I’ve now finished one book for pleasure over the last year. Well, technically I’ve finished two, but the other one was a very quick read because it’s short and also because I couldn’t put it down - Vivek Shraya’s I’m afraid of men.
Once, long ago, I thought I might write or become a journalist. The process of reviewing this book has reminded me that writing is a craft I’d like to keep practicing, so as time permits you might see me here writing a short book review or on my blog writing about city issues I encounter as I move into a new role as a city councillor in Waterloo.
For now, I’ll leave behind the review of Melody Warnick’s book This is where you belong: Finding home where you are with a few final reflections.
I loved this book - its practical strategies, Warnick’s own reflections, and her authenticity. I especially appreciated how open she was to coming to the unexpected realization that loving where you live doesn’t have to mean you either stay there forever or keep searching for a better fit.
The last chapter refers to something I believe can be a catalyst for fun, innovation, and inclusion: saying yes to ideas. I’ve also learned this from a mentor of mine. Ideas aren’t all likely to come into being exactly as they were originally conceived, but they are a launchpad for conversations with various people to discuss what might be best for a particular community at a particular point in time.
I have one remaining question: Is it possible for everyone to “choose to make myself belong?” (p. 256). For those struggling to meet their basic needs is this choice available? Do placemaking efforts help alleviate a city’s stresses or shocks, such as affordable housing, food insecurity, etc.? Are all placemaking initiatives considered legitimate? If no, which ones are not, and why not? I would have liked more of a discussion about who, if anyone, does not benefit from placemaking efforts and why.
Thank you for following along and sharing your thoughts along the way!
I’d love to hear your reflections, too! Feel free to share in the comments, or if you want to write a post, I could publish it here.