These are the books I read in 2017 with my ratings – 11 fiction and 14 non-fiction:
These are the books I read in 2017 with my ratings – 11 fiction and 14 non-fiction:
|How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease||Michael Greger||★★★★★|
|The Museum of Modern Love||Heather Rose||★★★★★|
|Good Morning Midnight||Lily Brooks-Dalton||★★★★★|
|Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret||Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn||★★★★★|
|Green Kitchen Travels||David Frenkel and Luise Vindahl||★★★★★|
|Life On Earth||Mike Dooley||★★★★|
|Healing from Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off from a Family Member||Mark Sichel||★★★★|
|Beyond the Rock||Janelle McCulloch||★★★|
|The Book of Joy||The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams||★★★|
|The Whistler||John Grisham||★★★|
|The Desire Map||Danielle LaPorte||★★★|
|The Course of Love||Alain de Botton||★★★|
|How to be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living||Rob Bell||★★★|
|How to Live a Good Life||Jonathan Fields||★★★|
|A Whole Life||Robert Seethaler||★★★|
|The Fast Diet Cookbook||John Chatham||★★★|
|My Italian Bulldozer||Alexander McCall Smith||★★★|
|Hiding in Plain Sight||Susan Lewis||★★|
|Kissed by a Deer||Margi Gibb||★★|
|The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work||Jon Gordon||★★|
|Fight Like a Girl||Clementine Ford||★|
What’s your blog about? That is the first question posed for the yearlong Twitter challenge for library professionals to #glamblogweekly.
Katie of Strawberries of Integrity gave an efficient bullet point list to answer this question. And I relate to most of those: life, bereavements; family; music; movies; reading; some library…I would add art; books; design; podcasts, tech, genealogy, and general musings.
I loved the article length posting by Paige the Librarian in answer to the question for #glamblogweekly and find her explanation defining the differences between the professions excellent, so much so that I quote it here:
“To look at it a different way, a librarian might search for a book that directly meets an information request. An archivist might go to that same book and think about how the book got on the shelf and who owned it before it got there and if there are any bookmarks in the book. A museum curator might think about which illustrations or spread of the book would look nice in an exhibition. A historian might think about the era the book was published in and what it tells us about that era. A conservator might look at the book and think, how much longer will this book last and what can I do to make it last longer? It is true, we are sometimes very different.”
So I began blogging in 2006 with The Blog of a Footballer’s Mother. This was very much a journal about following the journey of one of my sons as he became an AFL footballer. I then started French Accent as a way to pursue my love and appreciation for French culture. This blog remains online but I don’t post there anymore, despite my continuing yearning for some elusive French quality in my days.
Soon after I started SuesBent and have been dabbling ever since. ‘suesbent’ is the abbreviation of my name back when Hotmail first appeared and 8 characters was the limit for the username. (showing my age) I use it to sign my paintings too. I like the play on words that “Sue is bent” because I do see the world from an alternate view and love the unexpected things in life. I love Chaos Theory, Quantum Physics, Mandelbrot Theory, and yes I am a geek. In the library world I love the work of Tim Sherratt. Not that I write about these topics because I am just an appreciator in those lofty realms.
In recent years, since my parents died, I have found my ‘voice’ become silent. I have explored the reasons but it still eludes me. So I embrace this challenge to #glamblogweekly as a means to find my voice once again. Bring on the questions.
These are the books I read in 2016 with my ratings – 18 non-fiction and 12 fiction:
All of the books that make it to the reading challenge list I did actually read to the end. Books I Did Not Finish aren’t listed.
These selections have been influenced by:
If you were looking for a description of the Overland Track walking experience in Tasmania you could easily find many written and photographic books on the subject. And while in this account, I will not attempt to write a blow-by-blow (step by step) description, it must be emphasized that any second-hand account will fail to provide you with the actual experience. You must immerse all of your physical body and senses into the scene in order to appreciate it fully.
From a distance the landscape can appear grey, dull, olive green, and even boring. Up close the colour and diversity of plants, flowers, rocks, mosses, bark, fungi, water, etc., arrest the eye continually. Just when you relax thinking you have seen all there is to see, suddenly a new intricate variety appears and stops you in your tracks. I was amazed to see a toadstool I’d never seen before – pale red and green with a frilly white skirt. I only saw one.
The sights are awesome. Towering mountain crags where eagles dive for fun. Tolkeinesque mossy green forest paths that wind around the roots of 800 year old trees. Vast alpine plateaus where yellow button grass hide tiger snakes and shy furry animals. Waterfalls in full flight. Lakes too cold to dip a toe. Rocks, trees and flowers arranged by The Master Landscape Gardener, and then dusted with fresh falling snowflakes.
The fragrances were intense. The nutmeg aroma of wet wild Sassafras. The gin and tonic spritz of the celery top bush. Eucalypts, Myrtles, Banksia, King Billy Pine, Beech and more.
The tiresome experience of pushing your body along paths full of rocks, mud, water, tree roots, steps, streams, and leeches, in driving rain was a challenge experienced by all in the group.
We signed up for the ‘chardonnay version’ with Cradle Mountain Huts. We had a bed in a warm hut at the end of every day. Our packs did not need to carry food, or bedding or tents or cooking gear. Our guides led us, cajoled us, cooked for us, and cleaned the huts after we left. Our guides were awesome and extraordinary individuals proud and passionate about this unique environment and Tasmania in general. The huts were warm, had hot showers, drying rooms for our wet muddy boots and clothes. We had three course dinners with local wines. It felt like the privilege that it was.
I wrote a haiku for each day in my mind. I took photographs galore. We were touched by a tragic incident halfway along the trail reminding us of the need to be careful in this remote wilderness. Out of network range the guides used the satellite phones to call in the Air Ambulance helicopters.
We pushed on. My knees struggled to complete the journey and did so with tape strapping and walking poles. At last we arrived at our destination all too soon – Lake St. Clair on Day Six. Lunch on the jetty waiting for the boat to pick us up, we basked in the warm sun, appreciating the journey.
I recommend this experience BUT be prepared for a difficult walk where EVERY footfall must be decided before it is actually taken.
GoodReads is a fantastic online tool for keeping track of your reading and I have been using it for the last couple of years. By contrast LibraryThing is great for recommending books that suit your reading and uses crowd tagging extremely effectively.
I used the reading challenge within GoodReads setting my goal at 50 books for the year. I am not an especially fast reader and tend to abandon a book if it doesn’t grab me in the first chapter. With this challenge I was encouraged to read books to the end, and this worked well for the most part. I read 28 non-fiction books; 10 fiction books; and I did not finish (abandoned) 4. Only two received five-star ratings: one non-fiction and one fiction.
Also note the prevalence of self-help books. This is no surprise as it is a genre that I have always been fond of reading, ever since my father first introduced me to the book “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale. The last two years have been a challenging time for me personally trying to come to terms with the deaths of my mother and father, and life without them.
This tendency to read self-help books has been validated by the efforts of the Reading Agency in the United Kingdom, where their “Books on Prescription” program and the “Mood Boosting Books” program show the power of reading to lift us up out of habitual and damaging thought patterns.
So here are my results in order of preference:
|1||The Goldfinch||Donna Tartt||✪✪✪✪✪|
|2||An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth||Chris Hadfield||✪✪✪✪✪|
|3||Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment||Katrina Kenison||✪✪✪✪|
|4||10 Day Detox Diet Success: How to succeed on the 10 Day Detox Diet||Mark Hyman M.D.||✪✪✪✪|
|5||Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster||Jon Krakauer||✪✪✪✪|
|6||Love With A Chance of Drowning||Torre DeRoche||✪✪✪✪|
|7||The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet||Nina Teicholz||✪✪✪✪|
|8||The Fast Diet||Michael Mosley||✪✪✪|
|9||Paris Letters||Janice Macleod||✪✪✪|
|10||Why Mindfulness is Better Than Chocolate: Your Guide to Inner Peace, Enhanced Focus and Deep Happiness||David Michie||✪✪✪|
|11||The Tenth Door: An Adventure Through the Jungles of Enlightenment||Michele Hebert||✪✪✪|
|12||Walk Like a Buddha: Even If Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex is Torturing You, and You’re Hungover Again||Lodro Rinzler||✪✪✪|
|13||The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife||Marianne Williamson||✪✪✪|
|15||Bringing the Sacred to Life: the Daily Practice of Zen Ritual||John Daido Loori||✪✪✪|
|16||The Beethoven Factor: the New Positive Psychology of Hardiness, Happiness, Healing and Hope||Paul Pearsall||✪✪✪|
|17||The Power (The Secret #2)||Rhonda Byrne||✪✪✪|
|18||Gone Girl||Gillian Flynn||✪✪✪|
|19||Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting||Dr. Wayne Dyer||✪✪✪|
|20||The Best of Me||Nicholas Sparks||✪✪✪|
|21||The Gospel of Joy||Amanda Gore||✪✪✪|
|22||A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose||Eckhart Tolle||✪✪✪|
|23||Radical Forgiveness||Colin C. Tipping||✪✪✪|
|24||Using LinkedIn||Patrice-Anne Rutledge||✪✪✪|
|25||The Inside-Out Revolution: the Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever||Michael Neill||✪✪✪|
|26||E-Squared: Nine Do It Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality||Pam Grout||✪✪✪|
|27||Still Alice||Lisa Genova||✪✪|
|28||Fitlosophy 1: chasing Physical perfection in a World of Gluttony||Sharny Kieser||✪✪|
|29||The Breakthrough Experience: A Revolutionary New Approach to Personal Transformation||John F. Demartini||✪✪|
|30||What Westerners Have for Breakfast: Five Years in Goa||John McBeath||✪✪|
|31||Dying to Know: Is There Life After Death||Josh Langley||✪✪|
|32||The Husband’s Secret||Liane Moriarty||✪✪|
|33||A Long Way Down||Nick Hornby||✪✪|
|34||Why Is God Laughing? The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism||Deepak Chopra||✪✪|
|35||My Son and the Afterlife: Conversations from the Other Side||Elisa Medhus M.D.||✪✪|
|36||Driving Under the Influence||Jenna Martin||✪|
|37||Elizabeth is Missing||Emma Healey||✪|
|38||Sisters of Spicefield||Fran Cusworth||✪|
|39||Blink: the Power of Thinking Without Thinking||Malcolm Gladwell||abandoned|
|40||The Cuckoo’s Calling||Robert Galbraith||abandoned|
|41||The Word Exchange||Alena Graedon||abandoned|
|42||After Darkness||Christine Piper||abandoned|
I plan to use GoodReads again to challenge myself once again in 2015 and I think that the target of 50 books remains a good one for me.