I hope you all have been doing well! Recently, I have been going crazy on all the reading I have been doing these past few months. It’s been pretty awesome since as of right now, as I have only had one summer reading book for next year.
This past summer, I have been going reading a very diverse bunch of books. From topics such as how to breathe, modern day manners, and many more, I think these book will definitely open your eyes to some incredible stories and some social justice topics.
Note: This is a shortened list of a bunch more books that I’ve liked this summer. To see the full list of books, catch me at @talkbyvictoria on Goodreads!
Let’s dive into what you have to put on your bucket book list for this fall!
The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown
By Catherine Burns, Neil Gaiman (Foreward)
A collection of stories, The Moth is an actual organization that allows people to tell personal stories on an open mic. Typically, there’s a theme to each Moth session to which people tell stories about. The stories have to be short, and in this book, each story is no more than about 6 pages long. Most times, I like the story so much that I wish it could go on longer!
The stories range from ones of pure joy to ones that convey a very serious truth about life. All of them are inspirational and give a refreshing perspective about miscellaneous things I would have never thought to read about. For example, one of the stories was about David Bowie’s hairdresser and how taking a leap to go with him on tour was the scariest yes of her life- but ultimately was the best one.
If you really enjoy this read, definitely check out The Moth podcast. Instead of reading these stories, you can listen to them, as well. Each podcast lasts about 45 minutes, which is an awesome length for a car ride or work commute.
The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto
By Travis Smiley, Cornel West
A rather short read, this book debunks the myths and solidified the truth about what poverty looks like and what perpetuates it. The authors went on a tour of the country, referred to as the Poverty Tour in the book, to interview people and visit places that lived in the realities of poverty.
The book was one of the most eye-opening reads, and perhaps the greatest shock was the amount of Americans that not only live in poverty but also close to poverty. In a country where a veteran is more likely to be homeless than a regular person (as cited in the book), these authors question the role of how government and power people help people escape the cycle of poverty, particularly those who are disenfranchised and without care.
Without a doubt, this was one of the best reads of this summer. To see an interview with the authors about the book, click here.
Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top
By Dorothea Johnson, Liv Tyler (Foreword)
The perfect coffee table book, these two etiquette experts tell you all about the modern day manners you need to know to succeed in the work environment and casual settings. From how to write emails to how to dress for a job interview, anyone who reads this book will certainly be ahead of their colleagues and friends.
The infographics and playful design of the book make the read all the more enjoyable. They also include extremely interesting (and in my opinion, relieving!) facts about how manners can actually matter more than expertise in the work environment. For example, did you know that job promotions are actually only 10% qualifications and 90% about factors such as your conduct, behavior, and politeness (cited in book)? In other words, pick up a copy of this book ASAP!
Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into- and Out of- Violent Extremism
By Michael S. Kimmel
Touching on the subject of alt-right groups and white nationalism, Healing from Hate dispels why people are attracted to these groups. Surprisingly, many recruits tend to young men who often do not come into these groups sharing their ideologies; instead, they come into these organizations with the intention of achieving “manhood” or embrace a sense of camaraderie.
The author outlines what it means to be chasing after masculinity and what the term masculinity looks like in society. Often times, civilization blames individuals who belong to such extreme hateful groups because of a traumatized past or prejudice when in fact these boys are recruited from a young age by people to attract them. The author also talks about why men and women leaves these groups and what makes it hard to leave.
Note: This book also touches on why some women come into these organizations. There are significantly less women than men in these groups; that is why the book mostly focuses on men, and it also explains this disparity.
How to Breathe: 25 Simple Practices for Calm, Joy, and Resilience
By Ashley Neese
With its modern and chic design, this book brings forth the best vibes to inspire you to truly breathe better. How can we even breathe better? That’s the first question I had in mind when I saw the cover. The author shares her story and research on how breathing in a mindful manner can transform one’s mood.
This short and coffee table type of read will definitely make you more aware of your posture and how often you think about your breathing. For example, before I read this book, I had no idea that exhaling more deeply than inhaling gives your brain a signal that you are okay. This is a technique she teaches to overcome anxious feelings. The book comes with 25 exercises for all types of emotions. It even includes some for kids and couples!
… And that’s a wrap for this week! I have a ton of more books that I want to share with you all. Those will appear in a later blog post!
Feel free to comment some of your favorite books, those that you have read, or are ready to read! One last thing: Make sure to make good use out of your local library system! In the United States, it’s completely free and easy join. I just did this summer! Plus, using the OverDrive and Libby app, you can rent eBooks and audiobooks from your local library for free.
Have a lovely two weeks until we talk again!
Quote of the Post: “Hate does not drive out hate; only love does that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
2 thoughts on “Your Fall Reading: A Mix of Justice, Perspective, and Humor”
Thanks for the recommendations, Victoria. I am particularly interested in reading “Healing from Hate” and “The Rick and the Rest of Us”. The Moth also sounds like a very interesting organization to research. I really appreciate that you share not only these resources but yourself in such an authentic way. All the best for a great transition into your next stage of life… college! So exciting but I’m sure a bit scary too. Take a deep breath… and exhaaaalllle. 🙂