Reading update – June 2018

I hardly read at all this month because I’ve been keeping busy with a watercolour challenge and other things. Also, it’s summer. I get tired of noise when my windows are open 24/7, so I stop listening to as many audiobooks as usual.

For once, only 2 of the books I read were from the library. But, 2 were new purchases, so I didn’t remove that many from my unread shelf.

I currently have 40 unread books (less than half the number I had when I started this challenge at the end of December, woohoo!):

  • 19 unread paper books (removed 2, added 2)
  • 9 unread ebooks, 1 of which is in progress (removed 1)
  • 12 unread audiobooks, 1 of which is in progress (added 2, listened to 1, 4 unused credits)

I donated 2 books and bought 4 (2 audio and 2 paper).

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Books that I read:

1. All Our Wrong Todays – This was such a great book. I’d heard of it and even borrowed it from the library way last year, but it wasn’t until I saw Kathy’s rave review of it that I finally listened to it. It was interesting, thought provoking, full of adventure and regret, and really well performed by the author. If you like John Scalzi books, I think that you’d enjoy this.

2. Direct Watercolor – Marc Taro Holmes is a Canadian watercolour artist. His work isn’t my favourite style, but it’s gorgeous nonetheless. This book highlights some of his work (with full page, full colour images) and provides a lot of context to the paintings, as well as some helpful tips. Based on the content, I’m not sure it was worth the $30 (it’s very short), but I suspect most of that cost is associated with the really good quality printing (great colour, no pixilation in the images, etc.).

3. This Wild Road – This is a small art book by Marisa Pahl about her This Wild Road project. She talks about the concept and includes many (all?) of the paintings she did for the project. I bought it because I purchased a couple of the paintings and their accompanying abstracts, and I thought this would be a good addition as it provides context to those paintings.

4. Year-round Indoor Salad Gardening – Technically, I read this 2 or 3 years ago, but I hadn’t actually read it all the way through, so I’ve kept it on my unread shelf this whole time. It’s a good and useful book, but I’m not sure it was worth owning, so maybe look for it at your library first. It’s full of good information and tips. But, it’s pretty long winded and repetitive. Also, for most of the book I was very annoyed because he kept saying “it’s easy” and “anyone can do it” but wrote from the perspective of someone with a lot of outdoor space, a compost, the means to buy new soil regularly, etc. Thankfully, he does eventually discuss options for people who have limited resources or no easy space to dispose of and recycle used soil.

5. Reasons to Stay Alive – This is beautiful and thought provoking look at the author’s struggle with depression and anxiety. As someone who’s never experienced anything as intense as his depression and anxiety, it was also incredibly informative (he’s very clear that all people experience mental illness differently, so I know this is just his experience, but it was still informative). I highly recommend this book for anyone who has or is dealing with depression or anyone who knows someone who has or is dealing with depression.

6. The Marrow Thieves – This was such a great story and it was performed really well. It’s a dystopian novel set in Canada. Non-indigenous people stop being able to dream. So, this story focuses on Francis, a young indigenous man who’s on the run. It’s got adventure, sorrow, friendship, love (all sorts), and it’s really thought provoking. Would we murder indigenous people to save ourselves? I think a lot of people would accept it “for the greater good”, as if we (white folk) are more valuable than indigenous people. And, that’s pretty awful.

I mentioned last month that June was National Indigenous History Month. I planned to read The Marrow Thieves and 21 Things You May Not Have Known About The Indian Act. Holy smokes, 21 Things is hard to read. It’s really well written, it’s very interesting, it’s very informative, but it also makes me very angry. I know that indigenous Canadians are subject to racism, including systematic and institutionalized racism, but it’s hard reading about how awful we (settlers) were and how awful things continue to be. I have every intention of finishing this book, but it’s been a slow read.

July 1st was Canada Day, so I decided to participate in the Read-EH-Thon, which I found out about through Kathy. The readathon takes place July 1st to 8th, but I can’t finish one book in a week, much less several, so I’ll just plug away at my books until I’m done. I’m using 21 Things even though I already started the book last month, and I also picked An Unexpected Break in the Weather and Murder, eh? (one of the prompts is a book with “eh” in the title).

Happy reading.

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