Books I Read This Week 2019 – 23

This was a so-so reading week, for me. Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

How to Draw and Write in Fountain Pen (4 stars): This book is a gem! if you like drawing and want to start simple and not buy a ton of art supplies, this is the book for you. 

It’s broken into three parts: basic drawing guidelines, a bunch of examples of things to draw, and several projects.

In the first section, the author breaks down fountain pens, how to hold one, how to make lines, what type of ink to get, etc. It’s simple, clear and organized.

The second part if chock full of simple drawings: food, clothes, plants, trees and so much more. Each drawing is broken down to three steps and feels very achievable. The book also has several alphabets.

The last section has several project ideas, things like cupcake toppers and gift tags, etc. All of them relatively simple and elegant and very useful.

If you have wanted to venture into fountain pens, drawing, or fun little projects, this book is a great place to start.

The Algebra of Happiness (3.5 stars):  This was a very quick read. This author, while apparently famous in some worlds, was completely new to me. While the book wasn’t at all what I thought it was going to be (info/data/learnings) it was really enjoyable. I liked his style and mix of no nonsense strong opinions mixed with self-deprecation that he kept having. His focus on people you love, family and focusing on what matters is always a good reminder.

The Printed Letter Workshop (3 stars): It took me a while to get into this book. I’m not sure if that’s because it had sort of a slow start or if it’s because I was distracted. I listened to this on audio and in the beginning the three women didn’t have distinctive enough voices to differentiate which made it hard for me to develop any sort of interest and empathy. But over time, as their stories developed, I found myself rooting for each of them and getting to know each of them. I still wish they were developed even further because they were each women I’d like to have gotten to know more. The book was sweet, even if a bit predictable, and I never regret a story about books and bookstores.

Anywhere, Anytime Art: Illustration (4 stars): This is a great starter book on illustration. It starts with a section on materials, media, and different styles. It talks about color theory and why it’s important to be thoughtful about the color palette you choose to evoke different feelings. 

It then moves to a wide range of projects, some of which I loved like drawing your neighborhood or hand lettering a meaningful word/phrase and others didn’t speak to me as much but I still loved seeing what the author produced.

There’s some step by step in this book but it’s a combination of instruction and inspiration, generally staying on the simple/introductory side of things. If you’d like to experiment of illustration, I think you will love this book as a starting place.

It’s a Numberful World (5 stars): I am squarely in the target audience of this book! 

I loved every single page of it, underlined pretty much half this book and have had several long conversations with my family as I was read it in. In fact, while we were driving to the beach, I read parts of it out loud to my kids. This book is the perfect combination of math, fun, learning, fascination, and joy! 

This book is broken into chapters, most of which are not intercorrelated (with a few exceptions) where there’s a new mathematical concept covered in each chapter. It mentions all things math like fractals, algebra, chaos theory, graph theory, encryption and more. I knew many of these concepts and yet it was still delightful to reread what I knew and fascinating to read what I didn’t know. 

If you’re a fan of math or have someone in your life who might not appreciate how magical math is and how it’s a part of every single aspect of our life, I think this would make an excellent gift. I hope they will love this book as much as I did.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (3.5 stars): Historical fiction is not usually my genre of choice. But when it’s done well, it can be my favorite genre. This novel is about a time and region in history that I know very little about. At first, I thought the author made up the “blue skinned people” but as the story progressed, I thought it’s an odd detail to make up in a book that is otherwise not at all science fiction. 

I really enjoyed reading all of this novel. I liked the main character and several of the secondary characters and I really appreciated learning all the details about the small town. The bigotry and judgement are both woven into the story in ways that absolutely break your heart. And it’s another book about books. I loved learning about this time in history and this wonderful book delivery project.

Really enjoyed this one. If historical fiction is your genre, I am sure you will love it.

When We Left Cuba (3 stars): I enjoyed reading this historical novel. I did not read the previous novel by Chanel Cleeton so I can’t compare the two. I know nearly nothing about the history of Cuba and very little about the political period in American history. So I enjoyed learning about that period. 

It took me a while to get into the novel. I almost abandoned it twice but I am glad I stuck with it. It was interesting and a worthwhile read. I also liked the questions around where one’s home is. The topic of allegiance and patriotism are a big part of this story.

Inward (5 stars):

i was never addicted 
to one thing;
i was addicted to filling 
a void
within myself
with things other
than my own love

This book is wonderful. It was what I needed, when I needed it. It will resonate with you if you’re you’re interested in topics around self-love, freedom, and peace. Many will call it not poetry, and many won’t like it. That’s totally okay. I loved it.

All That You Leave Behind (2 stars): I just didn’t connect with this book as much as I’d hoped I would. I enjoyed the lessons Erin’s learned from her dad and I also enjoyed hearing about their family story but I just felt disconnected about the story the whole time. Sometimes it’s just the right book at the wrong time.

This Song Will Save Your Life (5 stars): I loved this book. 

I have not read anything else by this writer and I knew very little going into this book except that it covered topics around suicide. The thing I loved about this book is that I think it’s a real representation of high school and what it feels like to feel different and like you will never belong. There was so much I could relate to in here and yet it was completely not melodramatic in my opinion. It was real, raw, and not over the top. 

I loved the character’s voice. Many of the secondary characters weren’t super well developed but in this case it made it stronger because it brought the reader in the same telescope place as the main character where we were really limited to her perspective and her knowledge of each of these characters (including the parents.)

This one was a good novel for the younger me who would have really benefited from so much of this. It will stay with me for a while.

And there we go, an good week of reading. Here’s to a great week next week.

Books I Read this Week 2019 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

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