Tuesday, November 14, 2017

what i read: november edition

It's time for November's book post with Steph and Jana.

I didn't get much reading done this month because pretty much all of our nights and weekends were filled up with kitchen work.  

Or, watching the Fall Harvest movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Either way, here's what we have.

First, Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes Courter.


This is a memoir written by a young woman who spent nine years in the foster care system, in fourteen different placements, was ultimately adopted as a teenager and is now an author, speaker, and adoptive parent.  I should start by saying that I work in the foster care/adoption field, on the legal, government side.  For the last six and a half years I've spent five days a week working on cases like Ashley's, and seven days a week thinking about them.

Because I work on the state side, hearing about the foster care system from the perspective of the child really hit home.  It brought tears to my eyes several times, especially when Ashley said no one ever celebrated her birthday until she was seven years old.  

Ashley writes about advocates who worked tirelessly on her case, but also about caseworkers and foster parents who mistreated her terribly and didn't do their job.  The social workers that I work with have an incredibly difficult job, one that I couldn't do.  They get paid next to nothing and have to work within a system that is at times, admittedly broken, just like the families are.  But they work their hearts out for those kids on their caseloads and I feel fortunate that I've gotten to see that.    

I could write forever about my thoughts on foster care and adoption so I'll end this here.  I highly recommend this book.  Chances are you or someone you know has some sort of connection to the foster care system and this book will be an eye-opener.

Also, November is National Adoption Month so you can go here if you're interested in learning more.

The second book I read was The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.


A colleague recommended this to me and it was pretty short, but I read it really slowly and took it all in.  I don't always love books about abstract ideas and inspiration (exhibit A - my very unpopular opinion on Big Magic), but I liked this one.  It was direct and thought-provoking.  I got it from the library but I think if I owned it, it would be one that I would pick up again and again and read a little bit here and there.

Right now I'm in the middle of two books- The Dogs of Littlefield, and High Performance Habits.

Have you read anything great this month?

20 comments:

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

I used to work with foster kids. I normally don't like memoirs but maybe that one is one I should check out.

Marie Twinliving said...

Totally adding this book to my reading list. I'm a big fan of fostering children and adoption. I have a few friends who are adopted, have adopted, and some who foster children and their stories are heartbreaking, sad, and amazing.

Julie said...

I feel like books I've been picking lately have sucked! I love reading too so it's a bummer.

Emily at 'a little bit of Emily' said...

That first book sounds REALLY touching, even more so since that is your line of work.

I am glad I am not the only one whose reading slacked from watching a little too much Hallmark!

Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders said...

I'm not usually one for memoirs, but Three Little Words sounds really interesting! I can't even imagine what it would be like to be in the foster care system.

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh gosh - I cant imagine getting lost in the foster care system. I bet that book would just rip my heart out - glad to see this lady has turned a situation to shine light on it.

julie @ a hopeful hood said...

I love reading about what others have read! I'm SUCH a slow reader, it takes me forever to finish a book (currently on page 92 of Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle and that's 60 pages further than I've gotten in a book this whole year...), but those books sound so interesting that I might have to add them to my read list!

Lindsay at Lindsay'sSweetWorld said...

The War of Art sounds like something I need to check out. I started Big Magic a few months ago and it's just MEH. I haven't even finished it yet.

Amy Cotton said...

Love new book recommendations!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I give the good people working in the foster care system huge credit - reading that birthday thing was a gut punch so I imagine the rest of the book would be as well.

Audrey Louise said...

Three Little Words sounds so eye-opening and good. My bff is a social worker and focuses on elderly people, but most of her friends work with children. The toll it takes on them is unbelievable. Kudos to you (& your coworkers) for taking on that kind of work!

Lauren said...

I'm glad you liked The War of Art. I tried to read Big Magic and just wasn't feeling it.

-Lauren
www.shootingstarsmag.net

Shea Sayers said...

These both sound like great books to get you thinking--in very different ways. Three Little Words sounds heartbreaking, but very important. The War of Art isn't one I've heard of before but I'm intrigued!

Gina Daily said...

Ooh, High Performance Habits sounds up my alley. Will definitely check that out!
Gina || On the Daily Express

Carly Blogs Here said...

Three Little Words sounds so good- I usually really like memoirs and I went to school for social work so I know a lot of people working in the child welfare field.

Jana @ Jana Says said...

I've had Three Little Words on my TBR for years and still haven't read it. I worked in child welfare and closely with DFS and between that and reading all of Dave Peltzer's books, I'm a bit hesitant. But I know I need to at some point.

Kristy Sayer-Jones @ Southern In Law said...

I really need to read Three Little Words. I volunteer with kids in foster care as both Jesse and I have a huge heart for foster care and adoption (and hopefully one day will be able to foster kids as well!) so books like these are so important.

Ana L said...

I am adding Three Little Words to my list to be read, I need a book on Adoption/ foster care.

Simply Alexandra // My Favorite Things said...

hahah I feel ya! Hallmark movies forever, though they take up so much of my time!! :P XO - Alexandra

Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

Nadine Lynn said...

Going to add The War of Art to my list, it sounds intriguing and I like books like that every now and then.