C-SPL September Reader of the Month

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C-SPL Reader of the Month
Meet the C-SPL September 2023 Reader of the Month Temwa Phiri!

Greetings, my name is Temwa Phiri and I am a father of two amazing boys. I serve the City of Dubuque as the Community Engagement Coordinator in the Office of Shared Prosperity and Neighborhood Support. I am a forever learner and hope you are too. A couple of my favorite hobbies include kickboxing and snowboarding. I am so glad I get to share with you some amazing books that have helped me grow, imagine, and laugh.

Temwa’s Reading Interests:

I find myself interested in personal growth books, and with having two kids, children’s books. I love reading books that allow for my mind to grow. I’ve also found so much value in experiencing the power of books through my son’s lens. You can see in their eyes the curiosity and learning happening. It reminds me the value of books in opening our minds to adventures. My reading life now revolves around children’s books.

C-SPL September 2023 Reader of the Month Q & A:

Q. What book(s) are you currently reading?

A.  “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi

Q. What is the best book you have read within the last year (or ever)?

A. “Relentless” by Tim S. Grover, Shari Wenk (audio). I really enjoyed this book for three reasons. One, I am big on personal development. In this book you get the insight on how legends like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade think to get the competitive advantage. What stood out to me was the difference in mindset that even in elite athletes can have and how that determines their leadership on the team. I value the Cleaners mindset and how when presented with a challenge, they become unstoppable. Challenges fuel their performance.
Two, the audio reader did a great job of conveying emotion through their voice to communicate the setbacks pro athletes have but how you need to persevere. 
Lastly, we all experience life in various ways. What I took away from the book is no matter your situation or circumstances, you can still have a relentless mindset to get to where you want to be. Although 100% may look different day to day, you still can give 100%. When you do, you can reflect at the end of the day and feel satisfied knowing you did all you can do!

Q. What is your ideal reading environment (location, sound, snacks, etc.)?

A. When alone, my Ideal reading environment is in my back yard. It is nice and peaceful. I am not one for snacks, but I do enjoy having a good dirty chai coffee along with mixed fruit. I for sure love reading with my sons and their favorite books on our couch by far!

Q. What book are you most excited about reading next, and what about it is most exciting?

A. I look forward to reading “I Wish My Dad” by Romal Tune. As a father, a black father, of two boys, I value growing with my boys and being able to connect with them in a way that they feel seen, heard, honored, safe, and valued. I am excited in reading this book because it provides an insight in the experiences of men that wished to have had a different experience and connection with their fathers growing up. I look forward to learning about their experiences and implementing opportunities to further connect with my boys. 

Q. What format do you prefer and why (physical books, ebooks, audiobooks)?

A. Growing up I preferred hardcopy books, but as I have adulted, I am really into ebooks. They provide convenience around an on-the-go lifestyle. I appreciate the ability to change books and the difference in pace settings when I have a longer book to go through.

Q. In addition to ebooks, you have mentioned that you like podcasts. What are some podcasts you enjoy?

A. I enjoy listening to Myron Golden, TD Jakes, Jim Rohn, Steve Harvey, Eric Thompson, Denzel Washington, Tony Robins and Jordan Peterson podcasts.

Q. Have you discovered any exciting new authors or genres?

A. Jordan Peterson has been interesting to learn more about and his philosophy around the unlimited potential of the human mind. I have a high interest in psychology so I am drawn to authors and genres that can relate to people’s psychology and behaviors.

Q. When do you decide to stop reading a book? In other words, do you read every book to the last page, or is there a moment when you decide to stop?

A. My goal is to read through the book. When I do not have time to read through, I pick the most interesting chapters, depending on the book, that I would like to read and focus on those.

Q. Do you remember when your love for reading began?

A. My earliest memories trace back to second grade. I enjoyed the way books teleported me to new worlds and the experiences I could have through them. The more I read, the more I discovered about myself!

Q. What other library resources do you enjoy (DVDs, CDs, board games, baking pans, digital content, etc.)?

A. I really enjoy the podcast/Whisper Room and the Maker Space.


Check out Temwa’s Favorite Books
Be the next C-SPL Reader of the Month!
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