2017 Books

Late last year, I decided to read 50 books in 2017 when I saw a report that 40% of college graduates do not read another book after graduation.

I started off the year with They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery. Lowery is a national reporter for the Washington Post and covered multiple police shootings of young black men for the paper. His book recounts his coverage and introduces the people he met along the way. I loved this book and can’t recommend it enough, we are so fortunate to have journalists like Lowery that will put themselves on the front lines to cover the important stories happening in our country.

I continued my exposure to different American cultures with J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. Vance grew up in Kentucky and Ohio, and describes his journey through graduating from Yale Law School. He overcame much hardship to break out of the cycle when so many of his peers find themselves trapped. I feel more exposed and understanding to their plight, but I wish Vance would have offered up ways to help people that cannot escape on their own.

For Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a book on climate change called Six Degrees: Our future on a hotter planet by Mark Lynas. This book was written almost 10 years ago so it was interesting to see if his various scenarios lined up as predicted. I’m really freaked out after reading this book and seeing the recent news about us crossing the 400 parts per million CO2 and that 2016 was the first time that the hottest year on record occurred three times in a row. We are very close to the point where we can’t recover. I’m scared.

Most recently, I read Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. I loved this book. I enjoy Trevor on The Daily Show, but I didn’t find this book all that funny. I found it to be more fascinating that a kid that didn’t think he fit in anywhere could make it to host such a popular show.

I’m enjoying this self-imposed challenge so far. I mostly ready on the subway to and from work and then a little bit each night. We’ll see if I can keep up this pace for the rest of the year. I’ve got the next eight books lined up, but after that I am open to suggestions.