“A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.”
– Henry Miller
Here are 5 nonfiction books + 2 novels I recommend from what I finished reading in August.
1. Decluttering at the Speed of Life
Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff
by Dana K. White
If reading a book on decluttering actually prompts me to get up and declutter, it’s a good book. (This book prompted me to finally clean off some bookshelves; I’m loving the results!) I like Dana’s philosophy that the size of your closet determines how many clothes you can keep; the size of your cabinet determines how many glasses you can keep; etc.
“I let the container make the tough decisions. I don’t have to evaluate the worthiness of each book and somehow worry about offending these inanimate objects. I just have to let the shelf determine how many I can keep.”
2. Your Future Self
How to Make Tomorrow Better Today
by Hal Hershfield
Very interesting! Encourage your present self to have empathy for your future self. And realize you’re not finished changing yet.
“Although we recognize that we’ve evolved from who we once were to who we are now, we fail to see that we will continue to change in the future. . . . ‘In many ways,’ he told me, ’64 is more different from 54 was from 44.’ It can be hard to see that even though we’ve experienced great change in the past, we will continue to experience great change in the future.”
3. The Art of Nonviolent Communication
Turning Conflict into Connection
by Micah Salaberrios
The quick formula for better communication: 1-State the facts. 2-Identify your feelings. 3-State why you feel this way (your unmet need). 4-Make a request to get your need met.
Although this book is only 64 pages, it is a great synopsis of the longer works by Marshall Rosenberg on nonviolent communication.
4. Fight like a Mother
How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World
by Shannon Watts
After Shannon Watts heard about the Sandy Hook School shooting, she decided she’d had enough of doing nothing about gun violence. So she created a Facebook page for other moms against gun violence. And it grew. And grew. This book tells how her small Facebook group grew into the now millions of people advocating for common sense gun legislation as Moms Demand Action. (Our Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action is reading this book together for our book club.)
5. You Sound Like a White Girl
The Case for Rejecting Assimilation
by Julissa Arce
As a teen, Julissa thought it was a compliment when a white boy told her she sounded like a white girl. But as she grew older, she found that as a daughter of immigrants from Mexico, she could never quite fit in with her brown skin. So she stopped trying. In this book she shares the racism she has experienced as a brown American by other Americans. And suggests how we might end it.
6. The Ministry for the Future
by Kim Stanley Robinson
This novel is very long (578 pages); it’s hard to follow (it has multiple narrators from multiple points of view); it’s a little depressing (it’s about climate change). But . . . it is important. It shows a possible future we might all be facing if we don’t work on reducing the negative climate effects we’re creating on our planet. So I recommend it. It will make you think. (I found the audiobook helped me better decipher who was narrating each chapter.)
7. Call Your Daughter Home
by Deb Spera
This is one of my favorite novels of the year so far. It’s about three women in South Carolina in 1924: a poor mother of four, a first-generation freed Black woman, and a rich white matriarch. The intertwining of their lives is beautifully told. If you like audiobooks, listen to this one instead of reading it; it has great narration.
WHAT I’M READING NOW
- Falling Down and Getting Up
Discovering Your Inner Resilience and Strength
by Mark Nepo
- Language Power
100 Things You Need to Make Language Work for You
by Norbert Schmitt
- “All the Real Indians Died Off”
And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans
by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
- American Idolatry
How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church
by Andrew L. Whitehead
- Nobody Needs to Know: A Memoir
by Pidgeon Pagonis
What good book have you read lately? Please share in the comments.
- Share Four Somethings—August 2023
- Before You Get On With Your Day