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:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.)
- 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.