I thought that I was going to be a much better blogger than this, but, alas, I allowed real life responsibilities to get in the way of my self-imposed Internet responsibilities. For shame. I’ll never receive any Internet awards at this rate. Truly, I feel absolutely tragic.
Despite my lack of October Reading List updates or posts in The Index, I did actually read things.
My October Reading List was not quite effective, if the goal was, in fact, to read the books I said I was going to read. I haven’t decided whether I should write off the whole “planning” thing or if, someday, I’ll be less prone to screwing around and more prone to following through on my non-required reading. (You can find what I said I was going to read here.)
What I actually read:
- Writing for Social Justice: Journal and Workbook by Maggie Sokolik
This book is an overview of writing about social justice, including for personal growth, for community engagement, and for national or global change. The prompts are good food for thought, and the questions are of varying levels of difficulty in terms of depth of thought required. My favorite thing about this book is this: you could come back to the prompts once a year every year for your entire life and find yourself giving different answers, and never would those questions be not work asking.
- Started The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan
Did not finish due to laziness, busyness, or else lack of moral character. eBook judges me every time I boot up my eReader.
- Started A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros
Did not finish due to laziness, busyness, or else lack of moral character. eBook library checkout expired. Even though I only read the first few chapters, Sandra Cisneros demonstrates that she is more cultured than I could ever hope to be. I aspire to do better.
- Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
I highly recommend the audiobook! It is, as advertised, a new kind of audiobook, sounding more like an episode of Revisionist History than a book. I’m not sure that I agree with all of Gladwell’s arguments, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment or understanding of the material. The style will be familiar to anyone who has read or heard Gladwell before- his saltatory methods are at once jarring and enlightening.
- I Fight for a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915 by Louis Moore
This book. I’m not a football person, nor am I a boxing person. I have two reasons for this. First, I care a lot about brain health. Maybe it’s the neuroscientist in me, or maybe I just hit my head a few too many times as a kid, but thinking about brains sloshing around in skulls makes my heart sad. Second, I believe that violent professional sports are exploitative and are, in general, a reflection of pervasive systemic inequality. If not for the fame or money, there’s little reason to allow oneself to be bludgeoned in the head repeatedly. This book discusses how black men during the Gilded through Progressive Eras used boxing as a means of pulling themselves out of the poverty in which they were cornered and how athletics slowly integrated itself into racial uplift strategies.
I did want to read the books I picked out, and still do, but the books I finished last month were good reads; all-in-all, I’m not disappointed. While I know these results are actually due to a lack of commitment to the plan, I am choosing to see this as an exercise in flexibility.