- The Great Work of Your Life. Awesome – read it!
- Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living. Also awesome – read it!
- The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom. WIP – but really good so far.
- The Name of the Wind. WIP – Some good fantasy fiction to relax the old brain muscles.
7/1/2016 – Wow. I guess it’s been a busy two years. I can’t even remember all the books I’ve read in the past two years, so I’ll just start with what I am reading now:
- Emotional Freedom – A friend who is a fellow empath lent this to me. I’m about 1/3 of the way through it, and it’s already opened my eyes to a ton of new ideas. I’m learning about dreams and what they can tell you (but for the life of me, I still cannot clearly remember them for more than 5 seconds after waking up). I’m also learning how to be happy about being frustrated, as this will teach me patience. I guess. 🙂
- Molecules of Emotion – I’m just a few pages into this one. I got derailed by Emotional Freedom. I like what I’ve read so far though. The mind and the body are one!!
- E-Squared – This has 9 experiments that are supposed to help you realize that the Field of Potentiality is alterable by your thoughts. I want that to be true, but either the experiments are failing, or I’m failing to recognizing that they are working (just not in the way I expected). The book is really well-written and engaging. I will keep working through the experiments and see if my success ratio improves.
6/20/2014 – I started A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. So far it’s hard for me to say how it differs from his The Power of Now. It seems very, very similar. I wanted to re-read The Power of Now anyway, however, so I’m not upset if this is just a rehash.
5/27/2014 – I finished The Power of Habit a few days ago. I thought it was a very interesting book, but then again, I’m super curious about the quirkiness of the human brain. If you are not so interested in all the scientific data about habits but are more interested in how this information can help you, you can skip to the Appendix (A Reader’s Guide to Using These Ideas) and in about 12 pages you will learn how to start changing the habits that rule your life.
Now I’ve moved on to reading The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. So far even though the book is super sad (it’s about the writer unexpectedly losing her husband of 40 years), I really enjoy it. It’s making me stop and think about how quickly your life can be forever changed.
5/19/2014 – I’m almost finished with The Power of Habit. If you like psychology, and you like to understand why people (including yourself) do the things you do, you would like this book. It’s excellently written, with science spiced up by personal stories. So far my biggest takeaway is that if you want to change a habit, you need to keep the same cue and reward, but change the routine that occurs in the middle. For example, if you have a drink when you get home from work to relax, keep the same cue (getting home from work), and the same reward (relaxation), but instead of having a drink, do 10 minutes of meditation or yoga.
3/2/2014 – Oh man. I’m behind on this page again. Here is a quick recap of what I’ve read recently or am currently reading.
- Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet. In The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin mentioned this book while discussing children’s books she loves. I found it for $2.50 at a second-hand book store in AZ. It was either Chasing Vermeer or The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, which I’m sure is an amazing book but probably too intense for my exhausted emotional state at the time. Anyway, I started the book on the plane ride home from AZ and finally finished it last week. It was just OK, in my opinion. I was not caught up in the story, and there was no explanation for the sometimes magical things that happened in the book. It confused me! It was no A Wrinkle in Time, is what I’m saying.
- And here’s a bunch of books I’m currently in the process of reading (I’m having some focus and self-improvement issues, if you can’t tell).
- Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug (about how to design easy-to-use web pages).
- No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty (about how to write a book in 30 days).
- Choose Yourself by James Altucher (about finding your own path in this new world).
- The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien (you know what this one’s about).
- Oh, and don’t tell anyone, but I’ve read the 3-book romance series from Abigail Strom. Every girl needs a little romance, right? Right??
12/24/2013 – Man, I’ve read so many books since June, and I totally forgot to write about them! Hmmm. Let me try to remember.
I just finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve read a lot about Happiness over this past year, and this book kind of pulled it all together for me. I appreciated several ideas in the book, especially the overarching theme that “We are happy when we are growing.” However, the author started to get on my nerves a bit towards the end of the book. I felt as if it got rather repetitive. The book is definitely worth a read, but it’s not one of my favorites, and I doubt I will read it again.
I Love Female Orgasm – Great book. Everyone should have to read this before they are allowed to have sex. I’m 36 and learned A LOT.
8 Minute Meditation – EXCELLENT book to introduce you to meditation. This book was so good that I bought it for my brother and my best friend. I keep it on hand to refer to constantly.
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy – One of those books that could change your life, if you let it. I need to re-read it, but I lent the book to my Mammacita. I hope I get it back some day. Basically this book teaches you how to have a philosophy of life that will always keep you happy – want what you already have. Sounds easy but is very hard.
06/27/2013 – Holy cow. I cannot believe it’s been a year since I’ve updated this page! I have read several books since then, I just neglected to write about them. I’m currently reading 2 books. The Power of Now which is about living in the present moment. Several of the blogs I read recommended it, and it’s a very engaging read. It gets a little foo-foo (if you know what I mean), but the gist of it rings true – live in the present moment because it’s the only moment you can actually LIVE. You can’t live the future or the past. I don’t quite get everything the book says, but its main message has seeped into my sub-conscious. When I feel myself getting worried or dismayed with life, I try to bring my attention back to the present moment and focus on the beauty in front of me constantly. The past few days in Iowa have been beautiful – blue skies, green fields, trees rustling in the wind. Beautiful. I’m glad I’m reading something that is making me SEE that and appreciate that.
I’ve also been reading Wool. It’s a great sci-fi dystopian novel. It’s a good book, but I bought it through my Kindle app, and I’ve realized that I MUCH prefer reading books in paper form over electronic form. I think the blue light from my iPad keeps me away, and I just really enjoy the tactile experience of reading a book. I will finish it, but it will take awhile. I wish I could get a discount on the paper book since I bought the electronic one.
06/08/2012 – I finished up The Paleo Solution (GREAT book, BTW) and decided to get off the health tip for a bit and read some delightful fiction. I scanned our book shelf and ran across a book I swiped from my brother, Shogun. My brother is not Shogun; that’s the name of the book. Just wanted to clarify. Anyway, I’m like 20 pages into it, and I really like it so far. Unfortunately the book itself is kind of falling apart. I would buy the Kindle version and read it on my iPhone, but it it’s like $9.99, and I KNOW I can find it at a used book store for like $3.50. Why oh why are e-books so dang expensive?? It’s annoying.
04/25/2012 – I finished Freedom by Daniel Suarez last night. It’s super interesting. You should go read it. Like right now.
01/21/2012 – Ugh. I am trying to wade through Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. The writing is good, if a little wandering (Some of the footnotes last several pages. By the time you are finished with the footnote, you forgot what was happening in the main story). The book just seems rather…silly. I was telling Tim about it, and he brought up another book that was silly, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. But, its silliness was funny, and the story was engrossing. I read the whole Hitchhikers series in a couple of weeks – I couldn’t put it down. With Jonathan Strange, I have to force myself to read it, even though as I’m reading it, in my head I’ll say, “That was very clever. This writer is very amusing.” But I just can’t get lost in the story. Maybe it’s because I just came off of reading a couple of very engrossing sci-fi books – The Hunger Games and Doomsday Book.
I think I’m going to have to set this book aside and read something else for awhile. Maybe I’ll read The Hobbit again. It’s been years since I read it, and I’ll need to be up on all the particular details before the movie comes out, so I can be properly enraged at how they’ve changed the story (Frodo wasn’t in The Hobbit!! Argh!!).
01/02/2012 – Wow, I am behind on my book list! I’ve finished at least two books since November. I finished “Doomsday Book, ” which is a book about time travel. A university sends a history researcher, Kivrin, back to the Middle Ages, over the objections of her mentor. They mistakenly send her back to 1348, at the exact time the bubonic plague hit Oxford. She does not contract the plague, as she was inoculated against it. However, a few days before she is sent back in time, she works at an archeological dig, to get her fingernails to look more authentic for the trip back. She unknowingly gets exposed to a virus that had remained dormant in the ground for hundreds of years. As that rediscovered virus is wreaking havoc in the current time, Kivrin fights against it in the Middle Ages. When she finally recovers, she is forced to witness the plague’s evil effects on the people she has grown to love in the Middle Ages.
The book is very well written and moves along quickly and horrifyingly. The descriptions of the bubonic plague make you fully understand why the contemps (the people who lived in the time period) thought the disease was sent by the devil. It was an utterly evil, horrible way to die.
Despite the darkness of the subject matter, however, I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it.
Just yesterday I finished “The Hunger Games,” but I think I’m going to make a full-fledged post about it, so I can figure out if I really liked it or not.
11/20/11 – I finished The Last Unicorn last night. It was definitely worth reading, but I wouldn’t say it’s amazing. When we were in Chicago last weekend, we went to Bucket O’ Blood, a fantasy/sci-fi used book store. I got The Last Unicorn, Dooms Day Book, and Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Now I just have to decide which one to read next.
8/7/11 – I finally finished Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. I can’t believe it took me 3 months. It’s an excellent book, but it has no plot to keep you turning the pages. Each page has something interesting, but my sleepy brain sometimes didn’t find that enough to keep me awake. I’m happy that I read the book. I learned a lot about the minutiae of flora and fauna – way more than I wanted to know about all the parasites that inhabit other parasites, in fact. It was a great book, however. I highly recommended to anyone who wants to take time to reflect.
Last night I started All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. My brother and sister-in-law love the movie, and my husband, brother, and cousin are all fans of McCarthy’s style, so I thought I would give it a shot. I’m only a few pages in. It’s a little hard to follow because McCarthy doesn’t write the way you were taught to write in 5th grade English. It’s hard to know who exactly is saying what sparse dialogue. But, it’s good. I like it. I’ll keep reading it.
4/29/11 – I’m in the process of reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. It will definitely get the taste of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo out of my mouth. It’s about Annie Dilliard’s year-long sojourn at a cabin by Tinker Creek. I’m only about 20 pages into the book, but so far it’s just her observations of the natural world around her – descriptions of clouds sliding across mirror water, snails creating tracks in the mud, losing her balance whilst following the paths of birds with her binoculars. It’s the kind of language that makes you slow down and think and wonder about all the little amazing things we miss just because we don’t expect to see them.
April – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Ugh. I am surprised that this book is so popular. Granted, the mystery in the book is good, but it is peppered with too much sadism (versus just the right amount of sadism, I guess?). Too much rape and violence for my taste.
2/23/11 – I read The Perks of Being A Wallflower, and I loved it. I’ll write more about that later. It’s one of those books that provides you with an additional list of must-read books. As result I borrowed Peter Pan and A Separate Peace from the library. I’m about 1/4 of the way through Peter Pan, and it is TRIPPY! Wow. Sir Barrie was definitely taking some opium or absinthe whilst writing that one. I like it so far, though.
12/28/10 – I am about 1/3 of the way through The Help. It is such a good book. It’s about the lives of the black “Help” that work for the wealthy white folk in Jackson, Mississippi. I wish the portrayals in the book weren’t true, but I’m sure they are. I cannot imagine how anyone would think that separate bathrooms for black people were necessary to “avoid disease.” So disgusting. Reading this book reminds me of reading Roots. Peoples’ ignorance and prejudice is so astonishing.
11/13/10 – I listened to Romancing Charlotte Bronte on CD recently. It helped pass the time while driving to and from work for a couple of weeks. The book is just okay, I think, through no fault of the writer. I prefer books that are more light-hearted, or if they must be dark, they have to be funny at least. This book was just sad, albeit with a ray of hope right at the end that gets snuffed out quickly. Everyone dies. Charlotte’s beloved brother falls off the deep-end and drinks and does opium and eventually dies from TB, as do Emily and Ann, her two sisters. Charlotte’s true love is married and won’t return her letters. Her second love won’t love her back because she is not pretty. Her third love came about only after she married him. They spend a few blissful months together, and then she herself died. Ugh.
11/13/10 – I finished the first Harry Potter book. It was a super quick read, and I can see why they are so popular. Harry is kind of a Messiah character – a boy who has tremendous powers unbeknownst to himself even at first – powers that can protect him from a very powerful and evil wizard, Voldemort. It’s an interesting, engrossing world. It’s also very, very dark. At one point, Voldemort actually kills unicorns and drinks their blood. The section of the book where this occurs is really scary and unsettling. While overall I enjoyed the book, I’m not going to read the whole series. I don’t think it’s good for me.
9/4/10 – I downloaded Walden on my iPod touch (in true Walden spirit, I got it for free). Holy cow. I can’t believe I’ve never read this book. I love the way Thoreau writes. Reading on an electronic device takes some getting use to, however. I miss the heft of a book and being able to physically remember where a certain passage was. Flipping through screens is just not the same.
8/16/10 – Started Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty. Mom lent me it. It’s not my typical fare, but it sounds interesting. I recently bought the first Harry Potter, but I figured I need to give myself a fantasy break. I really should start reading The Singularity is Near again. It’s super interesting, but it’s not good bedtime reading material. It requires too much mental energy.
08/15/2010 – Finished The Lord of the Rings. So good.