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What I’m Reading: August 2018

By Logan Clements

· Reading

This was one of my favorite months of reading so far this year. I had a great streak of books that made me think in ways I hadn’t anticipated when I’d first picked them up. A few made me question how I interact with people around me, and another offered an alternative reality where women were the dominant sex, a particularly interesting scenario to play with in today’s climate.

Most of my reads this month made me wish that the last page of each book had other suggested reading listed. But hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any suggested follow-ups to some of my books from this month.

I bought this for my mom last Christmas as it was a part of her book club’s reading list for 2018. I ran into it a second time when a British friend talked about reading it and how surprised he was at the inequalities in the US justice system. Coming off of reading Small Little Things last month, I couldn’t wait to dive in.

Warning, this book is engrossing and makes you want to learn more about social justice. I had such an admiration for Stevenson and his team that works with inmates on death row and was exhausted reading about the lengths they go to save lives. It made me wonder about my job and what higher purpose I was serving. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the justice system, the death penalty, or stories about people who persevere in impossible circumstances.

Couldn’t put this down and I instantly started looking at other works by Stevenson and other lawyers like him. It even made me wonder about a law career, if only for a moment.

Picked this up at a bookstore in Japan in the hopes that it would improve my understanding of world geography and it’s connections to politics and governments today. One thing I’ve learned from trivia nights in Shanghai is that Americans, myself included, are horrible at world geography. I can tell you fun facts about Pennsylvania geography (where I grew up) and a little more about the US, but a lot of the smaller countries around the world are a mystery to me.

I loved the way that Marshall walked through each country and explained how the natural (and man-made) geography shaped the way countries were formed, grew, and operates today. He made it all very easy to digest and I couldn’t stop talking to people about connections from the book weeks later. If you have any interest in geography, politics, or globalization, add this one to your reading list.

Another page turner by Celeste Ng, I loved getting to explore the quaint little, perfect (or not-so perfect) small town that gets turned upside down by a single mom and her daughter. The characters are vivid and you can’t help but get invested in each of them as Ng jumps from character to character’s stream of consciousness. A quick read, this is perfect for your next trip on a plane, beach, or weekend getaway

Imagine a world where women had the power to overpower men. This is the reality that Alderman explores by creating a world where women have the ability to release electric shocks from their fingers. This new development shakes the gender norms of today and creates interesting conflicts and dynamics, personally, socially, and politically.

A book club pick from July that I didn’t get a chance to finish last month, I loved reading this book and exploring this alternative world. It made me think about gender norms and the power struggle between the sexes and I couldn’t put it down. A great read for anyone and everyone as it makes you think, as Alderman really explores the concept of “what women would do if we were in charge.”

A great was my book club’s August read, a young adult fantasy novel that just came out earlier this spring. Growing up, I loved Harry Potter and other fantasy books and as I’ve gotten older, I do enjoy adding a few YA novels to my list for entertainment. This one didn’t disappoint.

Focused on a society where magic once was the norm and now is “extinct,” this book follows on a young girl and her friends’ quest to reinstate magic. The book provides an interesting reflection on what it means to be different and being judged for something you can’t control. I loved Adeyemi’s fast-paced plot and how she jumped from character to character to show you a glimpse of what they’re thinking.

I finished this in a few days on my Kindle and immediately went to download the next one as a trilogy. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until Spring 2019 for the next installment but I can’t wait. Definitely recommend for any YA or fantasy lovers.

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