What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

30 January 2018

Best Books of 2017

Better late than never: the top books that I read last year. As should be evident if you've read any of my book posts, my loving a book is no guarantee that you will. (Although these are pretty good ones.) Please note that these aren't necessarily books published in 2017, but rather books I read in 2017. I'm not that fancy.

I only read 23 books in 2017, so it was not a huge or even normal year for my reading, but what I lacked in quantity was made up for by some pretty great, thought-provoking stuff, some of which everyone needs to be reading right now.

So, here we go. All images are from Goodreads:

3. What the Living Do: Poems, Marie Howe
I forgot until I re-read Dash and Lily for Christmas that it was them who pointed me in the direction of Marie Howe. And I'm so glad they did. Magnificent, beautiful poems about the nature of life and death. IIRC (I read it early in the year), it's not entirely PG, so be warned if you decide to read.

2. Demagoguery and Democracy, Patricia Roberts-Miller
I saw this author at the Texas Book Festival! Because, full disclosure, I sat in her class for a semester back in 2010 (and got an A, by the way) and we're friends on Facebook, and I get to enjoy the benefits of all the things she writes down on a daily basis.

Anyway, this book. Obviously, it's timely, but its importance lies in the tools it gives the reader for spotting and pushing back against demagoguery. I read it on the plane home from Austin and the next day handed it to a coworker to read. Which I would do for you, too, if you were within book-handing-to distance. Read it.

1. Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation, Jonathan Rieder
Speaking of timely. If you've never read Dr. King's Letter, there's no time like the present. This book is a great way to do that, especially for those of us who didn't live through it, because it provides historical context. Also, lots of great photos. It took me twice as long as it should have to read it just because I couldn't stop staring at the photos.

It's fashionable for some at the moment to claim that protest itself can be as bad as the injustice that is being protested. Have a read of this book to see that indeed, nothing is new under the sun. Dr. King has a strong message for those folks, alongside his encouragement for those who stand up against injustice for what they believe to be right.

Shorter list than usual, but it was a short reading year. Want to see more of what I read? Let's be friends on Goodreads and you can check out my 2017 shelf.

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