March 31st, 2021, I had read (or listened) to 30 books, all with genres ranging from thrillers and murder mysteries to self help or business related titles. My goal for the year was to hit 30 books, but I definitely will not stop reading in 2021. Throughout this process, however, I realized that most books are incredible, but there are only some books that are worthy of everyone’s mind. So, I’ve decided to share some of those books that I believe deserve your time. In fact, you’re welcome to follow my reading journey by clicking on the link listed below, if you want to see the ones that didn’t quite make the cut!

https://www.goodreads.com/mariannasreads
    1. The Institute by Stephen King

                       Anytime someone asks me for a book recommendation, my first response is, “Anything Stephen King.” He is truly a mastermind of storytelling and even if you don’t necessarily enjoy thrillers or science fiction, you can definitely appreciate a thought-out storyline. This novel was one of the first that I read this year, which definitely did not disappoint! The Institute takes you into a world of detailed conspiracy theories that turn out to be a twisted, fatal reality. I recommend this story specifically because the horror is not gory, or will even keep you up at night. The horror lies in the disgust you feel for what these children with special powers must endure by the hands of their government. As a child who loved to feel special and pretend I was some kind of psychic being, this book also touched that part of my soul that wanted to help save the world with my friends. One of King’s newer and more worthwhile reads!

    2. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

                       This is my most recent read, which was recommended to me by my mother, although she has yet to finish this book. This was an audiobook for me, read by the author, and I could truly hear how discovering the best leadership skills was her passion. There were so many times I wanted to pull in former managers and have them listen to the information shared. Quite simply, there is a way people will respond to being lead vs being managed. The difference in word choice is extremely apparent; if you’re going to be a leader, you must be vulnerable and be prideful of your mistakes. Managers tend to figure that they are right since they are the managers, but this is one of the most toxic traits any person in charge can have. As a young professional, there are so many moments where I feel as if I don’t belong, and Brown addresses these and reminds me that I am deserving of the opportunities I created for myself. Anyone who is in ANY position of power should give this book a read!

    3. Mistakes I Made at Work… by Jessica Bacal

                      As a working professional, this book resonated with me so much! I constantly feel as if I am making mistakes that I must learn from, which often makes me feel ashamed in my progress (why can’t I be perfect!?), however the testimonies from these women remind me that we are all imperfect beings that mess up and feel embarrassed. My flaws are natural and I have to choose to grow out of them and learn better behaviors, as well as learn what I want and don’t want out of an organization. There are many higher ups in my organization now that I can look at and feel connected to, instead of less than, because I understand they have been in my shoes in some way or another. This book has mixed reviews online, but I truly enjoyed the stories from these women and felt so much better about my past failures. Sometimes all it takes is someone saying “Me too.”

    4. The Wayward Pines Series by Blake Crouch

                      Blake Crouch is one of my favorite authors for many reasons, but truthfully I think the sole one is that he manages to create incredible science fiction stories with time traveling, complicated technology, and abnormal beings, yet the root of the story seems to be a simple love story. The Wayward Pines Series (Pines, Wayward, and The Last Town) is exactly that; imagine you wake up in a strange town and cannot get in touch with your family. All the people here seem to know something, but they will not let onto the secrets their society is hiding. The characters are messy in the best way, where the drama they create reminds you that conflicting emotions are at the core of what makes us human. This series developed into the Wayward Pines TV show, which is great because the ending of the series will leave you wanting more and more of this small town!

Considering I have already read 30 books this year, I am always looking for book recommendations. Feel free to leave a comment below recommending books! 

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