What I read: The February Cold Snap Edition
BOOK COUNT FOR THE YEAR
- January: 4
- February: 29
WHAT LITTLE BUN READ
Ever since he got his own Kindle Oasis, he has been reading up a storm:
- Dragon Masters series Books 1-4
- The World’s Worst Children Books 1-3
- Billionaire Boy
- Small Steps
- Code Name Bananas
- Dragons love tacos
- Demon Dentist
WHAT I READ
I am trying to read more but work has been kicking my bum. I try to squeeze out time to read, but it is rough. Also, Little Bun is an e-reader hog. Can’t wait for the new one to arrive.
[ PERSONAL FINANCE, LIFE, WHAT MATTERS, MONEY, HELP ]
One of the best personal finance books I have read in my life. I am sort of bored of money books these days, but I absolutely loved this one. It made me think so much about everything and the anecdotes .. oh wow.. I am really a sucker for them. They are excellent. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
[ Paris, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, fictional memoir ]
I had very low expectations for this book but it absolutely was a real treasure to read. So rich with interesting insights (fictional) into her mind, the experiences, the writing was truly captivating. It is a fictional account about Jacqueline Bouvier in Paris, that year she said changed her life, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
[ MYSTERY, RELIGION/PAGAN, THRILLER, AMERICA, INSIGHT ]
I don’t even know how to categorize this book. It is a bit about a war, but it isn’t a war in the way you think. It is religious, but not about a single religion of any kind (more like all of them). It is about America but also not about it at all, and more about the inherited history of “Americans” who are really immigrants, as the only ones who are truly native to this continent are the First Peoples. It is one of the most gripping, profound, interesting books I have read all year (yes I am well aware it is only February!), but I found myself thinking back over passages of the book over and over again as I was doing the dishes or going about my life. Really well done.
[ PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, HIDING MISSING, FAMILY, PARENTAL LOVE ]
Could not put this book down. Loved it – well written, great look into family and the bonds that tie us, but also, wondering how well you really know anyone in your life. Made me question everyone I knew HAHAH…. Even so, the book gripped me right to the end. I cannot say I loved the ending, I am a sucker, but it was still an excellent read to the very end.
[ CHICKLIT, BOOKS, AMBITIOUS WOMEN, CITY LIFE, CHILDLESS ]
One of the best chicklits I have read in … since forever. A really long time. Finally, a deep dive into the CHARACTERS, their inside thinking, the twist on being a classic, overworked chicklit storyline – I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will admit to having cried at some parts that touched me. I would recommend this one, and barely any of the others I have read so far.
[ MARILYN MONROE, FICTIONAL HISTORY, IMAGINATION ]
I read the entire book and felt immensely sad for her. If her life was really like that, or even half of that, I feel for the little Norma Jeane who wanted the love and stability of her mother. The whole thing made me quite sad, but it was well written as it drew me in. If you are interested in Marilyn, celebrity icons, or just being brought along for the imaginative ride through her life, as seen through her eyes, this was an excellent read.
[ family, divorce, living, singletons, life, responsibilities ]
Everyone was so hyped up for this book but I was okay about it. I mean, I liked it, I read it, but I wasn’t thinking – WOW. I WANT TO READ THIS AGAIN ONE DAY. This was just a good read, great insights into the minds of others, and experiences. I’d recommend it, but dial down your expectations.
[ business, commerce, patagonia, startup, values ]
LOVED THIS BOOK. Wow. I had no idea about how it all started (Patagonia), and it was excellent because it also went into the values of a company and the fight between being corporate + being responsible. Really really a good read. I wish all companies thought like this. I know Chouinard also donated the company in perpetuity to environmental causes which makes me feel even warmer towards them.
[ mystery, forensics, murder ]
I had no idea it was a series. I am a bit salty I started in the middle. That said, I liked it, and now want to restart from the beginning again.
[ Marriage, prison, people, growth, life ]
I read something very similar in this book by Reid – One True Loves – so I obviously loved this one. I felt like it had similar themes, and I very much enjoyed being in the minds of the characters, as they go through this traumatic period and struggle with what to do.
[ PRINCE HARRY, ROYAL FAMILY, ENGLAND, BIOGRAPHY, PRICE OF FAME ]
This whole book was just tragic. Not the writing, revelations, or anything, but that I felt profound sadness at the end, for the whole family. I won’t spoil it, but it was one of the best memoirs I have read in a long time as it was so raw, but it also brought to light what fame / celebrity costs, and a really open view (as open as he would allow it) into the backdoor machinations of a Royal British Monarchy. It’s all just so tragic and sad. They all need serious therapy and should be gifted services of one for the holidays, though I can understand it being very difficult to find someone to trust, being who you are. A great book to read, just be prepared to cry, and feel immensely sad.. and yet, (schadenfreude) feel very grateful and happy you’re a nobody.
[ PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, UNEXPECTED TWIST, ASYLUM, MYSTERY ]
WOW. I have not read a book that has kept my interest right until the end, in a very long time. it is truly excellent. I did not see that ending coming, and if you like psychological thrillers, this one is right up on my list of recommendations.
[ THRILLER, PSYCHOLOGICAL, RICH FAMILIES, Startups, Fights, Money, Skiing, France, Alps, Murder ]
Another book that took me right to the last page. I HAD NO IDEA. I was guessing and trying to figure it out but couldn’t. It was just so well done, loved it. It is based in France, and around skiing but it isn’t the theme of the book.
[ INFIDELITY (BOTH SIDES), CHEATING, FAMILY, LOVE, BONDS ]
What a wonderful book. Yes there is infidelity but it is really great how we can see the different angles of those who are cheating and are being cheated on. It is like I am in their lives, without being there ….which is the best kind of situation for these sorts of situations. I really enjoyed it. Down to the last word, I felt the words, and found it one of her better works.
[ GENETICS, HEREDITARY, HISTORY, EUGENICS, DEBATES, HEALTH, RACE ]
What a dense, wonderful, BRILLIANT book. If you are interested in the history of genes and heredity potential, this is truly a great read. Interesting, lively, great anecdotes. All the talk around eugenics made me quite sick, but the rest of it was well done. No holds barred, excellent writing.
[ THRILLER, PSYCHOLOGICAL, GOLDDIGGER, BEHIND THE SCENES, RICH FAMILIES ]
Wow. Just wow. The twists and turns of this book had me enthralled until the end. I was of course, disgusted at many parts of the book, but the ending was so satisfying even if I was nauseous at the description of some areas (I KNOW IT IS FICTION)… Highly recommended. I could not put it down.
[ THRILLER, PSYCHOLOGICAL, PEDOPHILIA WARNING, family ties ]
I loved it until the end. The ending and twist, was not my cup of tea. I am going to leave it at that so I don’t spoil it. But the ending, as lame as it was, tied up the bow on this book neatly, even thought I felt unsatisfied with the way it ended…. though it did make its presence known as a result of the reveal.
[ THRILLER, mystery, PSYCHOLOGICAL, PEDOPHILIA WARNING, best friends, family ]
I do not know how I ended up reading two books with themes of pedophilia, but this book gripped me TO THE END. What a thrilling ending. I will say that if you are sensitive about themes around children, avoid this. It triggered me a tiny bit because I kept feeling so terrible for what was going on in the book, but it was not so bad that I had to delete it and stop reading…. so there’s that.
[ THRILLER, PSYCHOLOGICAL, LOVE, MARRIAGE STRIFE, FAMILY, BULLYING ]
We are just knocking it out of the park with the psychological thrillers because this one was also quite good. I couldn’t put it down. I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. It was satisfying-esque? I feel like some threads were left too loose and should have been tied up more neatly, or tightened up, but overall the book was an excellent thriller.
[ LGBTQ, HISTORY, FICTIONAL, IRELAND, ADOPTION, RELIGION ]
Another book I could not put down. I loved it from start to finish. It really went into what LGBTQ folks had to endure in the past, just for love. The violence, the whole stress of it all, and constant judgement… painful. I loved reading it, but it was a painful read, if that makes sense.
[ BLUE ZONES, HEALTH, JAPAN, LIVING LONGER, COMMUNITY ]
Long story short – Don’t overindulge, eat more fruits and vegetables, less red meats, exercise, build a strong sense of community, and keep your brain lively with meeting others, playing games, learning languages, and you’ll be fine.
[ SELFRIDGE, RETAILER, REVOLUTION, MEMOIR, HISTORY, SHOPPING ]
I LOVED this book because of the way you could see his brain work, and all the innovative, revolutionary items he brought to the world of retailing. His life, in the memoir, was rather sad. I won’t ruin it, but I would not have wanted his life. His business acumen however, was just incredible.
[ SHORT HORROR STORY, DOMESTIC ABUSE, THRILLER, OTHERWORLDY ]
I could have done without reading it. Honestly, it creeped me out at the end, but it just made me really sad as it was about a domestic abuse case. I hate the topic of those books. I wish I had never read it.
[ CHICKLIT, DESI, OPPOSITES ATTRACT ]
A light, fluffy read. Not bad, not quite excellent. I liked many parts of it, but it was missing 20% of that je ne sais quoi that I look for in these books, that makes the characters deep and interesting. They feel still, a bit superficial, and the plot a bit predictable. Maybe I am asking for too much these days. I did however, appreciate the desi touches. LOVED THEM, in fact.
[ WOMEN, FEMINISM, MIXED MESSAGES ]
A great overview of feminism as in, the mixed messages women receive. I found it rather dry in its delivery, so I wouldn’t recommend it (the title was so much catchier). But maybe I was just not in the right mindset to read it.
[ 9/11, BIOGRAPHY, HERO, LIFE ]
I didn’t know about the red bandanna, but I sure wept like a baby throughout this book. Knowing what happens at the start, is what makes this whole book profoundly sad. It was a good read, however.
[ FBI, HUNT, SPY, DYSLEXIA, REAL LIFE ]
I couldn’t put the book down. It was just so fascinating in its strange brilliance meets wrongness. He did things so right, then so wrong, and had a very naive way of looking at the world because the whole operation sounded so .. farfetched. Anyway, a recommended read if you’re into these topics.
[ MURDER MYSTERY, CULT ]
Now I know why I did not enjoy this book. This is BOOK THREE. I need to read Book One or else I am totally lost and not interested at all, nor invested. I read it, it was okay, but not memorable at all.
[ FENG SHUI, LIFE, FLOW, LIVING SPACES, HELP, VIBES, KARMA ]
A great guide to how to make your space feel better and flow better. A lot of what he says just makes common sense (don’t put your back towards an empty space, face a wall instead), and it was nice to have it so well laid out. His videos on Instagram are also very helpful if you are more visual.
How do I read so quickly?
I don’t know either. I’ve been reading books for as long as I can remember. I feel like my sibling is the one who patiently taught me how to read one book, and from there, it exploded.
So, lots of practice? I have been reading for so long that words come easily to my brain, it’s like I see a picture of the word rather than reading the word individually. So “disastrous” would be a word that you read “dis-sas-trous”, but in my head it’s disastrous“, just one word, meaning imprinted. Makes sentences go a lot quicker.
Save for my parents, my entire immediate family is a family of voracious readers.
We read while eating, we read while walking, we read in bed… I guess I just followed what my older siblings did as they always had their nose in their books, and a few going at the same time (you know, the disrespectful way we read through half a book than leave it half open facing the table, spines cracked, no bookmark?).
I used to read 30+ books from the library a week – all young adult, easy stuff. I can read 2-3 books of young adult fiction in a current work day to give you an example, and as a child I had way more time than I do now, so I burned through books like a firestorm.
Our partners remark that they’ve never seen a family read so much, and I guess it’s true.
Where do I get my books?
A lot of you have asked and I generally don’t buy books unless they’re secondhand and in ebook format, for many reasons – price, environmental, space, and even then, I don’t buy books. I borrow them.
I read them on my Kobo ereader (also secondhand), and check out books from the library from Overdrive. If the book isn’t there, I generally don’t read it, UNLESS.. it is a book I REALLY REALLY want to read, then I MAY consider buying it if I cannot wait for it or find it. So far, I have only done this for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Libraries are a gift, and we pay for them in our taxes yearly even if you don’t personally use them, so thanks.
How do I know what to read?
I don’t. I see recommendations and make notes, or put it on my Wishlist / On hold. I sometimes go into bookstores and browse, then decide if it is worth getting from the library. Or in secondhand stores, I pick up or buy books only if they’re photography / style-related where pictures and colour are a MUST (the one drawback to an e-reader).
I purchased only two physical books in 2020 that I couldn’t / didn’t want to buy in e-book format: Distinction (it was cheaper secondhand than the e-book), & Scoff (not available in ebook format at all).
Don’t you prefer physical books?
Aside from the cost, the space they take up, how heavy they are (we have a small bookshelf, most of it is Little Bun), I find them heavy to hold and hard to read in rooms unless there is bright daylight or very strong lamp light (I suffer from aura migraines and I’ve noticed dim light or lack of light triggers it when I am reading). I really like that the ebook illuminates the book.
I’d rather carry my entire library around with me in an ebook reader, plus be able to read with a backlight on.
I am currently considering a library option however only because we plan on buying a larger home in the future and I could allow a small library in my closet, perhaps.
Likely, it will only be filled with photography and style books however. Those are the only books I really want in physical copy and ebooks won’t suffice.
Where do I find the time to read?
I just make time for it. I have no other answer…
I’ve noticed if I am not watching TV shows, or aimlessly browsing on Instagram, I seem to have plenty of time to read if I am able to foist Little Bun off on my partner and/or keep him occupied otherwise.
I can go through a lot of books in a short amount of time if I am both interested, reasonably well-rested (or in a good mental state, not in limbo or stressed out) and the book itself is engrossing.
I read while brushing my teeth as you need to brush a full minute to two minutes (I have the reader on a stand), and I read while eating or drinking tea, I read while Little Bun plays or reads…. I read every time there is a spare moment.