Reading update, March 2015

I’m using two book lists as inspiration and challenge to myself this year and I’m keeping track of what I’ve read via Goodreads, even though it doesn’t include some of the indie books I find. See last update

February was a slow month, and March wasn’t a whole lot better. I’m still pretty focused on re-learning French for an upcoming trip to Paris and I had a case of book ADD – I kept jumping from book to book to book, never actually finishing one. There’s also a very distinct possibility that I also allowed myself to be very distracted by watching the Inspector Morse tv series (spoiler alert: they kill him off at the end. Why? WHY?!). But, I still seem to be more or less on track.

In notable literary news, much loved Terry Pratchett (a favourite author) died this month. It’s sad because he wrote wonderful books. Part of me wanted to drop everything and just bury myself in his books.

Anyway, this is what I finished in March:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (volume 6 of the graphic/comic version)

This is a great Sci-fi book which is more then just an action packed thriller. The lead, Rick Deckard, struggles with reality at one point (is he real?), has to deal with trying to find and kill androids that look very human, and lives in a depressing world. The author managed to make the androids seem mostly human, so when their lack of empathy surfaces, it’s really eery and can be quite disconcerting. The illustrator did a great job of making the world they lived in (future Earth) dark and depressing.

Both lists: A book that became a movie – The movie, Blade Runner, is very different and I think that it technically “inspired” the movie, but close enough.

The Diet Fix

Let me clarify that this isn’t a standard diet book. Technically, it isn’t really a diet book at all. It’s a science book that explains and clarifies everything wrong with the diet industry and what the truth is. It’s written by Canadian weight loss expert Yoni Freedhoff using lots of legitimate science and examples. If you’ve ever struggled with the stress of feeling like a weight loss failure or you’ve been jumping from diet to diet, I highly recommend you read this. The take home messages? Crash diets don’t work in the long run and can sabotage your efforts. You need to build healthy living habits and find an option that works for you. Suffering is a ticket to failure. Eat chocolate (on occasion and in moderation).

PopSugar list: A book you started but never finished – I “read” this book way back when it was first published, but I didn’t really read every bit of it, so I thought it would be a good option for this criteria. This time, I even read through the recipes and resources list (now that’s commitment!).

Bringing Up Burns list: A book that will make you smarter – It’s based on science. Real science, not fad science.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

I picked this up because … I don’t know. I first saw it on Instagram and have seen it here and there, so I decided to check it out. Typically I don’t read books about decluttering or tidying because I find, more often than not, that they are either really long winded and overly complex or mostly focused on telling you how to find/buy prettier solutions (which just enables you to keep everything without solving the real clutter problem).  I really liked this book for a lot of reasons, but the most important ones are: it’s short (it took me a morning to read it), it’s no-nonsense (“just get rid of things”), and what she recommends isn’t complicated.

Both lists: A book at the bottom of your to-read list – I really only read this now because it was available and I was in the right mood. There so many other books on my to-read list. I’m bit bummed out to use this criteria from both lists. I was hoping to use it to purposely seek out something that’s been on my Goodreads to-read list for a very long time.

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris

This is an absolutely delightful book. It’s essentially stories about the author’s real life encounters in Paris, peppered with bits of historic information. It starts with a bit about Paris/France and progresses to the author getting involved with giving literary tours. It’s full of both historic stories (where Hemingway did or did not hang out) and stories about some of his interesting clients. It’s a relaxing read and probably one of the more informative books about Paris that I’ve read this month (which is saying something, as I’ve been browsing guide books). I will definitely be adding this author to my “read more by …” list.

Both lists: A book based on a true story – See description

Note: I don’t like having to duplicate criteria from each list because I’ve killed three criteria that would have made very interesting starting points in one month. But, I will take these as lessons learned. Next year, I will have to rethink how I use lists. I decided to use them this year because I typically find that I can find myself in a rut and at a loss for what to read next, but this year has (so far) been full of great books and plenty of inspiration (even if it is just Paris, Paris, and more Paris so far). Perhaps I will have the list(s) as a secondary reading challenge tool to be used only when I can’t think of what to read next and focus instead on reading a target number of books.

Neverwhere

I love Neil Gaiman’s work. So, so much. I also grew up watching a lot of British tv (Brit Coms, Doctor Who, etc.) and continue to watch whatever British gems I can find on Netflix (Inspector Morse, The IT Crowd, etc.), so I love and recognize a lot of random actors in British works. Because of this, listening to the radio play version of Neverwhere was an absolute treat. James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, David Harewood, Sophie Okonedo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Head, etc. brought this fabulous book to life.

So, yeah, technically it’s not reading, but I am including audiobooks because I don’t see why they shouldn’t count.

PopSugar list: A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet – Self explanatory.

Bringing Up Burns list: A book that your friend loves – Just last week I found out that a co-worker (whom I would consider a work friend) loves this book. It enticed me to finish the audiobook (a few months ago, I started it, but wasn’t really pulled in by the first part). I’m so glad I finished it.

***

I seem to be accumulating unfinished books. This isn’t unusual for me. I still haven’t finished: The Rosie Effect,  The Best American Travel Writing 2014, How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens, and a few others. I keep letting myself be distracted by new finds. Like books by the author of The Most Beautiful Walk in the World (see above). I have two that I put on hold at the library which are already available for pick-up. Right before Easter weekend, which I will be spending with family instead of book :)

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