5 book covers of books read in september

September 2021 reads

One time, years ago, I complained to Grant that I didn’t understand why anyone cared so much about sports, especially when they’re not playing it. Grant said something about it being one of the few things that can unite people across different social aspects and get people really excited towards a shared purpose.

I spent a very long time looking for this chat and even tried to get Grant to say something similar today to get hime to try to use the same words to search. No luck. But I did find this:

the kind of the relationship we have.

I was reminded of this last week I was listening to Hidden Brain and they used this example of sports as creating togetherness. One of the examples he gave was when footballer Mo Salah joined the Liverpool team, it changed anti-Muslim sentiment in the area (tweet version). And they played the chant they sing and I actually felt tearful emotions welling up inside of me listening to the lyrics.

“If he’s good enough for you, he’s good enough for me / If he scores another few then I’ll be Muslim too”

#1 I feel myself experiencing more emotion with age

#2 It’s been rough. Just the idea of people being open to someone else and changing their feelings about something in this one instance made feel like “it’s real, it happens, sometimes the world is not all terrible.” (never mind that this was from years ago).

I’m telling you this story to say that I made a pledge to myself not to read any depressing non-fiction books at least for either the next 10 books or not for the next 5 months, depending on how I feel. I think I’ve said it before, but now I’m making a PLEDGE to have a streak of neutral-to-positive books in order for me not to almost tear up after hearing a footballer chant.


Fiction

The Way of Kings bookcover

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Why I picked up this book: My coworker recommended this to me twice. It’s been a while since I’ve read a long fantasy novel so I thought I’d give it a try while sewing

Mood: Don’t @ me, but it’s kind of like the Game of Thrones (cough:Song of Ice & Fire:cough) & Lord of the Rings books had a baby

I liked it! It was a unique story, people going through some complex stuff, world building, multiple plot lines etc etc. My co-worker gave me the impression that if you already like epic fantasies you probably already know it, but if you dabble every now and then and are looking for a new book, give it a go!

The audiobook is 45.5 hours long. If it doesn’t seem like I read many books this month, it’s because this book is like 7x longer than average audiobooks.

Leif and the Fall bookcover

Leif and the Fall by Allison Sweet Grant, Adam Grant, and Merrilee Liddiard (Illustrations)

Why I picked up this book: I saw Adam Grant instagram about it and looked up a story time video

Mood: woke young parents

Do you need to teach kids soft skills and life lessons sorely missing in many of the adults in position in power? Check out some of the great children’s books being published recently!

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Non-Fiction

Caste book cover

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Why I picked up this book: Multiple people in my LA book club recommended this book and I kept seeing it pop up on GoodReads besides

Mood: More extremely depressing US history

This book was so good: it was well researched, had lots of examples from history, other nations, and the author’s personal life. The examples from history though of course are the US’ caste system which is pretty dark and gives you sadness all the way to your bones. I really wanted to talk about it with someone after I read it.

It was after reading this book I was like “ok, I for reals need a break, not just a mini break”

A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene

Why I picked up this book: Grant told me Shannon made him read it (this also the kind of relationship we have)

Mood: Stressed out girl who needs validation that she is able to make decisions about her life.

I’m not sure I was really the target audience for this book, I’m already kind of irreverent and unceremonious. I think just wanted like a new way to think about tackling the problem and I’m not sure I got that because I was already like “it should just be a party that people enjoy going to.” Although I did get some ideas from some of the examples. ¯\_(?)_/¯

This reviewer on goodreads summed up some of my qualms nicely:

“So my big problem with this book is that it’s supposed to be all irreverent and down-to-earth but it 100% assumes that the reader is a woman. Like, it’s modern and untraditional enough to be equivocal about whether the person you’re marrying is male or female, but you, the reader and primary wedding planner, are certainly female and definitely primarily concerned about your dress…

My secondary, related problem with this book is that – because, you, the reader, are a woman, and thus have been inundated from birth with expectations about what your wedding will be like – most of it is taken up with soothing straight-talk about how your wedding will be perfect even if it’s imperfect and how you have permission to have the wedding you really want to have.”

Better Onboarding book cover

Better Onboarding by Krystal Higgins

Why I picked up this book: My co-worker and friend wrote this design book with a company who’s book series I really like

Mood: You work on products and want to improve your onboarding experience

Like many of their books, its practical, concise, and offers great tips and resources. Krystal herself is one of the best designers I’ve ever worked with and I learned so much just working in proximity to her, so of course this books rocks.

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