Book notes: This Is What America Looks Like by Ilhan Omar

This Is What America Looks Like by Ilhan Omar book summary review and key ideas.

This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman by Ilhan Omar

Synopsis:

“lhan Omar was only eight years old when war broke out in Somalia. The youngest of seven children, her mother had died while Ilhan was still a little girl. She was being raised by her father and grandfather when armed gunmen attacked their compound and the family decided to flee Mogadishu. They ended up in a refugee camp in Kenya, where Ilhan says she came to understand the deep meaning of hunger and death. Four years later, after a painstaking vetting process, her family achieved refugee status and arrived in Arlington, Virginia.

Aged 12, penniless, speaking only Somali, and having missed out on years of schooling, Ilhan rolled up her sleeves, determined to find her American dream. Faced with the many challenges of being an immigrant and a refugee, she questioned stereotypes and built bridges with her classmates and in her community. In less than two decades, she became a grassroots organizer, graduated from college, and was elected to congress with a record-breaking turnout by the people of Minnesota – ready to keep pushing boundaries and restore moral clarity in Washington, DC.

A beacon of positivity in dark times, Congresswoman Omar has weathered many political storms and yet maintained her signature grace, wit, and love of country – all the while speaking up for her beliefs. Similarly, in chronicling her remarkable personal journey, Ilhan is both lyrical and unsentimental, and her irrepressible spirit, patriotism, friendship, and faith are audible in every minute. As a result, This Is What America Looks Like is both the inspiring coming of age story of a refugee and a multidimensional tale of the hopes and aspirations, disappointments and failures, successes, sacrifices, and surprises of a devoted public servant with unshakable faith in the promise of America.”

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Book notes: Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi book summary review and key ideas.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Synopsis:

“Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America – more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society. 

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals – Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. – to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists.”

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Book notes: Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden book summary review and key ideas.

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

Synopsis:

“In 2013, 29-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it. 

Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online – a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.” -Audible

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Book notes: Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson

Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson book summary review and key ideas.

Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson

Synopsis:

“We live in an interesting time. Materially, everything is the best it’s ever been – we are freer, healthier, and wealthier than any people in human history. Yet, somehow everything seems to be irreparably and horribly f*cked – the planet is warming, governments are failing, economies are collapsing, and everyone is perpetually offended on Twitter. At this moment in history, when we have access to technology, education, and communication our ancestors couldn’t even dream of, so many of us come back to an overriding feeling of hopelessness. 

With his usual mix of erudition and where-the-f*ck-did-that-come-from humor, Manson takes us by the collar and challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and connected with the world in ways we probably haven’t considered before. It’s another counterintuitive romp through the pain in our hearts and the stress of our soul. One of the great modern writers has produced another book that will set the agenda for years to come.

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Book notes: Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg

Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg book summary review and key ideas.

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future by Pete Buttigieg

Synopsis:

“Once described by The Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of”, Pete Buttigieg, the 36-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has improbably emerged as one of the nation’s most visionary politicians.

First elected in 2011, Buttigieg left a successful business career to move back to his hometown, previously tagged by Newsweek as a “dying city”, because the industrial Midwest beckoned as a challenge to the McKinsey-trained Harvard graduate. Whether meeting with city residents on middle-school basketball courts, reclaiming abandoned houses, confronting gun violence, or attracting high-tech industry, Buttigieg has transformed South Bend into a shining model of urban reinvention.

While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home interweaves two once unthinkable success stories: that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a Rust Belt city so thoroughly transformed that it shatters the way we view America’s so-called flyover country.” -Audible

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TOTD: Why I’ll never say the N-word 🙊

My thoughts on race, empathy, and self-restraint.

In this Thought of the Day, I discuss:

  • My perspective on not saying the n-word
  • What the deeper meaning is for having self-restraint
  • How an old boss of mine had no empathy for others

As usual, please let me know your thoughts in the comments, suggestions for future videos, or even if you disagree! I read and respond to every comment 🙂

TOTD: How to have good conversations 🗣

What makes a good conversation.

In this Thought of the Day, I discuss:

  • Why I like talking about religion and politics while many people don’t
  • How to approach touchy topics in a discussion
  • Why truly listening and empathizing is scary and dangerous for us

As usual, please let me know your thoughts in the comments, suggestions for future videos, or even if you disagree! I read and respond to every comment 🙂

Book notes: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama book review summary and main ideas.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Synopsis:

“In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As first lady of the United States of America – the first African American to serve in that role – she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the United States and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

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