A new edition of What I’m Reading is here, and I want to update you on some of the books I’ve read recently.

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by [Leovy, Jill]

Ghettoside discusses the very important topic of homicide in America, and specifically, homicides among people of color in the Los Angeles area. I think this book does a great job of telling the story from the various lenses of those committing (and helping to commit) these murders, the surviving family members of the victims, and the law enforcement officials tasked with bringing justice to those responsible. To me, these perspectives add to the real-life accounts told in the book and the issue as a whole. It also delves deeper than many overly simplified accounts do to explain why this is a problem to begin with and why we can’t look at one event or neighborhood in isolation. The problem is more systemic.

I didn’t always feel this book was written in the most interesting way, but the topic is important and Jill Leovy’s unique insights and personal voice as a journalist in LA added to the impact this book had on me, making it well worth the read.

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by [Lama, Dalai, Tutu, Desmond, Abrams, Douglas Carlton]

When two spiritual giants get together to discuss their beliefs, the results are powerful. It is beautiful to see how their religious differences do not get in the way of their friendship. At the end of the day, their messages are more similar than different, with kindness and meditation being two keystones to their practices. If you want to feel rejuvenated and inspired, I recommend reading this. (PS – I have a hard copy if you want to borrow it.)

Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts by [Holiday, Ryan]

If you want the short version of this book, you might try this podcast episode. It was this episode that inspired me to read it. I was expecting a book of examples from pop culture that have become perennial sellers (lasting hits) and why, as described in the podcast, and while this book gives some examples, it is more of a how-to book teaching the reader how they can create their own perennial seller.

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