September 22, 2017

What I Read in August 2017

Well, this post is coming to you quite late! September has been an extremely busy month, and although it’s not over yet, I already know I’m going to be at an all-time low for books read in a month. But going back to last month: I read seven books in the month of August, which puts me at 73 books for the year (as of September 1st) – six books ahead of schedule to reach my goal of 100 books for the year. Let’s see if that little lead is enough to keep me afloat when I don’t have many books logged in September…

I gave five books four stars this month: three non-fiction, one memoir, and one novel.

4 stars:

How College Athletics Are Hurting Girls’ Sports: The Pay-To-Play Pipeline, by Rick Eckstein: Although this was a bit dry at times due to the volume of data/studies presented, it was a really interesting topic, and has certainly given me new perspective on getting kids involved in sports. I especially loved the last chapter on potential solutions for both colleges and high schools. I would highly recommend this to anyone with kids who may play sports at all (which, these days, is everyone).

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, by Michael Lewis: Fascinating biography of Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman! This is an excellent companion to Thinking Fast and Slow, and could be read either before or after that. Lewis did a nice job of blending the biographical aspects with the actual research of Tversky and Kahneman, making for a very engaging read.

The Leavers, by Lisa Ko: This started out slow, and was a bit confusing. However, I got more and more into the story as it progressed, and was hooked by halfway in. This is a fascinating look at the lives of illegal immigrants and the challenges they face.

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, by Charles Montgomery: This was recommended to me several years ago, and I can’t believe it’s taken me till now to read it. Fascinating research, told in a very engaging and persuasive way! I had thought it would be purely about architecture, but Montgomery goes into a lot of the nuances of social psychology and how all sorts of town planning codes and decisions affect the moods and lives of citizens.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah: I read this for a book club, and I didn’t know who Trevor Noah was before, so I didn’t have any preconceived notions of what to expect. It ended up being a fascinating look at Apartheid as told through a series of vignettes. However, I have to say that the non-chronological order threw me off quite a bit (there were some chapters that were clearly written first but then ended up being later in the book). Also, I found myself really frustrated with some of Noah’s bad decisions, and while I understand that he was a product of his environment, it still made the story a little less relatable.

2 stars:

Our Little Racket, by Angelica Baker: Seeing the aftermath of the financial crisis from the perspective of the family of a Bernie Madoff-type could have been so interesting! Unfortunately, the story itself was dull and dragged on way too long. Bummer.

Mermaid, by Jodi Picoult: I was intrigued to see a short story by one of my favorite authors in a new Kindle-in-Motion format. However, I found the Kindle animations more distracting than anything else, and the story was just… odd. Picoult has dabbled in the supernatural before, but this was way over the top and was more confusing than interesting. Maybe it would have worked as a longer novel, but as a short story, it fell flat.

Any book recommendations for me? Follow me here on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading in real time.


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