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  • (upbeat music)

  • - Hey everyone.

  • It's your girl, Jenn

  • and I am back to discuss my

  • most recent reads

  • books are probably my favorite topic to talk about,

  • so let's get cracking.

  • I want to do a huge thank you to our sponsor,

  • Book of the Month,

  • for sponsoring today's video.

  • Over the weekend,

  • I received my Book of the Month package

  • and I spent all of Sunday reading.

  • So book of the month is America's fastest

  • growing online book service.

  • Each month, they provide five book options

  • and you get to pick one or more.

  • Their mission is to shine light on new and emerging authors

  • and help readers discover books they're gonna love.

  • They do all the work for you.

  • They sift through hundreds of books, each one,

  • and then they provide you with a curated selection of

  • new and early release titles.

  • So that way you can spend your time reading and less time

  • faffing around trying to find something to read.

  • So this month I chose People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd.

  • It's about a married couple and it switches between the

  • perspective of the wife and the husband.

  • So Emmy, the wife, is an Instagram mom.

  • So she's completely obsessed with social media and

  • everything she does is so calculative to ensure that she

  • stays relevant and relatable, but her husband, meanwhile,

  • Dan, he's honestly sick of it.

  • Emmy's moral compass becomes more skewed and it's intense.

  • It's just so, so intense.

  • It's the first time I've ever read a contemporary thriller

  • about social media. So I thoroughly enjoyed this.

  • I'm so happy. I found this book through book of the month.

  • They have got the best price of new release fiction books.

  • You guys should definitely try it.

  • It's risk-free you can skip any month,

  • any time and you won't be charged.

  • If you want to get started today,

  • be sure to use my code JENN5

  • to get your first book for just $5. All right.

  • So now let's move on to other books that I have loved this

  • past month.

  • So this year I focused a lot of my attention on the

  • importance of being more critical and mindful about my

  • social media intake.

  • I loved Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

  • Irresistible by Adam Alter

  • And of course the documentary, The Social Dilemma,

  • if you have not seen that documentary yet it's on Netflix

  • and it is a required watch,

  • but I was listening to an interview with Tristan Harris and

  • he posted an excerpt from this book,

  • Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.

  • So this book was published in 1985 and he was talking about

  • the negative effects of television and how it was morphing,

  • the public's ability to critically think and to be able to

  • have productive public discourse.

  • Honestly, if Postman was concerned in the eighties,

  • he would probably be even more disappointed in us to see how

  • we have managed to unfold into this messy pool

  • that is today.

  • People just don't read anymore.

  • And as much as I love to make videos and learn from videos,

  • it's not the same as reading a book and Postman goes

  • to explain history of the age of topography,

  • which is the era when books were the only source to get

  • ideas and like a full, comprehensive way.

  • I feel like books are an excellent container for information

  • that's been analyzed and accumulated.

  • And the issue with TV and the internet is that it's created

  • an abundance of information, but they're all scattered.

  • And de-contextualized, they're just bits and pieces.

  • And it's hard for us to connect everything all together.

  • In 1984, so many people were proud

  • and relieved that the reality had

  • not prophesied into what George Orwell

  • describes in his book.

  • So people were stoked.

  • They were like, yeah, we avoided it.

  • But no, Postman describes another dystopia

  • that we've managed to sink ourselves into,

  • which is Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

  • So this is a dystopia where the people are living in excess.

  • They're constantly amused,

  • constantly laughing and just not thinking.

  • It's a dystopia

  • where no one cares that they're only focusing

  • on irrelevant things.

  • No one cares that they're being surveillanced and

  • forced to comply.

  • It's just a world where distraction is

  • the only thing that matters.

  • And he's implying that that is the world that we're living

  • in today.

  • But I can go on about this book and it is actually

  • December's book pick for my book club, Curl Up Club.

  • And if you would like to discuss it with me

  • and other club members,

  • please check out the Instagram page for more information.

  • And I do understand that there is a level of hypocrisy

  • of me promoting my book club and me uploading this video

  • on YouTube. But you know what?

  • Yes, there is a lot of cognitive dissonance.

  • But the thing is,

  • I think the more information I learn about just being more

  • critical about technology and what the earth has become,

  • it's just going to work in our favor

  • In order to solve a problem,

  • you must admit that there is a problem.

  • All right, let's move on to the next book.

  • Next step I have The Best We Could do by Thi Bui.

  • This memoir had me in tears.

  • It was so beautifully illustrated

  • and I couldn't help,

  • but resonate so much with her family story.

  • So this is an illustrated memoir about a Vietnamese family

  • and the struggles that occur when a family is displaced.

  • Bui's parents fled Vietnam in the seventies because it was

  • war-ridden. And after the fall of South Vietnam,

  • there was just no opportunity there.

  • So they immigrated to the United States.

  • Bui's parents did everything to try and make ends meet,

  • but just like the weight of their past and the adjustment to

  • an environment that's just ultimately just not

  • welcoming to Asians,

  • had an effect on how they

  • would raise their children

  • Growing up,

  • I have only seen America's standpoint about the Vietnam war,

  • nowhere in our history books

  • did we see it from the Vietnamese perspective

  • So it was so eye-opening and just a complete tragedy.

  • And it's crazy how the effects of war

  • can affect generations for years.

  • It also made me reflect about my parents and how the

  • displacement and the immigration affected them.

  • I think this book is definitely going to hit home with

  • anyone with immigrant parents.

  • So the next book I want to talk about is the Silent Patient

  • by Alex Michaelides

  • And damn.

  • This was another psychological thriller that I completely

  • devoured. So it's about a famous painter, Alicia Berenson,

  • who shoots her husband,

  • kills him and then never speaks a word.

  • So all the trials happen and she doesn't say a peep.

  • And this book is narrated by Theo who ends up

  • being her therapist.

  • And he's just dying to know what happened

  • the night of the murder.

  • And he just wants to help her.

  • And I'll just leave it at that.

  • If you enjoyed Girl in the Train or Gone Girl,

  • this book will be right up your alley.

  • So my next read is kind of spooky.

  • It is called Chaos by Tom O'Neill with

  • Dan Piepenbring

  • this would have been really good to read in October because

  • it was kind of freaky. So this book is very dark.

  • It's about the infamous serial killer Charles Manson.

  • And really quick, if you guys don't know who he is,

  • he was a cult leader that brainwashed and manipulated his

  • followers to become murderers.

  • It made everyone so paranoid and afraid during the sixties,

  • and everybody was watching the trials really closely.

  • So 20 years ago, Tom O'Neill

  • agreed to do a piece for a magazine about the

  • murders, but during the investigation,

  • he uncovered a lot of evidence of a potential

  • coverup behind this story.

  • And honestly, reading this,

  • I realized the sixties were crazy. Like actually crazy.

  • We think 2020 is bad, but Lord, after you read this,

  • you'll realize that the sixties were chaotic.

  • There were LSD mind control experiments,

  • FBI smear campaigns, and just the CIA was so careless.

  • It's a hot mess. After reading this book,

  • I definitely want to check out Helter Skelter because

  • O'Neill does a lot of exposes and the contradictions

  • in that book.

  • So I would really like to see both sides.

  • After reading this book,

  • do I know what really happened?

  • No. They say that this book kind of borders on conspiracy

  • theories, but hey, I was in it for the ride.

  • And the reason why this book looks untouched is because I

  • read it on my Kindle,

  • but I just thought it looked really nice on my bookstand

  • Moving on, I have Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.

  • I mentioned my thoughts about this in a blog previously.

  • And I said, I wasn't wowed by it, but you know what?

  • I thought I would mention it anyway,

  • because I didn't hate it. And I did learn a few things.

  • It essentially explains how behind every or many successful

  • companies, there are great leaders who create environments,

  • where people will feel comfortable and have a sense of

  • belonging and just feel proud to work there.

  • He also talks about how every leader creates a circle of

  • safety, which means you set culture values.

  • You give power to people to make decisions and you offer

  • trust and empathy.

  • Humans work best when they don't feel like

  • they're in danger.

  • It was a great reminder for me to remain calm and relaxed

  • when I'm working with my team.

  • I know it seems like common sense for leaders to treat their

  • employees with respect and empathy.

  • But when you have a larger corporation, I guess it's easier,

  • easier for them to see workers as a disposable cog in a

  • system. I'm not saying it's right,

  • but I'm just saying the bigger the company is the more

  • abstract the workers become. It's like that one quote,

  • the death of one person is a tragedy,

  • but the death of a million is a statistic. And yeah,

  • it just explains how,

  • when big numbers start representing humans,

  • our ability to empathize begins to falter.

  • It's a decent read about good leaders who care about their

  • people and see their workers beyond an expendable resource.

  • My last book is called Playing the Whore

  • by Melissa Gira Grant.

  • Now I have had this on my bookshelf over there

  • for literally years. I got this book in Oakland,

  • I guess I've always wanted to know more about the taboo

  • subject of sex workers.

  • This book is not like a detailed exposee essay about the

  • conditions of sex workers or like,

  • or even like a day in the life memoir.

  • It's like a pretty like sterile outline of why sex work

  • should be considered and treated as a job and why it should

  • be decriminalized.

  • I appreciate the fact that this was

  • written by a former sex worker.

  • So she goes through case after case on why sex workers

  • rights are human rights.

  • There was one part that really stuck out to me.

  • She explains that sex workers are always bombarded with the

  • question, are you empowered by this work?

  • Like, do you feel empowered with what you're doing?

  • And it's, it's hard because if they don't say yes,

  • then suddenly they're not being listened to because suddenly

  • they