w: Johnathon E. Briggs

What I’m Reading: My August List of Books

In the midst of this pandemic, one of the things I’ve been grateful for (in addition to stable employment and good health) is having more time to sit down and read a book—thanks to the absence of a daily commute. When I was a journalist, I had an editor who often asked, “What’cha reading these days?” So here’s a list of five titles I’m currently reading, a mix of history, self-help, fiction, and comic book fandom.


AUGUST READS

Three words: Read. this. book. I’ve been a fan of Isabel Wilkerson’s poetic writing and insightful analysis since her days as a reporter for The New York Times. “Caste” examines the origins and function of the American caste system, one in which “a fixed and embedded ranking of human value sets the presumed supremacy of one group against the presumed inferiority of other groups on the basis of ancestry and often immutable traits…” In the United States, Wilkerson argues, “caste is the bones, race the skin.” This timely book gave me a new perspective on the necessity of the Black Lives Matter movement.


Can anyone become known? Not famous, but known? That’s the question at the heart of this fascinating book by business consultant Mark Schaefer. Being known means to have the authority, reputation, and audience to achieve your goals (e.g., write a book, launch a speaking career, sit on a company’s board, etc.) Schaefer argues that in this digital age the person who is known has a permanent advantage over the person who is not. Distilling insights from interviews with nearly 100 people who have become known, this book provides a roadmap for building your personal brand. A must-read for me and my fellow bloggers.


As I prepare to write my first children’s book, I’ve been studying the work of Jason Reynolds, an author of novels for young adult and middle-grade audiences, including Ghost, a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature. I absolutely loved Ghost, so I decided to pick up this collection of short stories. Reynolds is truly a poet at heart. The voices, descriptions, and scenarios of his characters never fail to draw me in.


When my wife and I learned three years ago that our daughter was on the autism spectrum, I sought information that would help us prepare for our journey as an “ausome” family. This book by Barry Prizant helped me better understand my daughter’s behaviors and affirmed my belief that autistic people don’t need to be fixed, but rather better supported so they can thrive.


I‘ve been collecting comic books since I was a teen. Mostly Marvel. I was never a big fan of Ant-Man, but after watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe film about this reluctant superhero, I decided to pick up a few collected volumes. This 2015-2016 volume includes: The Astonishing Ant-Man #1-4, Ant-Man: Last Days #1, and Ant-Man Annual #1. A light and fun read.


What’s on your reading list this summer?

 

Father on,




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8.9.20

Johnathon E. BriggsHusband • Dad • Wingtip Shoe Enthusiast • On @GoodMenProject • #BlackDadMagic • ΑΦΑ

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About

Few may know this, but twice as many dads of newborns today are now in the 40-plus age group, compared to the 1970s. Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father, hence the title of this blog.

This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 44. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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About

Few may know this, but twice as many dads of newborns today are now in the 40-plus age group, compared to the 1970s. Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father, hence the title of this blog.

This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 44. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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