February was a much busier month for me, which lead to a much slower reading month for me as well. I only took in two books this month, but I loved both so much. (I also started another book, but did not finish it so stay tuned for that one in March’s post.)

February had more reads on social issues and political movements. I just can’t get enough and I feel like the more I read on these topics, the more I want to learn. While I have also brought this trend into March, I promise next month will also include something a bit lighter on there too. I realize that not everyone wants to dive into dark stories and I figured it would be good for me to add a variety of book styles into the mix. Until then, here’s what I read in February:

“On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, her normal life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after. Nadia was taken and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade. She would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.”

This book was so profound for me and should be a must-read for everyone. Nadia’s story was often hard to read and I constantly had to remind myself that it was real. The details of her family’s fight against the threat of ISIS really sheds light on what is happening in a world that is not your own. Let’s just say it’s eye-opening and downright terrifying what people are going through. We are lucky that Nadia survived (and escaped) to tell her story, but she is here to remind us all that not every woman, man, and child gets that opportunity. My top pick for February.

“At 28, Stephanie Land’s plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly. This was the decision Stephanie decided to make to have her child, even if it meant working all the hours of the day. Many others turn to The Ultimate Guide To Placing Your Child for Adoption if they were to get pregnant unexpectedly, however, this wasn’t the move Stephanie wanted to make. She instead chose to have her child, and do everything she possibly could to provide for her. Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the “servant” worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie’s story, but it’s not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.”

I first heard of Stephanie Land’s debut book, Maid, on Instagram. Literally, everyone was reading it. So, I decided to select it as my Book of the Month pick and I have to say – I am so happy I did. Maid is a quick read, but one that leaves a huge impact. Stephanie’s story gives shape to the daily life of someone living within poverty. It’s incredible to listen to her story of strength as she fights each day to provide for her and her daughter. It also illustrates the social impact of being poor and how we as a society need to do better when it comes to the treatment of those who are less fortunate.

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