It’s no secret that I am not a fan of cooler temperatures. That being said, one of the silver linings is that it makes me want to cuddle on my couch with a good book! I definitely did quite a bit of reading during October; in fact, I even surpassed my goal of reading 3 books this month!
Someone recently asked me why I love reading so much and still make it a frequent habit, even though I am incredibly busy with working full-time and taking part-time college classes. I don’t mention it on my blog often, but I grew up poor and had a difficult childhood due to my parents’ divorce and some other situations. Reading was (and still is) an escape for me. Even as a kid, I knew that reading would make me smarter and that education was my key to a better future. Even if I physically can’t travel somewhere new, reading transports me to faraway lands and exposes me to new ideas. As the saying goes, “Readers become leaders.” It makes my heart ache when people say they “hate” reading, because to me, that says that they’re not open to new ideas, new ways of life, or improving themselves.
If you’re new around these parts, Recent Reads is a monthly blog series where I recap the books that I read the previous month. I’ve been an avid reader since I was 6 years old and I’ve read thousands of books since then…. but reading so many books can be a problem because I tend to forget what I’ve previously read! I believe that life is too short and there are too many good books to spend time re-reading books, so I created this blog series as a way of recording which books I’ve read and to inspire others in finding new books to read as well.
I used to read anywhere from 5-20 books per month, depending on my life situation at the time. Right now, my goal is to read 3 books per month. As a reminder, I provided a summary of the books (either from Amazon or GoodReads) in italics with my review beneath that.
In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.
This book was really informative about why many renting families can’t break the cycle of poverty and how many landlords become wealthy off their low-income tenants. Andrew and I are a unique situation in that we chose to rent a house while we’re stationed in north Iowa (because we have no ties to the area and have a 0% chance of being re-stationed here in the future.) The perception that we’ve experienced here in regards to renting is that it’s for lower-income people or people saving to buy their own house. Coming from a military community where renting is seen more positively and is a convenience with moving every few years, this has been a real eye-opener for us! We’ve had some not-so-pleasant experiences in both rental-house hunting and with our current landlords that I obviously won’t be sharing on this blog 😉 This book was even more enlightening than my experience as a renter in a civilian community. However, it was a tough read; it felt more like a sociology research paper at times. Even I struggled with getting through it at times (and I was a few credits short of a Sociology minor!)
In the late 1950s, Glen Allan, Mississippi, was a poor cotton community. For many, it was a time and place where opportunities were limited by social and legal constraints that were beyond their control. It was a time and place where few dared to dream. Based on his own life experience, Pulitzer nominee Clifton Taulbert has teamed up with entrepreneur thought leader Gary Schoeniger to create a powerful and compelling story that captures the essence of an entrepreneurial mindset and the unlimited opportunities it can provide. Drawing on the entrepreneurial life lessons Taulbert learned from his Uncle Cleve, Who Owns the Ice House? chronicles Taulbert’s journey from life in the Mississippi Delta at the height of legal segregation to being recognized by Time magazine as “one of our nation’s most outstanding emerging entrepreneurs.” Who Owns The Ice House? reaches into the past to remind us of the timeless and universal principles that can empower anyone to succeed.
I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I will be honest: I did with this book. I had no idea what the title “Who Owns the Ice House?” meant so I assumed that this book wouldn’t be interesting (clearly I didn’t read the sub-title.) Y’all, I LOVED this book! The lessons in this book show what makes a good entrepreneur, but more importantly, how anyone can change their circumstances in life. The overall theme behind this book is one that I think anyone and everyone needs in their life, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to every single person.
What books did you read in October?