In 2019 I made a goal to read a new book each month and to start listening to more podcasts!
As some may know as much as I am a designer, I am also a Sociologist. I love learning new things and hearing peoples stories. Some of this months reading including ones I had on my wish list for awhile!
"What We Said" Podcast
Jaci and Chelsey are so funny and bring their longtime friendship to your ears! They both are living adventurous lives outside their podcast together and share the funny stories through it!
My favorite episode and one of their most recent episodes, "Episode 33 - Interior Design Tips & How to Make your House a Home (w/ Jill McKee)" Interior design is one of my favorite design hobbies and anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good thrift store find! This episode was so fun to hear all the little tips of laying out a home, how to find a good thrift find and what makes a good piece of furniture! This episode was like Pinterest on steroids.
Audible is my new best friend these past few months and I have been enjoying the following "reads" and some being read by the authors themselves!
1. Michelle Obama's "Becoming"
19 hours on audible with her as the reader was truly captivating. Regardless of political opinions this was a very entertaining listen. Michelle shares what it was like growing up in Chicago, which I found a common ground understanding since I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Michelle shares her educational journey, what it was like within her family and their generational story, and how she ended up at two Ivy League schools.
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” -Michelle Obama
I found out that Michelle studied sociology, which I found interesting, as I myself am a sociologist. She shared her stories of being a black women at Princeton undergrad and Harvard Law. Michelle was and is the definition of a boss babe. She took every opportunity she was given and ran with it, regardless of where she came from.
Then we hear the story of how her and Barrack Obama met, fell in love and planned their future as two young lawyers. This story was heartwarming and a hidden gem into the love life of what would be our future president and first lady.
“If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.” -Michelle Obama
She dives into the pain and struggles that came with being associated with politics. She shares how behind the scenes stories of what it was really like being the First Lady for 8 years. I'll let you read the rest, because its too good to be summarized in a simple paragraph.
2. Trevor Noah's "Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood"
This has been on my wish list before it even was released. As a fan of Trevor Noah's comedy and him on "The Daily Show" I was intrigued about his personal history growing up in South Africa during a part tide.
"My mom did what school didn't. She taught me how to think.” -Trevor Noah
I would highly recommend reading this or listening to it on Audible as Trevor does an amazing job retelling his story. As a comedian he has nailed his accents and impersonations, as he reads through all of the accents of his friends and family. Discussions of class, race and politics of South Africa during the part tide mixed with how Trevor grew up to become the man he is today is an intriguing story.
“When you make the effort to speak someone else’s language, even if it’s just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, “I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being.” That” -Trevor Noah
3. Austin Channing Brown "I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness"
This was a great choice for me with my sociological interests. It also has been making its way around through my peers and I would recommend it to anyone that is interested in life stories of others and their struggles. Austin shares how she got her name “Austin“ from her parents, to first be perceived as a white male for when she got to older and needed to apply to jobs. Her personal challenges growing up as a black women led to her studying and working on how in todays culture we can work through racial injustices.
“Our only change at dismantling racial injustice is being more curious about its origins than we are worried about our comfort. It's not a comfortable conversation for any of us. It is risky and messy." -Austin Channing Brown