Hi everyone! I got a few books done this month and I’m so happy about it! In addition to not having time the first half of the month, I seem to be in a bit of a slump. I think it’s due to just not being in the habit of reading and trying to focus on getting stuff done this week that I have off work and don’t have school. But I have managed a few!
Later today I’ll be posting my yearly books recap so stay tuned for that!
So in December I read 5 books, bringing my 2017 books total to 59! My goal had been 50 so I’m happy to say I surpassed this goal by a bit! But more on that in my 2017 Books post that will go up in a few hours. Let’s get into the December books!
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
3 out of 5 Stars
This book revolves around two young men, recently turned 18, who get the call telling them they will die that day. They meet on an app meant to connect people who are dying that day and want to go through their last day with a new friend who can understand what they are going though. Mateo and Rufus spend the day saying their goodbyes and going through new experiences, knowing it’s their last day alive.
I’d heard so much about this book and I had really been looking forward to reading this as I’ve heard great things. This is the first Adam Silvera book I’ve read although I think it’s his third book. This book is an “own voices” book where the author puts some aspect of their own self into the character and tells the story that way. Ultimately I didn’t really enjoy most of it as it started quite slow and I grew exasperated with Mateo’s character. This book also has LGBT themes and some level of what I believe is social anxiety in one character.
100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time by The Editors of Time Magazine
4 out of 5 stars
This book was complied for the 175th anniversary of photojournalism and photography by TIME magazine editors. The photos are not necessarily the most famous photographs but rather they were chosen as photos that were truly influential. There’s also a bit about each photograph either explaining what the situation was around the photo, how the photographer got the shot, or what sort of actions were inspired from the photo. For example, there are photos in war zones, photos exposing unsafe working conditions or child workers, Pulitzer Prize winning shots, and much more. Many of these I think most of us have seen but there were so many photos that I didn’t know the story of.
The New Cool by Neal Bascomb
4 out of 5 Stars
This book follows a team as they build a robot to compete in the FIRST Robotics Championship. I went to a championship event in Houston earlier this year for work and got a good sense of what the teams went through at the event, but had no idea how intense the build season leading up to the regional competitions and the championship itself entailed. This book followed Team 1717, the D’Penguineers, as they built their robot and then eventually competed. It did drag at times and as someone who is highly visual I would have liked there to be an insert of photos of the robot and the team as with other nonfiction books but it didn’t contain any. Still it was very interesting to be able to look up the competition of that year on YouTube to see what the game was and see a bit of the competitions later on. Also, can someone please teach me how to build a robot already??? (Also I didn’t finish this book by the time I took photos for my month stack so that’s why it’s missing later on.)
Unguarded Moments by Pete Souza
4 out of 5 Stars
I have been following Pete Souza’s Instagram account for some time now, so it was about time I actually read some of his books! Souza is a photographer and this book highlights some of the photos he took of President Ronald Reagan while he was in office. Souza purposefully selected photographs that he felt would humanize the former President and explained where the photograph occurred, what was happening at the time, and much more. The photos include ones where President Reagan was being briefed from his hospital bed after surgery to remove cancer, meetings with diplomats/heads of state/his cabinet/etc., his visit to his wife’s, Nancy’s, hospital bed after her own surgery, how he never removed his suit jacket while in the Oval Office as a sign of respect to the office and position, and so many more. I really enjoyed this look into the Presidency from his camera’s point of view.
The Rise of Barack Obama by Pete Souza
5 out of 5 Stars
In addition to being President Reagan’s photographer, Souza was also President Barack Obama’s photographer! Before he was elected, however, Souza also had the opportunity to photograph then-Senator Obama multiple times. Souza captured moments of the newly elected Senator as he arrived in DC, many of his travels, and essentially chronicled President Obama’s rise in the political scene. There are photos of the entire family together (Sasha and Malia were sooooo little!), photos of the future President walking through Moscow unnoticed by passerbys, the Senator visiting the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and a particularly fun photos of the new Senator in a windowless, bare basement office where he started working from upon his arrival to DC.
I really enjoyed seeing some of Souza’s early work with President Obama, and got very jealous when I realized he had hosted a meeting with people in a town less than 15 minutes from where I live. If only my parents were a tiny bit more involved in politics we might have gone! It’s my dream to meet a President (except the current idiot in office) and so far I’ve missed meeting two (although technically he wasn’t President yet at the time; the other was President George W. Bush who once did a book signing in an bookshop that I go to for signings sometimes, but he did it in the middle of the day on a Monday so I was working, plus it was about one and a half hours from my house).
I did mean to read his new book about President Obama’s years in the Oval Office but everyone else wants to read it too so I haven’t been able to get it from the library yet. Hopefully soon!
And those are the books I read this month so far! I’m writing this a little early as I have to turn in these books on Thursday (the 28th) although technically they were due today (Wednesday the 27th). Whoops. If I read any more before the end of the year, I’ll stick them in my 2017 post that I’m going to write on Friday (the 29th) or Saturday when this is posted (the 30th although I think you get the picture). That’s the problem with doing posts early! You might miss a few things!
So, let me know what you’ve been reading this month. I’d love to know! And if you know of any more photojournalists I should follow, let me know. They’re really catching my interest lately!
Thanks for reading!
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