I love to know what other people are reading, not only to get good suggestions but because what people read says so much about them. The first big thing I notice is that most people don’t really have the time to read aside from bits of news on Facebook or feel-good 30 second stories! I am lucky enough to be able to read every day, and it is an important part of my nighttime ritual to help me destress from the day. I love that online communities like Good Reads also exist where you can read reviews of books and see what’s popular besides the New York Times Bestseller list. Reading is also a way to sneakily learn history without having to read a history book!
Right now I’m reading “The Cartel” by Don Winslow and it is long—like Harry Potter long! I read his prior book “The Power of the Dog,” and this one picks up where that one left off. It’s a great look into the narco culture in Mexico and how the drug cartels got so powerful in large part because of the US CIA which supported the cartels they favored and funneled money through them to oppose groups in Central and South America like the Sandanistas in Nicaragua. It’s interesting to see how we participated in creating our own immigration crisis by making the drug cartels more powerful, and until fairly recently in charge of, the Mexican government.
While it’s obviously dramatized, there is no way I would have learned so much about the drug war on my own by reading history books! Another great book about the war on drugs in Jonathan Hari’s “Chasing the Scream.” He reveals the evolution of the war of drugs as well as how the delegalization of drugs in Portugal has completely changed the face of crime there.
My mother has always worked in this country as a librarian, so I have been interested in books and I’m lucky that way. But it’s never to late to start reading, and if you’re someone who reads for fun, I would suggest picking a book about anything you are intersted in-aliens, horses, parenting, traveling- and looking up popular books on Amazon. Or if you have a book you like if you search for that, Amazon will give you suggestions for other similar books. Yes Amazon may be an evil giant, but it does have it’s uses! I almost always read fiction, but autobiographies, biographies and historical fiction can also be fun to read. Whatever you choose to read, the act of reading stimulates your mind, and that’s also why it’s so important to read to children. Let me know what you are reading or what books you love!