woman reading by the lake

What I’m Reading-August 2019

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I read a kind of a hodge-podge of books. There’s not really any rhyme or reason. It’s recommendations from friends, bloggers, or what’s new at the library. I enjoy fiction, but it’s difficult for me to find fiction that stirs me enough to read much anymore. I love non-fiction, personal development especially because I am always trying to improve myself.

I don’t know if my list of books is of interest to anyone but me, but if you’re so inclined, read on! I have linked each of these books to Amazon for purchase, but many of these books I have read from my local library, so check there first.

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”

Jim Rohn

Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone By Astra Taylor

This book explained what democracy is/was in greater depth than 4th-grade class president elections and what some of the pitfalls are for using straight democracy in a system as large as the entire United States. It also showed ways that democracy is crumbling in this country as special interests and career politicians have grown more and more entrenched. Overall I felt like this was a worthwhile read and I felt like I understood more than when I started.

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

This book is a collection of short stories, just brief glimpses into the human condition in modern times. I read this one for a book club whose meeting I missed. I would not have chosen this one myself and don’t know that I would recommend it, but I hadn’t read a short story anthology in a long time and I enjoyed reading an entire world encapsulated in just a few pages.

Feminine Genius by Liyana Silver

I downloaded this book as a Kindle to have on my phone for moments when I am waiting for a kid’s doctor’s appointment or other odd moments when instead of scrolling social media, I can read a book that I can drop and pick up in small chunks. This book was perfect! I think I highlighted half of the book! I loved the lessons Ms. Silver shared that she had learned in her life and her coaching client’s lives and the exercises in the book have helped me immensely in working on some of my own stuff.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This is a classic that I have heard recommended from basically almost anyone and had never read, but finally decided to do so. He explains his scientific method for creating success as a deep, never wavering belief in the success of the endeavor and gives steps to follow to create that belief as well as focusing on the necessity of diligent work to achieve the goal. Definitely a classic worth re-reading.

Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey

I read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover in the early 2000s (I think that’s when it first came out) and it still sits on my bookshelf. It was instrumental in getting my finances out of the ditch they had fallen into even though my husband and I never went “all in” on his 10 baby steps. I think my husband listens to Dave Ramsey on the radio sometimes and he has helped a lot of people save themselves from their own stupidity. But I never could quite gel with his personality and presentation. So I wasn’t sure when a friend recommended this book but I gave it a try and I’m glad I did. Dave Ramsey has A LOT of wisdom for the small to medium business owner in making sound decisions and gives lots of helpful, practical advice. If I ever get to that point in my own business, I will definitely look to this book again for answers.

The Knowledge Gap by Natalie Wexler

I was really excited to read this book. Public school education in the United States is in crisis and I am always interested in hard looks at it and ways to help children succeed in school and learning and life. This book focused on the lack of content taught in early grades, which was confusing to me. I remember learning tons of things in science and history in elementary school. But that has mostly gone out the window in favor of math and reading teaching.

The thinking is, teach them to read and do basic math and they can learn “actual stuff” in middle and high school. The argument is that this may, in fact, be the main reason why reading comprehension is so abysmal in children who live in poverty. Those kids don’t get the chance to learn and make connections through experiences outside of school and need it the most in school but don’t get it there either. The difficulty of reading a paragraph, even with simple vocabulary, based on a topic I have no knowledge of is at best boring and at worst painful and I would have no idea how to answer questions to show I comprehended it because I didn’t!

I am hopeful that the US may be moving more towards a content curriculum in the future, and I look forward to an upcoming meeting I have with my local school district’s curriculum committee and getting answers to some of the questions this book raised for me.

Aftermath by James Rickards

I can’t remember exactly why I picked up this book, but the moment I held it in my hands, I knew it was going to be kind of a right-wing economic collapse book. But I enjoy learning from all sides of an issue and I decided it was worth a go anyway. I didn’t actually read every page because there were a lot of financial terms and I got bored and confused quickly but I enjoyed his anecdotes to start off each chapter to illustrate his point and read the bullet point key takeaways at the end of each chapter. Overall the main point of the book appeared to be “Buy gold.” Okay!

Pleased to Meet Me by Bill Sullivan

I picked up this book because the subtitle included germs. I am fascinated by how bacteria make up more of our DNA than the human DNA our parents gave us. This was a fun read. I felt like the author didn’t talk down to the reader but at the same time made a great deal of science accessible to the layman. From why some people don’t like broccoli to why we believe in God, this book really explained the full spectrum of what we currently know about our DNA and how the body works.

The Latte Factor by David Bach

David Bach has been writing these financial planning books for quite a while. I feel like this book was aimed right at Millenials. It’s quite a short book and is basically a parable. It is the story of a young woman living and working in NYC and the path she takes to start getting her financial life in order and learns how to “live rich” now. He didn’t go into much detail, probably anyone wanting to completely overhaul their financial life would need to check out one of his other books. But I thought this was a great first step introduction into the importance of planning for the future and also paying attention to today.

The DIY Style Finder by KariAnne Wood

I thought maybe for about a minute and a half I was interested enough in home decor to “find my style” but really I am not. This is a gorgeous book and I loved paging through it. I love people with stylish, put together houses, and I am so glad I get the chance to see them. But for me, the bottom line is I don’t care enough about home decor or styles to worry about it in my home. If home decor is your thing, this is a cute book to gain some useful ideas.

The Modern Enneagram by Kacie Berghoef

I read my first book about the Enneagram close to 20 years ago and really enjoyed it. I am a personality test junkie. But then life happened and I forgot about the Enneagram, plus Briggs-Meyer was EVERYWHERE. The Enneagram seems to have had a surge in popularity lately and so I was looking for a book to refresh my memory on it. I read through most of it, but I just couldn’t get into this book. I don’t know if I am just not as “into” the Enneagram as I used to be or what but it wasn’t one I would recommend.

Recycle, Reuse, Renew by Mary Solomon

I was looking for some crafts to do around the house using stuff from around the house that I already had, see above where I was interested in DIY Style for my home for a minute and a half, but as I paged through the book, I realized that I really wasn’t that interested. I didn’t see a single project I was interested in and ultimately ended up returning the book. I liked the idea of being green and crafty but it was not realistic for me.

What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you or even find my next great read!

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