I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be,
but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.
— Douglas Pagels

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Another Round of Books, and Completing My Goal

Fiction

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (heavily abridged) audio book
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea original manuscript (translated from French) by Jules Verne
Around The World In Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

I enjoyed reading Jules Verne, and felt that his writing style made his outrageous ideas believable and endearing. I will count him as one of my favorite classic authors from now on. Who doesn't love Passepartout? What a great character. This is the best in early Science-Fiction.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

This was the Hogwarts textbook, not the screenplay. Therefore, it was pretty much only an encyclopedia of creatures (Thunderbird, Ozark Howler, Jersey Devil, Niffler, Hungarian Horntail, Peruvian Vipertooth, and many more), where they're from, and what they look like, with a few brief stories. The book is narrated by Hufflepuff Magizoologist Newt Scamander, whose life predates Harry Potter by more than half a century.

I did watch the movie, and wasn't as excited as I wanted to be. I found it on the boring side. I will say that I am interested in what happens between Jacob and Queenie, but that's about it. I don't intend to see the sequel in a theater, but I might watch it at a later date online.


Non-Fiction

The Courage to Create by Rollo May

This is a series of essays about creating, and he touches on everything from sculpture to sex. It was nothing particularly mind-blowing, but interesting enough to listen to twice. I will eventually look for the eBook version so I can read it at my own pace.

Marcus Off Duty by Marcus Samuelsson

Samuelsson is one of my favorite chefs. I always enjoy his stories, whether verbal or in written form.

How To Stay Sane by Philippa Perry

Decent advice, for the most part.

How To Change The World by John-Paul Flintoff

Not very helpful. It was mostly idealistic thoughts and repetitive quotes (be the change you wish to see, blah blah), but not a lot of practical ideas on how to make the world truly better as an individual.

This I Believe: Life Lessons by Dan Gediman, Mary Jo Gediman, and John Gregory

This is a series of essays by regular people (which is nice, because it's relatable) sharing stories about life and what they learned from it. This was originally a public radio broadcast.

Poetry

The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson

1775 poems, people! It took reading a few pages each day for five weeks, but I got through Dickinson's entire writing collection. Her nature, death, and eternity poetry far surpasses her life and love poetry. I may elaborate at a later date.


Abandoned for reasons

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

It didn't start off so bad, but then she dove into new age frequencies and law of attraction crap and I checked out immediately. I dislike that nonsense, in fact, you may Google my thoughts about the law of attraction by searching for my Amazon review of a book called The Secret. It's brutal, and I don't regret a word. I feel that Sincero was only trying to capitalize on the same concepts, and she probably succeeded because humans are desperate and gullible.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Wealthy woman wants her life to be even happier and more perfect than she thinks it already is. The book isn't very good, and the audio book is even worse due to her voice sounding like it's in a perpetual state of condescending sarcasm. This is the kind of thing the 1% writes from their comfortable world of privilege. My review on Goodreads was a lot nicer, but if you look at the other reviews, you'll see that others there share my disdain. In spite of it coming across as frequently patting herself on the back, it probably inspired someone, or maybe plenty of someones. Not me. I ended up skipping several non-applicable chapters (don't yell at your husband, your kids are perfect, get a job that pays well) and blank-stared at the rest (including "money can buy happiness, so go ahead and buy that thing you want"). Seriously. Get real.


Currently Reading

- Anam Cara by John O'Donohue
- The Tell-Tale Brain by V.S. Ramachandran
- The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience by Arthur P. Ciaramicoli

I will talk about those three later. Goodreads is telling me that I've completed my goal of 52 books in a year. Due to the fact that I abandoned some, I am reading a few more than I originally planned in order to achieve that number authentically.

See you soon.