What have I been reading? — June 2017 Edition

What have I been reading? — June 2017 Edition

It’s week 22 of 2017 and I looked back to see what I have been reading this year. Clearly I was hooked by the Outlander series because it’s sooo good! But I read a couple of thought-provoking titles too. Here goes my highlighted titles:

The “Read” list since January 2017:

  1. I Hate the Internet by Jarett Kobek: this was a fun book, full of dark sarcasm about the digital world but I am sure I didn’t understand half the jokes. It’s full of San Francisco references.
  2. Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum: I’ve been curious to read this book for years. It’s interesting half way through and then it becomes too long. The author likes to describe everything in detail, but apart from that, it was nice to understand the physical aspects of the Internet.
  3. Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon: one of my favorites books so far! Check my thoughts about it here.
  4. Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon: another one that goes to my favorites lists. This book is different from the previous one. It has more action, travel and … pirates!
  5. Some Thoughts About Relationships by Colin Wright: I really enjoyed this one! It brings rational advice about love and relationships with a sensible touch.
  6. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers: I have mixed feeling about this one. It’s a “feel-good” light sci-fi heavily character driven. The theme is great, the world building is impressive but the plot was too loose for my taste. Highlight to the depiction of different sentient races living together, with cultural and biological differences.
  7. So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport: This book makes an interesting argument: “Don’t follow your passion!”. It’s much better to master skills first and then that will lead you to a passionate career or life. It’s a good read!

And what is next?

I have these books on my radar for future reads:

  1. The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
  2. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness by Daniel G. Amen
  3. Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4) by Diana Gabaldon

Happy reading!

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Reading matter(s) of the month: October, 2016

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Okay, time for the wrap-up of the month! It’s week 44 of 2016 and I’ve finished reading 3 non-fiction books. Here goes the list:

The “Read” list of September, 2016:

  1. The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Edberg: I saw this book being recommended in a group and I decided to give it a try. I wanted to know what “hygge” was and it was a nice fast read full of good vibes.
  2. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking (Mindfulness Books Series Book 1) by S.J. Scott, Barrie Davenport: I am on a quest to understand anxiety and learn to be more relaxed. This book brings a compilation of various techniques to bring us more mindfulness.
  3. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: This book was written in 1990 and it felt so fresh! I finally understood the concept of “flow”. And the interesting thing is that flow is not so dependent on external factor but it is fully a consequence of our minds. It was an enlightening read!

The added “To-Read” list of September, 2016:

Yeah, I can’t myself and here goes more 6 titles to my “to-read” pile:

  1. The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch: Another classic book. I’ve known the 80/20 principle for years but I have never read anything specific or deep about it. Here is my chance!
  2. The Happiness Trap: How To Stop Struggling And Start Living by Russ Harris, Steven C. Hayes: I don’t remember who suggested me this book but I heard it was a good one.
  3. Smart Thinking: Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done by Art Markman: I am never tired of getting things done!
  4. How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields: I spotted this title on some blog post about minimalism, I guess. It is a new release and the comments about it convinced me I should give it a try.
  5. Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength by Laurie A. Helgoe: I’ve become more and more interested in introverts’ characteristics. I am introvert myself so this subject is fascinating to me.
  6. Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1) by Ann Aguirre: Sci-fi romance!

And what is next?

The 4 Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss is still on my radar.

But I also will definitely read The Mindful Geek: Mindfulness Meditation for Secular Skeptics (Kindle Edition) by Michael Taft

And, for my French practice “Stupeur et tremblements by Amélie Nothomb is next.

See you next month! Happy reading!

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Reading matter(s) of the month: September, 2016

Last month I focused on re-reading the new edition of the productivity classic “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. It’s the method I use since 2012 and recently I decided to implement the system on a new tool: Todoist. So, I felt the need to review the GTD concepts and re-reading the book brought me valuable new insights!

On the other hand, I added 8 books to my “future read” endless pile! Many of the tiles were cited in the GTD book, I couldn’t help it, sorry!

“So many books, so little time” by Amanda Tipton is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The “Read” list of September, 2016:

  1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen: It was my second read of this edition. I noticed that I have missed many things the first time through, and it really seemed like a whole new book. I learned a lot and I realized how many details I haven’t implemented on my own system because I was still so focused on the Ground and Projects level.
  2. Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1) by Tessa Dare: a funny light romance to relax because, who wouldn’t?
  3. The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Edberg: a short and uplifting book about a Danish concept that can be understood “as creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people”.

The added “To-Read” list of September, 2016:

  1. Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older
  2. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly
  3. The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated: Expanded And Updated, With Over 100 New Pages Of Cutting Edge Content. by Timothy Ferriss
  4. On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser
  5. A Philosopher’s Notes On Optimal Living, Creating An Authentically Awesome Life And Other Such Goodness by Brian Johnson
  6. The Irresistible Introvert: Harness the Power of Quiet Charisma in a Loud World by Michaela Chung
  7. The Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline by Jonathan Tepperman
  8. Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister, John Tierney

The “I am still reading and haven’t finished yet” pile:

Contact by Carl Sagan

And what is next?

I am inclined to read two books about productivity: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experienceby Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and “The 4 Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss because I’ve seen countless recommendations for them.

And, for my French practice, maybe: “Stupeur et tremblements by Amélie Nothomb

See you next month! Happy reading!

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Reading matter(s) of the month: August, 2016

Weekend morning reading in bed

This August I was a slow reader and I had other projects going on so my available time for reading was reduced. But, I intend on changing this situation on September.

So let’s get to it!

The “Read” list of August, 2016:

  1. The Practicing Mind: Bringing Discipline and Focus into Your Life by Thomas M. Sterner: This book has been on Kindle for quite a while. I’ve decided to give it try because I felt I was in need of some disciplinary words in my life. It was a nice read that teaches us to enjoy the journey, not the destination.
  2. In the Black (Tales from the Edge, #1) by Sheryl Nantus: this was last month’s pick of the Vaginal Fantasy bookclub. Imagine science-fiction + space opera + romance +mystery. It was a light read that I used to have fun and relax a bit.

The added “To-Read” list of August, 2016:

  1. The Joy of Swimming: A Celebration of Our Love for Getting in the Water by Lynn Cox (Foreword), Lisa Congdon (Illustrations): this book was a recommendation by Tammy Strobel of the Rowdy Kittens website. I have been practicing swimming since 2008 and it is one of my favorite physical exercises.
  2. Do Less: A Minimalist Guide to a Simplified, Organized, and Happy Life by Rachel Jonat: another one about minimalism!
  3. Dark Witch (The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy, #1) by Nora Roberts: I don’t remember where I saw this recommendation but I added it to my romance/light read list.
  4. The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity by Pedro G. Ferreira: history of the theory of general relativity by a Portuguese astrophysics professor because “Yes, Science!”.

The “I am still reading and haven’t finished yet” pile:

  1. Rhapsody: Child of Blood (Symphony of Ages #1) by Elizabeth Haydon: 43%!
  2. The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis) by Marjane Satrapi, Mattias Ripa: 50%!

And what is next?

Yes, I have an obvious plan this month: finish reading the unfinished ones (duh!). And, for my French practice, maybe:

  1. Stupeur et tremblements by Amélie Nothomb

See you next month! Happy reading!

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Reading matter(s) of the month: May, 2016

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It’s time for the wrap-up of the month! And it was a good month, as reading matters go. We are at the 22nd week of 2016 and I’ve finished reading 4 books: 2 non-fiction and 2 fiction. So here goes my list:

The “Read” list of May, 2016:

  1. Shards of Honour (Vorkosigan Saga, #1) by Lois McMaster Bujold: science fiction novel of the 80’s and part of a long saga. There are 30 novels and short stories in this universe. I liked it.
  2. The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker: in this new book Joshua Becker tells the story of his journey embracing minimalism and share learnings. It was nice to know how minimalism works with a family of four. It gives another perspective, away from “young, single, traveler” minimalist guys.
  3. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam: it tries to be a guide on how to use more effectively our available 168 hours in a week. But the author’s suggestions didn’t resonate with my personal life style. She gives too much emphasis on wealthy married women with children.
  4. The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, #1) by K.J. Charles: this was one of those quick and fun reads: a truly guilty pleasure. It was a pick from the “Vaginal Fantasy” book club and it the kind of romance I would never choose if I wasn’t a member of the club. That’s one cool thing about book clubs: we are exposed to new and interesting books.

The “To-Read” pile of May, 2016:

  1. Rhapsody: Child of Blood (Symphony of Ages, #1) by Elizabeth Haydon: I read a review and followed a recommendation someone tweeted. Then I saw it was on sale on Amazon. Since I love high fantasy the book cover simply told me: “read me!”. And so I bought it.
  2. How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil: I like to read about futurism and new possibilities and this author is visionary.
  3. Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution by Laurie Penny: another title added to my feminism theme list. This appears to be a very fresh and modern look on women empowerment, masculinity, sexual violence and the Internet.
  4. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins: this book was mentioned in a Podcast I listened recently and I don’t know how I haven’t read it yet. It is a criticism of religion and discusses how we humans created delusions to believe in gods.

The “I am still reading but haven’t finished yet” pile of May, 2016:

  1. Les Catilinaires by Amélie Nothomb: this is becoming embarrassing… I actually didn’t dedicate any time this month to read French literature. But this book still rests on my Kindle and I’ll give it more attention in June.

Final Stats:

So that wraps-up this month. I read a total of 984 pages divided into 4 short books. The average book length was 246 pages. So, yeah, that’s short. My goal for June is to read at least 3 books.

And what is next?

I have a plan! For the first time this year (yay!) I’ve already decided the books I intend to read next. The criteria: these books are currently on my Kindle (I’ve already purchased them). They are:

  1. The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life by Thomas M. Sterner
  2. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. Contact by Carl Sagan
  4. Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1) by John Scalzi

See you next month! Happy reading!

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Reading matter(s) of the month: February, 2016

book list february 2016

There goes the second month of 2016, 09 weeks have passed, and I am happy with my reading habits. I did finish some unfinished books from last year, so that resulted in a high number of books read. But, I also added new books to my never ending “to-read” pile…

The “To-Read” pile of February, 2016:

In February I added a total of 09 books to my “to-read” pile. They are:

  1. The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy  by Chris Bailey => I’ve been wanting to improve my focus because I still get distracted by little things, specially social media
  2. Yoga Anatomy, Second Edition  by Leslie Kaminoff, Amy Matthews => This book is an illustrated guide to Yoga and it seems there’s no digital edition available. It’s more like a “someday/maybe” book for me right now.
  3. The More of Less: Find the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker => that’s a new book from Joshua that will come out this month. I hope it will inspire my minimalism project.
  4. What To Say When You Talk To Your Self  by Shad Helmstetter => this seems an interesting read to address the voices in my head.
  5. Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body  by Jo Marchant =>I read an article about this book this month and her research investigates the influence of our minds over our bodies: a topic I want to explore.
  6. Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists  by Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus =>a book from The Minimalists on why to become a minimalist. Their podcast is awesome!
  7. enough  by Patrick Rhone =>another book into the “minimalist” theme: I think it was a recommendation I heard on The Minimalists podcast.
  8. How to Be Alive: No Impact Man’s Guide to a High Impact Life by Colin Beavan => a book on the theme of zero waste living: another topic I want to explore more.
  9. Zero World by Jason M. Hough => the only fiction book on this list, it’s a sci-fi thriller recommended by Felicia Day that I saw on Goodreads. I think it’s worth a try!

The “Read” list of February, 2016:

This month I wanted to read and/or finish some books that have been on my pile for way too long. I think I did a great job, I am happy with this list!

read books of february 2016

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury => a classic that was on my Kindle waiting to be read. Enjoyable.
  2. The Freedom Handbook: An Incomplete Guide to a More Complete Life  by Jeff Hirz =>a very short book that was also forgotten on my Kindle.
  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (25th Anniversary Edition) by Stephen R. Covey =>I started reading this book last year and put it down many, many times… I wanted to read it because almost everybody that is into productivity cites this book. I wasn’t impressed, really.
  4. Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness: One-Minute Tips for Decluttering and Refreshing Your Home and Your Life by Donna Smallin =>I love reading about organization and decluttering tips and this was a fast read on the subject.
  5. Delicacy: A Novel by David Foenkinos =>I finished a French book! Yay! I read this in its original version: achievement unlocked 🙂

The “I started reading but haven’t finished yet” pile of February, 2016:

  1. The Pillars of the World (Tir Alainn, #1)  by Anne Bishop => This book in the pick of the month of the Vaginal Fantasy book club, on Goodreads (it’s a book club for romance genre books with strong female lead characters). It sounds interesting!
  2. L’île mystérieuse by Jules Verne => I chose this book as my French reading practice this month, but I am already regretting it. It’s a very long book, and the pace is too slow for my taste, although I love Julio Verne. Maybe I’ll leave it and change to another one…just saying…

And, since March has already started, a quick update: I started reading “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” by canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. I’m just loving it!