What I actually read in 2017

You may remember back in May I posted about how I came to the realization that I prefer reading stories/fiction to nonfiction books (read here).

Then I proceeded to list nonfiction books on my reading list – talk about setting yourself up for failure! Not only did I not read the books on my list, I actually read significantly fewer books. However, considering all that went on this year, I’m okay with that because 1) quality over quantity 2) I learned through other avenues (mostly podcasts). That being said, if anyone would like to gift me a subscription to Audible for 2018 so I can listen to all the business books on my list, I would be eternally grateful.


So let’s get into Kween B’s Read:2017 list

Library Books

Watchmen – Alan Moore

Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama

I got through about half of the book before my second renewal was up so I just let them go. Dreams from My Father is definitely one of those books I would listen to, especially if it was narrated by the President himself.

Amazon Books

This book has been on my mental “to-read” list and bought it on impulse after seeing a colleague reading it. I’ve been following Issa Rae since her Youtube days and I only recently learned she’s Senegalese so you know I had to support a fellow African Kween. Still currently reading this as I type.

#GIRLBOSS – Sophia Amoruso
My best friend put me on to Sophia LONG ago but I just now got around to reading it and had I read this book two years ago, I definitely would have been blown away.  However, since I’ve been listening to Myleik’s podcast, I felt like it was information I already knew. Nevertheless, a great read for a young boss trying to find her way.
I’m really not sure how I discovered this book ( maybe Amazon recommended it, and I was taken in by the title). After reading this book, I realized how much I like short story complications. There’s no pressure to finish the book all at once (I actually prefer not to), and you feel accomplished after each story. Also, it’s a good way to take a break from more serious books, like little nuggets of happiness.
Marina was a Yale senior and passed the week of her graduation. Even before graduating her works were published in Yale Daily and The New York Times. I truly enjoyed her stories (some fiction and some nonfiction) because they were raw, organic thoughts of a twentysomething. Read the title essay here and my favorite essay, Even Artichokes Have Doubtshere.
Can’t remember what exactly I searched on Amazon to find this book, but I remember thinking how no one prepares you for life after college. For 22 years you are groomed in school to get a job but not really how to be excel at work or be a functioning part of society. I knew I could not be the only one feeling this way so I took to the internets. Unfortunately Now What?! was not what I wanted it to be (or maybe thank goodness?). Now What?! is a compilation of interviews with 22-75-year-olds on their post-college life.
The book is divided into chapters like ‘the know it all” or “still figuring it out” or “roundabouts” detailing how each individual got to where they are today and whether or not s/he is happy with their decisions, what they would do differently etc. No part of the book made me feel “better” like I had hoped LOL the know-it-alls made me feel like I should too and the still figuring it out made me weary  (ok I’m exaggerating) I think I currently identify with the roundabouts – I know I will get where I need to be, just taking the scenic route.
Bookstore Buys
How it Feels to be Colored Me – Zora Neale Hurston
Found this in a quaint novelty store in Fredericksburg, VA. I don’t know how I had never read this before but when I saw it I had to get it. Since reading it, I have been pondering on when I became colored/ the day I realized I was black. Growing up in one of the most affluent African American counties in the United States, and more so with a village of other African diasporans, it did not occur to me that I was ‘black’ until I got to college (I remember the day exactly but that’s another blog post on its own). I was literally surrounded by blackness for 18 years and naively thought that’s how the rest of the world was.
I texted a few friends to see if they have similar experiences. I would love to know if you remember the day you became colored/ black/ other (comment below or tweet me!) The essay is available for free online for free with a quick Google search, I highly recommend reading it.
Draw the Circle – Mark Batterson
Read this daily devotional back in 2015 and it transformed my prayer life. Decided to re-read it after getting tired of electronic devotionals. I highly recommend it and the original book – The Circle Maker.
Obama: An Intimate Portrait – Pete Souza
Are you really surprised? You know I had to support everyone’s favorite shady photographer (see his Instagram). In all seriousness, I’m so glad I got to hear Pete Souza speak at the NMAAHC. It felt like a completion to my Obama White House experience. Most of the images have been publically released but hearing the first-hand stories behind the images gave them meaning. I actually shed a tear when he was speaking on the worst day of President Obama’s presidency (Sandy Hook shooting). I never thought about all the emotion that the President goes through in a single day and how the chief photographer is there through it all. If you have not already, I highly suggest you attend one of Mr. Souza’s book tour events. (Shameless plug/request for Chasing Light to complete my set).
In The Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs – Grace Bonney
While browsing Barnes and Nobles for nothing, in particular, I stumbled on this books and immediately fell in love. Even with the $30 price tag, I knew it was too good to pass up. first of all, I was struck by the amazing photography but what really sold me was the content. I loved the fact that the book is dedicated to female artists/ entrepreneurs. I’m yet to get through all of the amazing women but each time I pick it up, I’m in awe and motivated. Highly recommend for artists of all genders and young entrepreneurs.
We Should All Be Feminist – Chimamanda Adiche
I received this as a birthday gift from a fellow feminist. Short read adaptation of the now-famous We Should All Be Feminist Talk (you watched it here way back in 2013).

Alright Kweenies, I would love to know what you actually read this year and what’s on your 2018 reading list! Comment below or tweet me!