Books I Read This Week 2019 – 43

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.

Little Weirds (no rating): “In the last light of a long day, I sit on a chair on my porch and watch the sky drain colors down and out and I realize I want to hear my voice and only mine. Not the voice of my voice within a cacophony of old pains. Just mine, now.”

I am loath to ever give a book a low number of stars, especially a memoir. Books are so much work and come from a place deep in one’s soul. And who am I to judge that? And at the same time, there are books that connect with me and books that don’t. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the book, or me. It just means that at this juncture of our lives, in this moment, this book and I are not connecting. And instead of attaching a bad rating to that, I decided to give it no rating.

“I was pleased that she made sure. Because in making sure, Kathleen gave me the opportunity to say out loud to another person that I would like my old dog to have flowers stuck to his face, and when I said it out loud—that yes, I would like that—I knew it was true. Then I admired myself. What’s more, I felt tenderness about my personality and my choices for delight. I said who I was, on my land.”

I didn’t know anything about Jenny Slate before I read this book. I don’t watch the TV show she’s famous for and I had no idea what to expect from this book. It’s a most unusual style. I’d say if you don’t like magical realism, you will have a tough time with this book but I love magical realism and yet I still had a tough time. It’s maybe more on the eclectic/absurd as well as magical realism. 

“I know what I want to hear when I hear myself in this life, and I am feeling very certain that there is absolutely no good reason to ever be disrespectful, no matter how upset you are. I do not need to hear bullying voices ever again and there is no reason to ever do that sort of emotional violence to anyone.”

There were definitely beautiful and resonant moments in it. Thoughts around loneliness, belonging, and kindness. And I will remember these and leave the others.

With gratitude to netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Library of Lost and Found (3.5 stars): I took this book out of the library at least five or six times before I finally sat down and read it. I have no idea why. I think I thought this was going to be much quirkier than it actually was. While the main character was a bit on the unusual side, this story is really a family story. It’s about keeping secrets, it’s about being a wife, it’s about feeling a lack of belonging and it’s about how we find ourselves constantly seeking some lost thing when we have that feeling of not belonging. Or at least, that’s what it was for me. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I was going to.

The Art of Watercolor Lettering (3.5 stars): If one could get good at something by reading books on it, my brush lettering would be incredible by now. I have read so many books on this topic that I could probably get a degree on it if it didn’t mean I had to actually do some. I wasn’t sure what new I was expecting from this book but here’s how it surprised me:

– it’s definitely a beginner book: she breaks down the letters into families so you know how to practice each set. she walks you step by step. She gives many many many practice pages at the end of the book.

– it has both variety and fun: she might have preferences in her tools. but this might be one of the first watercolor books i read that actually mentioned watercolor pencils (which is my favorite medium.) which I loved. She has fun wreath ideas, fun ways to combine paint and use brush pens, etc, too.

– it encourages practice: this was my reminder to self that without actually sitting down and practicing, it’s unlikely I will ever get good at it. To encourage this, she has many different types of practice pages that you can simply trace. 

Overall, if you love the idea of watercolor lettering and you’re a solid beginner, I recommend this one.

Thank you to netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rewilding (4 stars): “Go and sit by a babbling brook and focus on the sound of the water. Listen to the sound of the wind. Gaze out over the ocean and listen to the rhythm of the water. Sit by a crackling fire and smell the aroma of smoke of dry pine branches popping as they release the stored light of the sun. Place your palms on warm concrete and feel the stable earth element beneath it supporting you. Ponder a dandelion growing nobly through a crack of concrete. Society may be telling us that we need more, always more, but stop and listen to what the earth and sky are trying to tell us. Take a deep breath and empty your mind as you exhale. Look around and receive the miracle of this moment. You are enough.”

I pick a word of the year each year in an effort to look at life through the lens of that word. My word for 2020 will be “wild” so when I saw this book, I knew it would be a great foray into embracing my word. 

And I was not disappointed.

This book is connecting back with nature in a slow, thoughtful, and mindful way. It has meditations, some history of when we used to be connected to the earth so much more, some recommendations on how to be more ready for being in the wild (like building a fire, etc.) and some really small, easy things you can do to reconnect purposefully. 

People say that what we’re all seeking a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. Joseph Campbell

More than any one section, what spoke to me is the sentiment of the book and the way it made me feel. As I was reading, I could almost smell, hear and feel the outdoors. I was itching to sink my feet into the earth and feel the breeze on my face. I made several notes of the guidebooks I want to get, survival skills I want to learn, and most importantly to find a way to connect with nature every single day. 

I can already feel the invitation of the wild and the calmness it always creates in me. I look forward to reading this book again and again throughout 2020 as I embrace my word and nature.

with gratitude to netgalley and Sounds True for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Royal Holiday (3.5 stars): Jasmine Guillory books are never not fun. While I thought the last one in the series was not as awesome as the previous ones, I enjoyed this one a lot more. I read the whole book in one sitting, enjoyed both the royal setting and Vivian and Malcolm as characters. It was fun to read a romance story about older characters for a change. I liked the character development, the side plots with the nephew and daughter and just found myself enjoying the story. And how can you go wrong with a holiday theme?

The Chain (3 stars): The reviews of this book scared me. Did I really want to read a book on parents chain kidnapping other parents’ kids? Yikes. I waited for several months before I finally decided yesterday that I was in the mood for something fast paced and crazy. And so I grabbed this one. It was fast paced and it was crazy. I feel the beginning was stronger than the end. It kind of all became not interesting to me by the end but I did like that it fully wrapped up. I think while the execution was pretty good, too, this is one of those books where the plot idea is one you won’t forget.

The Future of Another Timeline (3.5 stars): What an unusual novel. I really enjoyed this story and the way the plot went back and forth. It would have been 100% my cup of tea except for some of the pacing and character development which I felt was too slow and too shallow. The book was too long with too much going on. I know the author did a lot of research and I really enjoyed the real-life connections but even if she had simplified it a bunch it would have made for a very interesting novel without some of the noise. Even with all that, I really enjoyed my time with it and I am very glad I read it.

And there we go, a solid week of reading. Here’s to another 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.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.