Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Books

One of my goals for 2017 was to read 17 books. Well, had I known my reading speed (or the fact that the library would quickly become one of my new best friends) I probably would have adjusted that number slightly ;)

In case you missed the recent posts, I blogged about the books I read in January HERE, February HERE, March HERE, April HERE, May HERE, June HERE and July HERE. There were FIFTY-SIX in the first seven months, so when I add August's SIX that brings the total for the year thus far to SIXTY-TWO! In case you're interested in what I read (and how I'd rate them), feel free to check out my previous write-ups when you have time!

  • The Push by Tommy Caldwell - Remember last month when the hubby and I drove to and from San Francisco? Well, I was the one who picked the books. This month, when we drove to and from Lake Tahoe, the hubby picked a title for us. This biography covers much of Tommy's climbing, the survival of a crazy kidnapping and the seven plus year project of climbing the Dawn Wall in Yosemite. I know a decent amount about climbing (thanks to the hubby's passion) and even some about Tommy, but this book went into great depth - not only on Tommy's family life but also the training, patience and dedication required to tackle some of the feats he has under his belt. I don't know if a non-climber would love the book, but it definitely has a ton of insights on endurance, risk, and pushing beyond preconceived limits. I would give it a 6 out of 10.

PS No picture of us with the book since we downloaded
it on the hubby's phone...

  • The Wild Muir by Lee Stetson - John Muir is one crazy cat! He was a naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States. This book is a collection of some of his adventures. I love how they are introduced and explained at the beginning (giving background information, dates, etc) and then it is all Muir all the time. Reading about his explorations amaze me. I love that the hubby and I have seen many of the sights he references (although not as up close and personal as he observed them). The only issue I had was some of the language/ spelling is a bit outdated (seeing as he lived in the 1800s), but it's really no big deal. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas - I don't know how I found this book, but I'm so glad I did. This is the story of Ken, who graduated from undergraduate school with mounds of student debt and his quest to become debt-free (even while going back to graduate school). [PS I sort of love this because I was similar to Ken in the fact that I did my darndest to pay off my school loans as fast as possible and had them paid off if less than two years.] Although I sort of wish it was more about his vandwelling, I loved how you went along on his adventures with him for years and saw how he was able to save, travel and live. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • I Was Here by Gayle Forman - Another book that I'm not 100% sure how I came across, but am really glad I did. Although I will be 33 next month, I have no problem reading Young Adult books. This is a fictional story about Cody's journey dealing with an unexpected tragedy, her best friend's suicide. Although the book is fiction, the author based the story on a teen she previously wrote an article about - a young woman who was described as bright, creative, charismatic and non-conformist, but who found a community with a suicide support group and took her life. I admire that this book shows how suicide can everyone - whether they are close to the person or not. I also appreciate that the author not only discusses mental health but gives resources in case anyone reading the book is struggling. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - I had heard good things about this book so had it on my "For Later" list at the library. When the hubby and I went to the thrift store for the last piece of an upcoming running costume I was told I needed to spend $3 to use my credit card. Off to the book section I went and I grabbed this title for $1 - SCORE! This is a non-fiction book that intertwines the history of the 1983 World's Fair in Chicago and a serial killer. I am normally not a history buff, but this kept me engaged and I was able to finish the book in about two days. Seeing all of the inventions (and famous folks) that came from this era was pretty awesome. Also, I appreciate all of the work the author put into the book (all quotes came from letters, newspaper articles, interviews, etc). I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - A friend was asking me about the books I was reading recently and I told her I had been enjoying the classics (the ones that you normally should have read in high school). She said one of her faves was this book and since I had never read it, I added it to my list. Similar to Anne Frank's Diary or Animal Farm, it is crazy how relevant this book is so many years later. The story follows a futuristic fireman who instead of putting out fires, starts fires to burn illegal books. The part that really stood out was when the author was describing how society was constantly filling their heads with junk - constant chatter - so that the people couldn't think about reality (how true nowadays as well!). I would give it an 8 out of 10.

And with that, my August reading has come to a close. If you have any suggestions on books to grab, let me know! I'm always down to throw them in the ever growing library "for later" queue!

What are you currently reading?

1 comment:

San said...

Thanks for the reviews! Looking forward to adding a few to my to-read list. I am esp. intrigued by Walden on Wheels.