Books I read in May 2016

In May I read only two non-fiction books and then a pile of novels because they were just so good that I didn’t want to put them down. So non-fiction first:

  1. How to Become a Straight A-Student by Cal Newport: This one I read mostly for my son. I thought it would be helpful for a seventh-grader but the book is mostly geared towards college students. Nevertheless I like it very much, and can see it being very helpful for students, and I even took some things away from it myself. My son has started reading it, was completely taken by the idea of the calendar/to-do-list that is in the book, didn’t manage to buy a notebook for three days straight, and when he finally got around to that he let the notebook sit unused. I have no idea if he will come back to it or if it made any difference but then that’s my son in a nutshell. The book is very clearly written, the tips are very helpful and practical, very easy to implement (my son is a special case), and I liked it very much.
  2. Children of the Ageing Self-Absorbed by Nina W. Brown: May was the month my son and I were visiting my parents, and I thought reading this book beforehand might be a good idea. And it was. The book is easy to read, and full of nice little exercises, it gives you strategies of how to deal with your screwed-up parents or grandparents well. Of course I did none of the exercises. And thinking about my parents and the issues I have with them made me rather sad at times, but I did find the suggestions helpful, and in a way this was the most pleasant visit we had with them in years. Highly recommended if you’re in a similar situation.

And fiction which means more books:

  1. Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep: This is the third novel in the Black Blade series. So far I have liked the series very much as I have liked everything I’ve read by Jennifer Estep. I maybe didn’t find it as gripping as the first two because it took me two weeks to finish it. On the other hand that might not have been the novel’s fault, I had quite a few non-fiction books lined up at the same time that I didn’t want to put down.
    (The reason I haven’t written about those in this month’s post is that I still have to finish them. I tend to wander between non-fiction books, reading them in bursts, and then putting them down in favor of other non-fiction. I only ever read one fiction book at a time.) I’m looking forward to the next installment because I can’t wait to see what will happen next. (Come to think of it I have no idea if there will be a next book. Huh.)
  2. Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipse, and One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire: I was very late in starting to read the October Daye-series but when I started I found I couldn’t stop. I read the books one after the other, always curious about what will happen next, and eagerto meet the characters again. These books are so well written that I actually toyed with the idea of stopping to try making my current novel work. It’s the same feeling I sometimes get when I listen to a master singer the feeling of “why bother?” to become better at what I do when there are people out there doing it extremely well.
    These thoughts are bullshit, of course, because there is room in the world for all kinds of writeres and musicians, even the mediocre ones, and especially for those who strive to become better and better. Nobody starts out as a master so not doing something because you’re not as good as you wish to be is foolish. Also I found that often people who are doing something extremely well still have the feeling that they are blundering about and not doing it as well as they wish they could. Because they strive to become better as well.

So if you are by any chance a person who hasn’t read the October Daye-series by now go and check it out, it is brilliant.



Why I signed up for Kindle Unlimited, and then quit it again right away

I am trying to save money at the moment, and it occurred to me that if I read 137 books last year that meant I had paid for most of them, and that is quite a bit of money.

Now I’ve always wanted to own the books I’ve read but on the other hand I read almost everything on my Kindle, and that is more like borrowing the book anyway.

I don’t mind because I like the convenience, I love the feeling of the Kindle in my hands, it stays open and flat so I can knit while reading without a problem, and this is the only way to carry around several hundred books in my purse.

Also if I want a new book I just click – and there it is.

I don’t have to go to the bookstore, see when it’s open, convince the saleswoman that yes, the book I want does indeed exist, and that she should order it for me, and then wait for two weeks until they phone me that it’s actually there. Which is a kind of improvement because it used to be that books in English took four to six weeks when ordered. If it was possible to order them from here at all.

Plus ebooks don’t need shelves.

So I thought to myself that I was reading a whole lot of non-fiction these days and those books are way expensive, and most of them I won’t be re-reading anyway. I could save a ton of money if I got Kindle Unlimited. All the books I want for ten Euros a month.

So I signed up. The first month is free. Then I pulled out my “buy later”-list of book titles.

I looked them all up in the store. All 43 of them.

You know how many of those were on Kindle Unlimited?


Yep. Two of 43. The books on Kindle Unlimited that I wanted to read were “Tommy Black and the Staff of Light” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

So I checked those two out (and a few days later “Supercharge Your Kindle Sales”) and quit.

I still get to read those books for free (even though I later decided to actually buy the “7 Habits”-book because I’m sure I will want to re-read it at some point.) but I had the feeling that paying 10 Euros a month for tat service wouldn’t actually save me any money.

Pity. I really liked the idea.


Books I read State of the Book Uncategorized

Books I read

So I used to put a list out every year with all the books I had read the year before. Over time these lists grew longer and longer because at one point I had decided I wanted to read more actual books than just things on the internet.

I still aim to read the internet empty on a regular basis but I have also gone back to old book-reading habits.

I read a bit every morning, sometimes before getting up, always around and during breakfast, and always before I go to sleep at night, and at any point in between when I find myself with some time on my hands. I read when riding trains, and when knitting, and always a minute here and there.

And while that is a very good thing for me because I love reading, and reading more is a real pleasure putting out a list of 137 titles without comment doesn’t really help anyone. I guess the only person in the world who looks at this is my old friend Winterkatze who loves reading and books maybe more than me, and who is always looking for nice new books to recommend to me. Which I appreciate very much. But all in all the list is too long. And I didn’t want to start writing in-depth reviews of the books I read either, and so I had the idea – this morning – that making a list of books I read each month might be a great thing. And I would do it here on my writing-related site.

Because right now I don’t have a book out yet, and so this here blog has been sitting unused and lonely which is sad.

So there will be a monthly list of books I read here every month, and the occasional post about other stuff concerning writing and reading starting now.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.