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!

What did you think? If you liked this post, please recommend it!

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


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!

What did you think? If you liked this post, please recommend it!

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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!


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

I will start a monthly series of posts with a review of my “reading matters” of the month. It is just a way of celebrating my achievements, sharing books recommendations and (maybe) helping others make their “to-read” piles even bigger (I’m sorry!).

to-read pile 2016-02-03

The “To-Read” pile of January, 2016:

So, since last month marked the beginning of a new year, I actually did a huge list of all the books I want to read in 2016 focused on personal development. For 2016 I have the goal of changing my habits, improving my GTD system and read more non-fiction books, including biographies (which I rarely read). The list contains books I have already added years ago, so this month I am going to share a (huge) list that contains not only the books I added in January, but also older ones, in no particular order:
  1. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande => GTD related because it talks about checklist. I think it can be very useful to my GTD system.
  2. The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life by Thomas M. Sterner => I think I saw a recommendation of this book on a Lifehacker post. It’s always good to know how to focus.
  3. Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondō => last year I read her first book and made huge changes in life. This the second one: I am looking forward to reading it (it was illustrations!!)
  4. Elon Musk: Inventing the Future by Ashlee Vance => a must read biography (or so I’ve been told) because I am huge fan of Elon Musk.
  5. The Mindful Geek: Secular Meditation for Smart Skeptics by Michael Taft => Part of my quest to dive deeper into meditation.
  6. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi => I am really curious to know about “THE FLOW” and how to get there.
  7. The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay A. Johnson => I think it might contain some valuable information on how to deal with lots of information.
  8. The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin => another one about how to deal with too much information.
  9. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem => the first of the Book Club about Feminism created by Emma Watson called “Our Shared Shelf” (check it out on Goodreads). I will be a little behind the schedule, because this was their January pick.
  10. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell => I am always interested on the success of the non-conventional.
  11. The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker => I want to know what’s inside processed food (and be scared!)
  12. Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton => I want to know how the 140 character revolution started.
  13. Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis => a little bit of optimist is always good!
  14. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss => Another one o get a little scared about the food industry.
  15. The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson => this book has been on my list for a long time now!
  16. Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy and the New Science of Desire by Martin Lindstrom => Consumption or Consumerism?
  17. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield => I am a huge fan of Chris Hadfield!
  18. Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax” (Wiley Bad Science Series) by Philip Plait => I love Philip Plait blogs and videos (his series Crash Course Astronomy was amazing!)
  19. Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium by Carl Sagan => one of my favorite authors!
  20. Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet by Katie Hafner by Matthew Lyon => I want to know how the internet came to be.
  21. The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow => a friend of mine recommend me this almost a decade ago. I think it’s time for me to read it!
  22. 168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Think by Laura Vanderkam => I love to read about time management and productivity and this one seems nice.
  23. Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum => I bought this book 3 years ago because I wanted to know how is the internet, physically speaking, literally.
  24. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris => I am curious to know what this man has been talking about.

The “Read” list of January, 2016:

This month I finished reading two books. One of them has completely changed the way I think about my routines and life goals. The other was just fun and a bit silly:
  1. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod => the first book of 2016 about personal development and I can say that it was an intense reading. Because of this book I totally embraced the morning person inside me.
  2. Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1) by Grace Draven => this goes into my “guilty pleasure fiction” pile. I didn’t enjoy it so much maybe because it had a young-adult feel.

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

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain => I am loving this book! I consider myself an introvert and this book resonates deeply with me! And also the title of the book is fantastic!
  2. L’île mystérieuse by Jules Verne => it’s from a classic French author and it’s part of my “French Learning” project. It is a long book, so I’ll probably take a few more months to finish it.
And that’s it! I am actually now a little bit scared of my “To-read” pile but (hopefully) I’ll be able to tackle it until the end of 2016.
I will probably continue adding more books to my “to-read” pile but I’ll try to leave the new ones on a “someday/maybe” list because the ones I listed above are truly the books I’ve been wanting to read for a while so they have priority!
I also have an endless list of fiction books to read, but I haven’t decided yet which are my favorite ones because I started this year focusing more on non-fiction.
And, as I’ve been doing since 2012, I joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge with a goal of reading a total of 45 books in 2016 🙂
If you want to see a glimpse of all the books I read in 2015 click here.
What about you? Do you plan on reading more fiction or non-fiction this year? Do you also have an endless pile of books to read?