Sunday, November 29, 2015

Books Read in November

Since I was focusing on NaNoWriMo for most of November, I didn't get a huge amount of reading done and it was all nonfiction, except for books I finished at the very beginning of the month. Therefore, I got in both an sf book for Science Fiction Month (Ancillary Mercy) and a few books for Nonfiction November.

I'll let you know in December, but I have also probably finished Book Riot's Read Harder challenge and Popsugar's 2015 Reading Challenge. I heard about the latter toward the beginning of the year and decided to see if my reading would complete it without purposefully doing so. I only saw Book Riot's challenge more recently, but I think I will similarly have completed at least most of it without trying.

61. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

I started reading this awhile back, in slow stages, and finished as I was beginning NaNoWriMo. It's a series of vignettes about writing, life, and Zen Buddhism that are helpful for putting you in the mood to feel inspired and un-self-conscious about your writing. I would highly recommend this book to any writer.

62. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The life-changing aspect is still under investigation, but this book about cleaning is surprisingly inspiring. It's translated from Japanese, which I didn't realize at first, and so, in retrospect, a lot of the comments she makes about her clients make more sense. However, whatever country (or planet) you're on, her advice about letting go of your overabundance of things makes sense. The book focuses on discarding, in particular categories in a particular order. The method is one that I have personally found very freeing--you judge each object by picking it up, touching it, and deciding whether or not it gives you joy. I can attest that I found this effective. She also wrote some thoughts that I found particularly freeing, like the idea that a gift or a card has done its job as soon as it reaches you and that it is okay to let go of gifts from loved ones because they would not want them to be a burden to you. She claims that all of her clients who have followed this method faithfully have never relapsed, which is a huge claim that I intend to put to the test. So far, I have gotten through clothes and books. We'll see what happens!

63. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Although I've wanted to read this book for years, it turns out it's a marrow bone that's been sucked dry. Many of the great Hemingway quotes seem to originate from it, so I was constantly getting deja vu while reading. I was also getting deja vu because the writing style was very familiar to me, exactly like a certain type of pretentious (usually male, sorry!) writer, who, of course, have based their styles on Hemingway. So, thanks Hem, for that. I do love this hilarious observation that Hemingway makes about Fitzgerald: "It was hard to accept him as a drunkard, since he was affected by such small quantities of alcohol." What a jab between fellow alcoholic writers!

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