Book Report: September 2015

I feel like I’m halfway through 97 different books this month, but I only finished four. That means I’ll (hopefully) have many more reviews for you next month.  I’ve been in a bit of a fiction rut lately and decided not to finish several novels rather than renew them at the library.  If you’ve got a fiction recommendation, I’m all ears!

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man by Bill Clegg
I find the subject of addictions absolutely fascinating.  Because we’ve had the chance to interact closely with parents who fight drug addiction and because our boys may be more susceptible to addiction because of their genetics, I want to learn everything I can to understand more deeply addictive behavior.  Bill Clegg gives a harrowing account of his life as a drug addict in this book.  It was hard to read, but completely fascinating at the same time. My heart broke for his family and for him, and despite how discouraging his behavior was during most of the book I was ultimately encouraged by the changes he made to turn his life around.

Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin
Kari writes about developing a business plan for your creative business in a very approachable manner.  Her insights into how creative brains work (and resist work) was spot-on for me.  I loved that she included several other artists and makers and their experiences and advice added so much to the book.  A must-read for anyone trying to make a creative business (like mine!) work.

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
Journalist John Griffin decided to cross the race line in the deep south in the 1950s.  He takes medication to darken his skin tone and dyes his skin in an effort to understand better the difficulties of black people living in the south at this dangerous point in history.  He changes only the color of his skin, but keeps his background, education, manner of speaking in tact.  It’s incredible to read about the way he was treated and the terrifying experiences he encountered.  The danger he was in, and the danger to his family once the story broke was real and intense.  I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to understand more about the history of race in our country.  I’ll definitely have my kids read it as they get older.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
This tome has been on my to-read list for years. Part coming-of-age and part medical thriller, it’s a story of courage and service and the ties that make a family.  As an adoptive mama, I loved the instant bond the adoptive parents felt for the orphaned twins. The beautifully descriptive prose made me feel like I knew the characters personally.  And through I felt like the story was slow-going at first, by the end I couldn’t put it down. I do feel the need to say that there are some graphic scenes and difficult topics discussed in detail.

Head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy for more book reviews and recommendations than you can shake a stick at.

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