Whenever you’re in a job interview, they always ask you what is your biggest weakness. The prospective employer basically wants to know your worst character trait. One thing always comes to my mind when asked that question: organization. Now, I’m not dumb. I don’t say that in an interview. I say something that sounds like it could be a negative character trait, but it’s really not; like I care too much about my job or something like that. However, organization has always been my biggest weakness. At any given moment, I have about a million thoughts swimming around in my head. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life, it always feels like I have a ton of things I could or should be doing at any given moment. I’ve tried various organizational strategies over the years, but nothing has ever really worked for me. I’ve tried using planners, but I never use them and I end up losing them after a month or so.
With a new year comes the hope of improvement; choosing areas to do things better and following through. Like everyone else, I have my own goals I make at the start of each year. This year I’ve decided I need to catalog my reading. I’ve never felt the need to catalog the books I’ve read. I’ve never really felt the need to do anything slightly organizational. However, I’ve decided that writing down the book titles, authors, date I finished reading the book, and a quick rating would be a good place to start. I’ve started keeping a bullet journal and have been writing the books I’ve read there. I’ve been keeping it up for 2 months which is a personal record. I’m new to bullet journaling and don’t do all the fancy scripts you see on the internet. I do like the simplicity of it though. Basically, it’s just a series of lists. My bullet journal is comprised of lots and lots of random lists that don’t particularly make sense. It’s disorganized…go figure. I do, however, record all of my random and manic lists in the front index!
Here’s what I read in January:
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah was born in South Africa to a black mother and a white father during apartheid. Under apartheid, his birth was illegal. He and his mother had to live with the very real threat that the government might take him away. The book sucked me in when Noah tells the story of how his mother threw him out of a moving car in the first chapter. From there, he tells stories of growing up as a mischievous boy with a headstrong mother who refuses to accept the expectations of being black in South Africa. Hilarious at times, heart-wrenching at others, this is quite easily the best book I’ve read in years. I highly recommend the audio version. Noah narrates it himself, easily pronounces the South African names and dialects and does an impression of his mom I’m sure only he can do. If you haven’t read this yet, stop everything and read it. It’s that good.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Inspired by real-life events such as the murders of Trayvon Martin and many others, The Hate U Give chronicles a young girl’s journey for justice. Starr Carter tries to reconcile her own identity after witnessing the fatal shooting of her childhood friend at the hands of a white police officer. Powerful and captivating, this story takes us on an emotional journey after the social injustices in Starr’s community become impossible to hide from. Although fiction, it gives the reader valuable insight to how many people are directly affected by police brutality, violence, and systemic inequality. Last month, I wrote about a great book to read if you liked this one.
Flesh and Bone and Water by Luiza Sauma
I picked this book up on a whim and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Filled with lyrical prose and intense imagery, this story of a young man’s forbidden love and the consequences of a privileged life shows that our past will always find us. Read my full review of this book and the recipe it inspired.
Castle of Water: A Novel by Dane Hucklebridge
This is one of those books I could not put down. It sucked me and didn’t let go until the very end. Two vacationers find themselves marooned on a small, deserted island somewhere between Tahiti and the Marquesas. With rescue an elusive dream, the two must find a way to work together to stay alive. Beautifully written and reminiscent of the Swiss Family Robinson, this story of passion and survival promises to be one readers won’t soon forget.