Kelly's June Recommendations

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Each month, I publish a newsletter full of recommendations for books, podcasts, and other fun things. You should sign up for it. Click “Newsletter” at the top of this page and sign up. This is always free, and I never share your information with anyone else. Amazon doesn’t want direct links in emails, so I put the links here for you to go find your next great read or listen. Yes, it’s annoying. Thanks for understanding.


Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This novel features a fictional rock band from the 70s that reads like an exclusive interview or a documentary script. (Think VH1’s Behind the Music as a book.) I read this book in a weekend, and it sent me down the most delightful rabbit hole, where I explored Rolling Stone's articles about Fleetwood Mac and listened to Rumours on repeat.

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin. I’m a sucker for a good family saga with years of character building and relationship shaping for the reader to unpack. Conklin tells stories that span decades, exploring loss and love between a set of siblings connected through the bonds of hardship and grace. She begins the book with a cool and eerie set up, and then backtracks through the family history. I loved how this book captured the dynamics between siblings who have lived a lot of life together.

Garlic & Sapphires by Ruth Reichl: I’m anticipating reading Reichl’s newest release called Save Me the Plums about her time as the editor-in-chief of Gourmet, but I picked up this earlier book of hers from the library a couple of weeks ago. I read and liked Reichl’s novel Delicious, but I haven’t had the chance to read any of her memoirs. Garlic & Sapphires details Reichl’s experiences as the New York Times food critic in the 1990s. The book features her original restaurant reviews along with mouth-watering descriptions of food, Reichl’s own recipes, and hilarious stories about the costumes she wore to disguise herself as a regular customer.

The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr: This book was a paradigm-shifter, and I absolutely loved it. Rohr opened my brain, took all the pre-conceived notions I’ve ever had about Christianity, and lovingly caused them all to implode on themselves. Insert mind-blown emoji.

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey: Do you love rom-coms? Do you love the 90s? Do you love Tom Hanks? Do you love Tom Hanks in rom-coms from the 90s? Did you obsessively watch You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and While You Were Sleeping until the VHS tape warped and fried? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then, you should read this book. It’s complete, escapist fluff, and I gobbled it up in a day.

Holes by Louis Sachar: The kids and I read through this novel together, and all three of them liked it. And, of course, after reading the book, they asked to watch the movie, which is a great adaptation to the book. Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats and his rotten luck due to the curse of his "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather.”

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers and Luke Flowers. Sometimes you just need to read all of the songs from your childhood and feel a little better about the world. Mister Rogers wrote all of the music and most of the lyrics for his television show, and this book illustrates them all as poetry. It’s delightful.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile: I’m a huge fan of using the Enneagram as a tool for personal growth, and I always recommend people read this book first rather than try to take a test to find out their Enneagram number. I re-read it this month as a refresher. If you have interest in learning more about the Enneagram, I would also recommend The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr, and I’m also going to mention some great podcasts for the Enneagram down in the podcast section.


Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend, "Episode #31 with Lin-Manuel Miranda": You probably didn’t even know you needed to listen to Lin Miranda nerd out about David Bowie and Queen’s iconic song “Under Pressure” did you? Seriously, close out of this newsletter (you can come back to it later), get your earbuds, and go! The bookends of the episode, with Conan awkwardly rambling with his production assistants, are dumb, so feel free to skip those sections.

Broken Record: “The Art of A Cappella with Pentatonix”: Do you ever sit around and listen to musicians talk to one another? It’s a very specific language of gestures and humming and jargon and throwing around random phrases like, “Right, and then we bring in the C major 7?” (Or something like that. I just made that up). I can sort of hang with musicians because I married one, but I love listening to really good ones talk to each other. So, that’s essentially what you get with this episode. Musicians talking in code, then answering questions from Malcolm Gladwell, then singing.

The Dropout Podcast by ABC Radio and ABC News Nightline: My book club is getting ready to dive into Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou, and my friend Amanda told me about this podcast that covered the same events. The podcast is fantastic so far and makes me excited to get started with the book, too. I've been needing a binge-able story podcast, and this one has all of the makings of a good one: controversy, mystery, drama, whackadoodle-crazy-pants elements, etc.

Podcast Episodes for the Enneagram: If you've been interested in learning about the Enneagram, but you don't know where to start, I recommend starting with this podcast episode: The Lazy Genius, Episode 114: “The Truth About Your Enneagram Number." Then, go read The Road Back to You. Then, if you're struggling to figure out your number, listen to Typology's Ian Cron help Amy Grant find her number by talking about stances in this two-part episode: "What’s Your Stance? Part 1 and Part 2." After that, go listen to The Enneagram Journey with Suzanne Stabile, Episode 59 “The Enneagram and Repressed Centers.” And then round it all out by listening to Typology "Balancing Your Centers of Intelligence," featuring Beatrice Chestnut. Of course, I recommend any of the episodes about the Enneagram on Typology and The Enneagram Journey, but these are some of my recent favorites.

Kelly WiggainsComment