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13 July 2016

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Oh and it looks very VERY depressing. It's interesting -- I was feeling recently that I wanted to read some less depressing nonfiction, so I asked for uplifting nonfiction recommendations, and virtually nobody had any ideas for me. Is the real world JUST THAT GRIM?

I'm definitely curious to read this book, though I have to be careful of my depressing nonfiction intake as well. It hasn't been too bad this year, though I just started Unbroken which should get intense.

This sounds so interesting. As you point out, shelter and poverty are so bound up in our society. Paying 80% of one's income towards housing is mind boggling.

Non - fiction Books about these subjects tend not to depress me. Of course it is about balance and I think that one also needs to read some books.

Christy,
Yes, ooh, I've heard that Unbroken can be...well, intense, as you said. I think that's probably the best word.
When you're ready for this book I do think it's worth a read. I think the author did a nice thorough job with it, and that seems increasingly rare in nonfiction lately.

Brian,
Yes, shelter is such a basic need. I worked in a public library and saw a lot of mental illness around, so I have real sympathy for the idea that people need someplace secure to keep their meds (so it's easier to keep taking them). And really, we're in the twenty-first century. Isn't it time to focus on getting everyone a working toilet, as long as we have indoor plumbing?
Reading depressing nonfiction for me is basically like reading true crime (which is also depressing). It's not like the books are MAKING the depressing stories--just reporting them. Tons of people read tons of thrillers where people are getting killed left and right and no one accuses them of reading depressing fiction! I'd just as soon read the true stuff and then feel like I know just a little bit more about what's going on in the world.

Jenny--sorry it took me a bit to respond; your comment registered as spam for some reason. (!) Bad blogging platform.
Anyway, yeah, super depressing. But never fear, there's tons of lighter, uplifting (?--I'm not happy with either of those terms; but sound a bit too much like religious nonfiction? You know, after death narratives where the person dies and sees the light and then comes back and is more uplifted about the rest of their life? But you know what I'm saying) nonfiction out there.
Might I suggest an oldie but a goodie? Helene Hanff's Underfoot in Show Business. By the author of 84, Charing Cross Road (and if you haven't read THAT yet, drop everything and do that first). It's her memoir about trying to make it in NYC, only in the forties and fifties. And she's hilarious. You want a woman with chutzpah, uplifting or otherwise: it's Helene Hanff.
I just started Jessi Klein's (she's a writer on the Amy Schumer show) memoir You'll Grow Out of It and it is WUNDERBAR.
God's Hotel, by Victoria Sweet. A fascinating read. Not exactly not depressing, but very inspiring.
Stacy Horn's Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others. Stacy Horn is the best. Accept no substitutes.

Did you hear that this book was chosen at UW's latest Go Big Read title? Hopefully it will make an impact on a few college kids this fall. I think he is speaking at Union South sometime late October? Glad you shared about this one CR!

Katharine,
I did hear that and thought it was a good choice. I can't imagine it getting through to the college students--much as I love 'em, it's just hard to get through to college students, it's such an invincible-feeling time of life--but it certainly won't hurt anyone to read it.
And thanks for the heads up about the author appearance. I'll watch for it. I'd kind of like to go see him.

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