An Open Book: What I Read in August

Someone asked me the other day how I read so many books.

It’s an easy answer: Reading is a priority in my life. I read for at least 30 minutes every night before I go to sleep, and I’ve always got an audio book in the works, which let’s me “read” while running errands, riding the subway and walking around the city. Plus, as I mentioned last month, Cory and I always have a book we’re reading together, which we do while cooking meals, ironing or doing a variety of other household chores.

Just like eating meals, working, journal writing and yoga practice, reading isn’t up for debate in my life. It is a sure and steady constant in how I choose to live.

august reading

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (3/5 stars)

Three-line review: This book is making the rounds right now and was chosen as the latest read in my book club, but it didn’t necessarily leave me with any strong feelings. It was well-written, though it took me a long time to get into and finish it. And while I appreciate the opportunity to read from a different cultural perspective, the main character often came off as pretentious and selfish, so I didn’t feel particularly invested in the story.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (4/5 stars)

Three-line review: I’ve heard about this intriguing book for years, and it really is as fascinating as everyone mentioned it would be. Freakonomics is found at the interesting intersection of economics, social psychology and pop culture, and I thoroughly enjoyed the accessible assessment of cultural phenomena that answers those curious questions I often think about. Bonus points for the fact it is a fairly simple and quick read.

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges (5/5 stars)

Three-line review: This book is incredibly pertinent, relevant and essential. Given the heightened state of nationalism and violence around the world right now, I believe everyone should be required to read it so they can understand the veil of war under which we live – and why that’s the way we live. Reading this book made me feel sad, frustrated and angry, but I also feel like I learned something very important about the human condition and the societal norms that shape our everyday lives.

Blood Money by Laura M. Rizio (1/5 stars)

Three-line review: This book was a quick read, but that was just about it’s only redeeming quality. The characters were shallow, the story was very thin and predictable, plot lines tied up way too easily and it felt amateurish from beginning to end. I’m all for a good guilty pleasure read, but nothing about reading this thriller felt like a good use of my time.

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