Notes on Books

Recently, I vowed to myself to read more books. I figured the best way to uphold the promise was to write down and share what I learn. Below, please find links to PDF files which contain notes on the books I’ve read. These range from illustrated summaries to formal outlines, and cover the range from science and philosophy to poetry and fiction. My hope is that you’ll gain a bit of knowledge, inspiration, and enjoyment from this collection.

How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Systems Thinking for Social Change: A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results by David Peter Stroh

(Reading and notes still in progress.)

(Reading and notes still in progress.)
Following the killing of George Floyd by officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, fiery protests erupted just 10 minutes from where I lived. More than ever before, I was alerted to the systemic prejudices that continue to plague our country, and the social problems adjacent to police brutality. I started thinking about the intersectionality of it all: how imbalance of wealth and unjust policing conspire to fuel mass incarceration. I’ve started to see myself as a proponent of the change that needs to occur. So, I began educating myself. A friend lent me this book, which seemed like it would answer the questions I was asking myself: what needs to change? How? And how do we make it last?

God: A Human History by Reza Aslan

(Reading and notes still in progress.)
As someone who was raised as a Muslim in a Muslim household in the middle of white, suburban America, I always had questions about religion—its purpose, its origins, its validity. Why did my friends tend to think of god as this old white man with a beard, when I saw god as more of a shapeless force? I remember my self-identification as an atheist being met with gasps from the parents in our Muslim circles. Now, however, I’ve grown to see that religious and spiritual expression is an extension of what it means to be human. This book was instrumental in helping me see religion for what it is.

Misery by Stephen King

Notes: Words I Learned From Stephen King’s Misery. As COVID-19 began to reap its toll and corral society into lockdown, I suddenly got an itch for a hysterical thriller. What came to mind was the novels of Stephen King, which I’d fallen off of since a phase in 8th grade. I thought to give this author a long overdue visit and record the (many) words I learned along the way. Misery: a word and title that fit my frame of mind perfectly as I began to realize all my future plans were being warped by the new world. However, I think I’ve made something nice out of it. Please enjoy: