This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work

This Book is Anti-Racist

This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work

By: Tiffany Jewell

Illustrated By: Aurelia Durand


Learn about identities, true histories, and anti-racism work in 20 carefully laid out chapters. Written by anti-bias, anti-racist, educator and activist, Tiffany Jewell, and illustrated by French illustrator Aurélia Durand in kaleidoscopic vibrancy.

This book is written for the young person who doesn’t know how to speak up to the racist adults in their life. For the 14 year old who sees injustice at school and isn’t able to understand the role racism plays in separating them from their friends. For the kid who spends years trying to fit into the dominant culture and loses themselves for a little while. It’s for all of the Black and Brown children who have been harmed (physically and emotionally) because no one stood up for them or they couldn’t stand up for themselves; because the colour of their skin, the texture of their hair, their names made white folx feel scared and threatened.

It is written so children and young adults will feel empowered to stand up to the adults who continue to close doors in their faces. This book will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it. In short, it is for everyone.


This book is YA, so it’s not super in-depth or overly complicated, but that’s what I loved about it. I also really liked the glossary in the back. It’s an excellent primer for someone looking to learn. It was very colorful with lots of graphics so I wouldn’t recommend reading it on a kindle unless it was a kindle fire.

This book is Anti-Racist is informative and had a positive tone for such a heavy subject. Highly recommend reading.


Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up

Humans A Brief History of How We Fucked It All Up

Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up

By: Tom Phillips


Modern humans have come a long way in the seventy thousand years they’ve walked the earth. Art, science, culture, trade—on the evolutionary food chain, we’re true winners. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, and sometimes—just occasionally—we’ve managed to truly f*ck things up.

Weaving together history, science, politics and pop culture, Humans offers a panoramic exploration of humankind in all its glory, or lack thereof. From Lucy, our first ancestor, who fell out of a tree and died, to General Zhou Shou of China, who stored gunpowder in his palace before a lantern festival, to the Austrian army attacking itself one drunken night, to the most spectacular fails of the present day, Humans reveals how even the most mundane mistakes can shift the course of civilization as we know it. Lively, wry and brimming with brilliant insight, this unique compendium offers a fresh take on world history and is one of the most entertaining reads of the year.


A depressing subject matter that was made entertaining and not as dark as it could have been. While I didn’t learn much new, I did enjoy reading this book and look forward to reading more by the author. Maybe Phillips will write a book about the times we accidently didn’t fuck shit up?


The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine By: Michael Lewis

The Big Short Book

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine By: Michael Lewis


From the author of The Blind Side and Moneyball, The Big Short tells the story of four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predict the credit and housing bubble collapse before anyone else. The film adaptation by Adam McKay (Anchorman I and II, The Other Guys) features Academy Award® winners Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei; Academy Award® nominees Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. When the crash of the U.S. stock market became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was already old news. The real crash, the silent crash, had taken place over the previous year, in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread. Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? In this fitting sequel to Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis answers that question in a narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor.


I think it actually helped that I’d watched the movie first. This is an incredibly complicated topic and I have very little experience in trading and bonds and all that stuff, but it helped being able to picture actors whenever someone’s name was mentioned and I was able to keep everyone straight because of it.

The book is as infuriating as the movie, maybe more so because it does go into a lot more detail and I couldn’t help wanting to scream at people for being so stupid. It’s frustrating, especially when it feels like nothing was learned from the crisis, but you can’t fault the book for that.

Lewis didn’t quiet make a complicated topic easy to understand but he did make the story very interesting and about as easy as it was ever going to be to read. I’m not sure how much I learned, though I definitely know more now then going in, but I doubt I retained more than 60%. I liked his writing style and I’m looking forward to reading more of his work.


The Happiest Toddler on the Block: The New Way to Stop the Daily Battle of Wills and Raise a Secure and Well-Behaved One-to Four-Year-Old By: Harvey Karp & Paula Spencer

Happiest Toddler

The Happiest Toddler on the Block: The New Way to Stop the Daily Battle of Wills and Raise a Secure and Well-Behaved One-to Four-Year-Old By: Harvey Karp & Paula Spencer


Toddlers can drive you bonkers…so adorable and fun one minute…so stubborn and demanding the next! Yet, as unbelievable as it sounds, there is a way to turn the daily stream of “nos” and “don’ts” into “yeses” and hugs…if you know how to speak your toddler’s language. In one of the most useful advances in parenting techniques of the past twenty-five years, Dr. Karp reveals that toddlers, with their immature brains and stormy outbursts, should be thought of not as pint-size people but as pintsize…cavemen. Having noticed that the usual techniques often failed to calm crying toddlers, Dr. Karp discovered that the key to effective communication was to speak to them in their own primitive language. When he did, suddenly he was able to soothe their outbursts almost every time! This amazing success led him to the realization that children between the ages of one and four go through four stages of “evolutionary” growth, each linked to the development of the brain, and each echoing a step in prehistoric humankind’s journey to civilization: – The “Charming Chimp-Child” (12 to 18 months): Wobbles around on two legs, grabs everything in reach, plays a nonstop game of “monkey see monkey do.” – The “Knee-High Neanderthal” (18 to 24 months): Strong-willed, fun-loving, messy, with a vocabulary of about thirty words, the favorites being “no” and “mine.” – The “Clever Caveman” (24 to 36 months): Just beginning to learn how to share, make friends, take turns, and use the potty. – The “Versatile Villager” (36 to 48 months): Loves to tell stories, sing songs and dance, while trying hard to behave. To speak to these children, Dr. Karp has developed two extraordinarily effective techniques: 1) The “fast food” rule–restating what your child has said to make sure you got it right; 2) The four-step rule–using gesture, repetition, simplicity, and tone to help your irate Stone-Ager be happy again. Once you’ve mastered “toddler-ese,” you will be ready to apply behavioral techniques specific to each stage of your child’s development, such as teaching patience and calm, doing time-outs (and time-ins), praise through “gossiping,” and many other strategies. Then all the major challenges of the toddler years–including separation anxiety, sibling rivalry, toilet training, night fears, sleep problems, picky eating, biting and hitting, medicine taking “– “can be handled in a way that will make your toddler feel understood. The result: fewer tantrums, less yelling, and, best of all, more happy, loving time for you and your child.


I really enjoyed the Happiest Baby on the Block and even though several reviews said this one wasn’t as good I thought I’d give it a try.

There was a ton of repetition in the book, just like Happiest Baby, and it felt like every chapter we were going over the same thing. Part of that is the jargon that he uses throughout. Karp has come up with his own terms for things and uses them constantly.

My husband and I found it difficult to use baby talk when our daughter was smaller and I’m finding it impossible to use the “toddlerese” that he highly recommends. It has so far had no affect on my daughter other than to have her look at me like I’m an idiot.

I was also really concerned about his time out recommendations. If a child is under the age of two he recommends putting them in a play pen for time out. I’m unwilling to do that because we do a lot of traveling and I don’t want her to associate punishment with her play pen. When a child is older than two he says to lock them in a room by themselves, a minute for each year old (2 years, 2 minutes). Right after he says that in the book Karp tries to explain his reasoning, but it did not make me feel any better about the idea.

I have no plans to spank my daughter, but neither do I plan on locking her alone in a room, even if it is a short amount of time.

Overall, I was not impressed by this book. He had several recommendations on how to handle a toddler, but no real recommendations on how to help a parent dealing with a toddler. Sure I can try speaking to her like a caveman but first I have to calm myself down. I did kind of like the idea of growling, but I guess that’s just my primitive side showing.