Jenna shares her favorite reads from the last year (or so) [2021], including print and audio formats. These would make great gifts!

Dirt | Mary Marantz

Recommended in Audio format

Mary Marantz shares her story for anyone who has ever walked into the world and felt like their scars were still on display, showing that you are braver, better, and more empathetic for what you have survived. Because God does his best work in the muddy, messy, and broken–if we’ll only learn to dig.

Gush Sesh: FANTASTIC lyrical writing.  I listened to this on audio and Mary reads her own story.  The audible version has a special “author’s cut” at the end where Mary goes back into the text and points out intentional and fun uses of words and wordplay.

The Next Right Thing | Emily P. Freeman

 Recommended in Audio format

Summary: “Bestselling author and podcaster invites readers who are overwhelmed or facing decision fatigue to discover a simple and freeing way forward by doing one next right thing at a time”– Provided by publisher.

Gush Sesh: Emily is so wise and down to earth.  I love her voice.  BONUS – She has a podcast (of the same name) – The Next Right Thing Podcast. Second BONUS – There’s a new Next Right Thing Journal out now! Check it out.

The One Thing You/d Save| Linda Sue Park

Recommended in Print format

Summary: If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?

Gush Sesh: This little enlightening book shows you just how important memories are to people.  This is a kids book, but it would be fun to read for a parent/child discussion.

Greenlights| Matthew McConaughey

Recommended in Audio format, with supplemental material in Print format

Summary: Drawing on the Academy Award-winning actor’s journals and diaries from the last 40 years, this book presents a uniquely McConaughey approach to achieving success and satisfaction.

Gush Sesh: This book surprised me.  I listened on audio, but also thumbed through the book for the photographs.  The writing is great and it is very well put-together.

Image Credit

Lady Hardcastle Mysteries (series)| T. E. Kinsey

Recommended in Audio format

Summary: This series, set in England, is fun, quirky and cozy. (Very little graphic blood scenes.)

Gush Sesh: I re-subscribe to audible to purchase these whenever a new one is released.  Fantastic narrator (Elizabeth Knowelden)

Want more books by T. E. Kinsey? Check out his Fantastic Fiction page:

About the author

Smithton Public Library

The Smithton Public Library District is located in southern Illinois, near St. Louis, MO. The library serves nearly 5,000 residents. We hope you visit us soon!