Reading update – July 2018

I read quite a bit this month … but I quit most of the books that I picked up. I blame it on the summer heat. Being hot and sweaty saps joy out of curling up to read.

Also, I just didn’t have the patience for most of the books I picked up.

According to my notes, I currently have 37 unread books:

  • 21 unread paper books (read 1, removed 1, added 3)
  • 4 unread ebooks (removed/quit 5)
  • 12 unread audiobooks (no change)

I think I’ll stop tracking the numbers. I don’t have that many unread books left (compared to when I started, anyway) and I have them separated from my other books, so it’s easy to see if the pile is expanding or depleting just by looking at it. I’d still like to reduce the number down to just a handful, but I’m comfortable with my current rate of reading and I know that I’ll read more once it stops being so hot.

These are the books I read (they all have fabulous covers!):

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1. Birds Art Life – I’ve been reading this since … I dunno … January? I always wanted to wait until I had time to really focus on it, read it slowly and consider everything. You don’t need to read it like that – it’s a lovely and easy book that would be great on the beach or during those last few minutes you have before bed. The author muses on art, writing, family, birds, and life throughout the a year. It’s quietly delightful, if that makes any sense.

2. How to be an Explorer of the World – This is one of those books that presents a bunch of ideas for fostering creativity and exploring life (not just going on adventures, but also stopping to admire things in your own neighbourhood). It’s got a lot of neat ideas. And, though written for adults, many of the ideas could easily be done with kids, if you want to show your children different ways to explore their world. The ideas range from collecting treasures on a walk to considering treasures you already have (for example, comparing and contrasting all you favourite pieces of beach glass).

3. Simple Matters – This is a re-read. I bought this book when it was first published a couple of years ago and I really love. As I said on Instagram:

“Sometimes, the best way to recalibrate is to go back to the first book that brought everything together for you: simple living, eco friendly options, and a generous helping of realistic advice. Simple Matters by @readtealeaves is one of my favourite books and one of the few non-art books that I’ve kept during my simplifying journey. I’ve been following her blog for three years and her “life in a tiny apartment” series is what inspired me to move into a smaller space (about half the size of my old place). This book is lovely, encouraging and well balanced (none of that “toss everything” nonsense). I highly recommend it.”

 

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4. The Art of Frugal Hedonism – I have mixed feelings about this book – mostly positive, but with a few bits of scorn. On the whole, this is a friendly, laid back exploration of how to be frugal while still finding great pleasures in life – sunsets, long walks, good friends, savouring a juicy nectarine (what I’m doing while I write this), and so on. Most of the advice is good and realistic. The problem is that they are focused on their own reality made a couple insensitive assumptions that I just couldn’t seem to get over. I know they were just trying to be fun and jolly, but it really felt like they hadn’t considered readers who might be fat, have mental health issues, or live with people who might not support a frugal life.

I have no reading plans for August. I’m just going to keep plugging away at what I’m currently reading and whatever I fancy.

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