*this post contains an affiliate link, of which I may make a small commission if you purchase any books from bookshop.org (helping millions of independent bookstores stay in business)*
If you grew up during the 80’s in the US, and you read a lot as a child, do you remember “Book it!”? The program where you were rewarded with a delicious personal pan Pizza Hut pizza when you read 5 books for the month. I was all about it. I would always get the reward, and being rewarded for doing my favorite thing…Hell Yeah!
As I have grown older, and no longer having formal schooling, I lost my reader self. Not sure how, just something that happened. Maybe it was just the day to day struggle for existence, dollars to survive or just complete immersion into the numerous other activities of which I became obsessed. Like crafting and roller derby. Can you relate?
Lately, my love of the library and reading books has been reignited. Within the past 3 months, I’ve read more books than previous adult years put together. Shame aint it? So, with this return to my younger self, I have been wanting to talk books with someone, anyone. And guess what, you all just happen to be in the line of fire. It is “whatever fits my whimsy” afterall.
The comfort of being cozy with a good book has transported me out of this world of the Pandemic (I started this post in March <gasp>) like nothing else, aside from nature. Have you all had this experience? I’m sure you have, and sometimes, TV just doesnt cut it. There’s just too much of them telling us how to see things with TV. As a creative, I just want to imagine the worlds or characters in the book from my own imagination.
So, what here’s have I read lately:
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin
Sci-Fi. This book had a HUGE effect on me. It is dystopian and set on other worlds (please rocket me away) yet she discusses many of the ideas and philosophies of everyday life of the planet Earth. Thoughts on how capitalism shapes every interaction and makes us be our worst selves at times. Thoughts on ownership and classism. Thoughts on just how some people completely lack empathy for their fellow people. I was very moved by this Novel, even after having read it months ago. I will read more of her work.
We’re Not Broken: Changing the Conversation on Autism by Eric Garcia
This book is New Non-Fiction and really informative for me as a parent of a child with Autism. The writer, who is an adult with Autism, really gives a decent history of Autism, what it’s like to live with it, and try to be a contributing member of society.
He starts off by discussing the emergence of autism historically and the conspiracy theories surrounding it’s rise. He talks about how many try to pigeon-hole and isolate those living with Autism into separate silos while not realizing their full and unique potential. I am learning how to be the best advocate for my son and what not to do. It really pushes into focus with the idea that people with autism just want to be treated humanely and accepted for who they are.
Stop Drinking NOW by Allen Carr
During the pandemic, we have heard how many people have been turning to alcohol to get through the day. How being a “wine mom” is ok and even a #goal. Well, with this uptick in drinking to cope with life’s stressors has resulted in a huge uptick in alcoholism. This book dispells the myth that we all need to drink or that drinking is the only way to hang out and have fun.
Alcoholism runs many generations deep in my family. It has greatly impacted my life as a child of an alcoholic parent, and my siblings and countless friends. My husband died of alcohol and drug addiction so I guess it doesn’t hit any closer. And with reading this, I wanted to not be another statistic. I wanted to break the cycle of being a drinker, whether casual or not. And I have. This book turned me into a non-drinker. It has re-programmed my mind. I feel like I’ve been brainwashed, and well, ironically: I am happy about it.
We Are Not Free By Traci Chee
* NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * PRINTZ HONOR BOOK * WALTER HONOR BOOK * ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR LITERATURE HONOR BOOK *
Just finished this and what a wonderful book. It clearly won several awards and is a YA novel. I didnt realize this when I picked it up but heck, I ain’t ashamed. YA novels can be very engaging, and the subject matter of this novel is decidedly more adult, and dark. It is historical fiction that follows several families and individuals during the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War 2.
The primary characters are teenagers and it starts them off on the stoops of a neighborhood in San Francisco, just as WW2 is getting worse. You follow them and their families as they are ripped from their neighborhood, and imprisoned.
It was a very entertaining and informational reading, it also had me thinking about how much us minorities in US have in common. It really deals with what does it mean to be ‘American’? Highly recommend!
Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Hey, I’m an Artist, and maybe you are too if you read this blog. So, in my latest trip to the Art Museum (UK Art Museum here in Lexington, KY), I found this book. It compelled me in large part because of it’s title. Very provocative.
Austin talks a lot about how we all really borrow from those artists who came before us and how being inspired by others gives rise to great art. He discusses how humans are experts at copying, yet we usually put our own spin on the copy.
As an artist, I think a lot about being original yet also loving the work of others. The art of creating a new piece of clothing or objet d’art is sometimes a tightrope walk of staying true to your idea and the inspiration of your cohorts. This book is a fast read and something for the coffee table imo. It wasn’t earth-shattering like The Dispossessed for me but it definitely has me thinking more on how I create and if I need to always try to reinvent the wheel.
I’d love to hear if any of you have read any of the above books. And your opinion on them. Leave a comment. Oh, and if you want to help this blog out, just click on the title of the book and it will take you directly to bookshop.