Tag Archives: reading

Nov 2018 What Are You Reading?

I really slowed down on my reading this month because I wanted to really focus on the story I’m working on for the Make Your Way anthology (with the hopes of getting it written and submitted as soon as I can because it’s been two months since I decided to work on it).  So here’s what I did read:

Nonfiction books:

  • None this month!

Fiction books:

  • Rhubarb by H. Allen Smith
  • I, Death by Mark Leslie

I wasn’t a huge fan of either book, but of the two I’d say my favourite was Rhubarb.  It was kind of ridiculous and silly but I still found it to be a lot more fun than I, Death.  I read Rhubarb right before I, Death and between the two of them I kind of lost interest in reading for a bit.  Oh well, hopefully the next book I read is more my thing!

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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Oct 2018 What Are You Reading?

Oooh, it’s Gate Night; Happy Halloween everyone! Are you going out tomorrow at all?  Are you dressing up?  I’m going to be working, so I’m going to just be wearing a hat of some sort (probably my blue cat ears that I got from Yunalicia last year at ThunderCon)

After reading The Millionaire Teacher last month, I was feeling a bit burnt out of reading nonfiction (although there’s still lots I want to read).  I guess that sort of translated into being a bit burnt out of reading because I only read three books this month:

Nonfiction books:

  • Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall
  • Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga

Fiction books:

  • Cocktail Time by P.G. Wodehouse

My favourite book this month was definitely Cocktail Time.  My mom recommended I read some Wodehouse because they’re fun and light-hearted reads, which was exactly what I needed after reading Don’t Even Think About It and Seven Fallen Feathers.  My brother brought me both Cocktail Time and Carry On, Jeeves; I opted for Cocktail Time because it’s the one my mom liked more.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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Sept 2018 What Are You Reading?

This month I continued my trend of reading mostly nonfiction books.  I did manage to squeeze in a few fiction reads as well (but they were shorter novellas rather than full novels; even though there were three books, the page count was way less than the nonfiction).

Nonfiction books:

  • Bolt and Keel by Kayleen VanderRee & Danielle Gumbley (this is more of a book that you flip through rather than read)
  • Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck
  • The Wealthy Barber: The Common Sense Guide to Successful Financial Planning by David Chilton
  • The Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam

Fiction books:

  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

My favourite book was definitely The Millionaire Teacher; even though I’ve read a fair number of books on finance over the last few months, I found Hallam’s advice superb (and the book really is rather like an updated version of Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber).  I also really liked Walkable City (which I review on Sustainably North if you’re interested); ever since finishing it I’ve been looking at the streets of Thunder Bay with totally new eyes.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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Aug 28 What are you Reading?

After reading Austin Kleon‘s Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered on Monday, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve read over the last month.  I don’t want to be making posts like this too often, so I’m going to give it a try once a month, on the last Tuesday (I’m going to repurpose the Tuesday Talk category for this!) 😉

This year I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction books, and August continued that trend.  I read 5 nonfiction books:

  • The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness by Ryan Dowd
  • The Anti 9 to 5 Guide by Michelle Goodman
  • I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You by David Charandy
  • The Golden Boy by Grant Matheson
  • Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon

I did manage to fit in a few fiction books too:

  • How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
  • Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety by Ann Y.K. Choi

I think my favourite nonfiction book was The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness; Dowd has some fantastic insights to the world of homeless people.  My favourite fiction book was How to Walk Away.  I was looking for a light and fast read and Center definitely delivered; I also really enjoyed the crazy dynamics of her main character’s family.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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Read 25 Books + Editing Pass Complete!

So earlier in the week, I got sick.  It sucked, because while I was feeling completely like crap, I didn’t feel like working on that short story I’ve got on the go (even though I had just a few paragraphs left to go on that editing pass!)

But what I did end up doing was reading.  Quite a bit, actually.  As of today, I finished one book and read two more, including Steve Brusatte’s The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, which I read in about 24 hours (thanks in large part to starting it while waiting to see a doctor yesterday).  The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs actually ended up being book 25 in my reading challenge!  So yes, as of earlier today, I accomplished one of my goals for the year – I read 25 books!  At least some good came of being sick. 🙂

In all seriousness though, I am feeling a bit better today.  I’m now on antibiotics, which I think is the main reason for that.  I’ve eaten a bit more today without feeling super nauseous (thanks to being nauseous, I barely ate anything over the last two days).  I’ve spent the evening making soup (it seriously has ended up an entire evening affair – I started at about 6pm, and it finally finished at almost midnight! Oh well, at least I now have soup). And over the last few hours of soup making, I sat down to finish this editing pass on my short story. 🙂

So with my story shaping up, I went to go and check the Duotrope listing I’m planning on submitting it to.  The listing closes in about a week and a half, so I’ve still got plenty of time to work on it.  Unfortunately, I just realized the listing wants short stories of 3500- 5000 words in length.  And their website says they are looking for horror (the Duotrope listing says horror, sci fi, and fantasy).  This story is currently quite a bit shorter than 3500 words (it’s now 2440, which is over 1000 words longer than the first draft, so it’s moving in the right direction), and is not at all a horror.  I just sent them a message over Facebook asking about the genre and whether they are open to accepting shorter submissions (someone else asked about the shorter submissions on their website, but they didn’t answer).  And of course after I asked my questions I found that they say they are open to all forms of speculative fiction.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get this story to 3500 words or not.  But that’s a problem for another day.  For tonight I’m just happy to be done this editing pass! And whether it gets submitted anywhere or not, at the very least it will hopefully be one of the two polished short stories I wanted to write this year. 🙂

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Tuesday Talk – Do You Read Strictly For Enjoyment?

Do I read strictly for enjoyment?  No.

I really wish I did.  I love reading.  More importantly, I love reading books I want to read.  But there have been many times over the years when that wasn’t possible.

School was a big reason.  I don’t want to count the times I was forced to read a book I hated.  Okay, forced may be a strong word; I could have chosen not to read the book I guess.  But I read them all in high school, and all but one in University (I was sick and didn’t end up reading one book from the assigned reading list).  I even managed to make it through the 500 page monstrosity that is The Golden Notebook in one week (that was a super tough read to get through, and wow was that a painful class – I was one of two people plus the prof who had read the book; no one else had anything to say about it during the entire discussion).

Once school finished, I thought I would be in the clear to go back to reading just the books I wanted to read.  But that hasn’t always happened.  I’ve read many books for strategic reasons, like choosing ones to review for work.  Or reading books that my brother has lent to me that I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to read on my own (like The Alchemist).

So no, I do not read strictly for enjoyment.  But that’s okay.  If you read just for enjoyment, you may not push yourself outside of your comfort zone.  Sure, you might read some books you really don’t like.  But you’ll also find some amazing books you might not have picked up on your own.

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Tuesday Talk – Do You Read a Specific Amount of Pages Before Giving Up?

When I was younger, with the exception of Bunnicula, I used to read every single fiction book I started from start to finish. It didn’t matter if I liked it or not. If I started it, I was hell-bent on finishing it.

In some ways, this was a good thing. I’ve read books that I didn’t enjoy and so could comment on why I didn’t like them. I’ve also used examples of books I absolutely hated as comparisons to other books, showing why this book may be better or worse than that one. Over the years I was able to refine my reading taste, discovering that I prefer dialogue to lots of dry description, or that I sometimes get lost in written action scenes.

But as I got older, things changed. I remember one lady saying that she never finishes a book she doesn’t like.  In her words, “life is too short to be spent reading bad books.” And honestly, that’s very, very true. There are far more books to read than we will have time to read them. So why waste your time on something you’re not liking?

I’d like to say that I started following this advice right away. But that wasn’t the case. You see, I also was taking a Masters in English Literature at the time. Which meant that I had to read an awful lot of books very quickly. And unfortunately, most of these books were not things I enjoyed (there’s something else I discoverd – I am not a fan of a lot of capital L-Literature). So I forced my way through a lot of books. Some surprised me in a good way (I enjoyed them). Others surprised me in a bad way (I disliked ones I thought I would love). And many were things I would never have picked up if given the choice. So this was a very good time in many ways, helping me broaden my reading horizons.

Unfortunately it also burnt me out on reading a bit. I’m still able to read books. But I lose patience with them much faster than I used to. Where in the past I would push myself through a book I wasn’t enjoying, now I just stop. But I do try to give the book a fair shot before stopping. If I’m not enjoying the book by about 100-150 pages in (depending on its size and whether or not anything at all seems to be happening), it’s game over. And really, why should I keep going if I’m not enjoying myself? Life’s too short to waste reading “bad” books!

This Tuesday’s Talk topic came from the Tuesday Talks Goodreads group.

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