August Reviews

It’s always a little sad to see my reading plummet from ten or so books a month during the summer down to four once school starts, but gotta make that money, right? Here’s what went down:

Anthem by Ayn Rand
66 pages
This was my first Rand book, as I have successfully avoided her thus far. A student of mine whom I am advising for a large essay is discussing this novella, so I had to suck it up. For those who haven’t read it, Rand’s dystopian story describes a time where we must speak collectively, don’t have our real names, and have no control over our lives.

Verdict: I appreciate what she’s doing here, both in content and in writing, but I just feel like there are so many other books from this genre that do a better job.

How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King
384 pages
I bought a few parenting books after Sawyer had a few rough days at preschool, and consequently home (things were much better by the time the books had even arrived, as it was just a bit of an “oh crap this whole preschool thing is the new normal?” sort of transition thing on his part and a "did I screw my kid up somehow?" moment on mine) that we have now all accepted and learned to love). A large portion of this books is spent giving tips and tools to how to acknowledge the feelings of your kids, make things more playful, offer choices, articulating feelings, etc…

Verdict: I don’t think there was anything groundbreaking in here, but it did serve as a really good reminder to me to maintain patience, validate his feelings, and to talk more rather than just lay down the law or put him on a time out. I do disagree with some of their ideas, though; I think that maybe they’re a little too lax about mealtimes, I do think that the occasional time out is effective, and I’m not going to make  a game out of every single clean up session, thanks.

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
276 pages
I wrote about it here.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
244 pages
This nonfiction work follow several people in the slums of Mumabi, undertaking heavy facts of every day life for them, like poverty, class, politics, social infrastructure, and corruption.

Verdict: This took me awhile to get through, but I think that was because I was reading it at the very beginning of the school year. Boo writes this true story more like a novel, without delivering pages upon pages of statistics like many books like this would. It was definitely a sobering look at how others live and it made me pause and be much more thankful for what I have.

970 pages 

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