Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 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, July HERE, August HERE and September HERE. There were SEVENTY in the first nine months, so when I add October's SIX that brings the total for the year thus far to SEVENTY-SIX! In case you're interested in what I read (and how I'd rate them), check out my previous write-ups when you have time!

  • How Bad Do You Want It? by Matt Fitzgerald - This is actually the second time I have read this book. The first time was last year, but with the Chicago Marathon coming up I figured it'd be beneficial to read it again. This book is all about mental fitness. And the hope is at the end you become your own sports psychologist. The pages aren't filled with techniques or exercises or a list of "how-to's", but true stories of overcoming which become "teachable moments" when viewed through the lens of the mind's role on endurance performance. This book does not claim to be a step-by-step guide on how to fortify your mental fitness, but one filled with real life stories of endurance athletes (most of whom are at an elite level but are still relatable) who used specific coping skills to better their performances and data to prove how these skills can aid others (like you and me). I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Sourdough by Robin Sloan - This was a suggestion a friend saw in a magazine she subscribes to. It was in the book recommendations under "foodie". I wouldn't say I'm a foodie, but I chuckled because with the Chicago Marathon coming up I knew I'd be carb loading and what better way to do it than with sourdough ;). Once it became available at my library I scooped it up. I really enjoyed this book (and actually read it on my flight from San Diego to Chicago). It's a story about a programmer in San Francisco turned baker. It sort of reminded me of Ratatouille (the hubby calls me "lil chef" because of it), even though there are no talking mice in the book. And the author is from Michigan so it's gotta be good, right? I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - Since I finished Sourdough on the flight to Chicago, I needed another book to get me through my flight home. While exploring the city, I stopped into a used book store and looked through some options. This was one I hadn't read before, so I picked it up. I have to say, it wasn't as quick of a read as I was expecting, but I think that is due to the dialect... Normally I am a pretty fast reader, but I really had to think about each word individually rather than them naturally flowing together so it took a little more brain power. It was still a great read. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • The Noticer by Andy Andrews - I don't remember where I got the recommendation for this book, but I'm glad I picked it up. It was a quick read (I got through it in about three hours), but a great little story about an old man helping to spread perspective to those around him. I appreciate the way the author takes self-empowerment tools and uses a novel to display and teach them to the world. So many little nuggets of wisdom to incorporate into your own life - how not to squander your thoughts or words, how to plant seeds in the lives of those you touch and how your actions make your life matter (and matter forever). "The best is yet to come." I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Stronger by Jeff Bauman - This book was actually written in 2014, but it has resurfaced recently because of the movie adaptation (starring Jake Gyllenhaal) that is currently in theaters. Originally I was thinking about going to see the film, but because of my reaction to Patriots Day earlier this year I decided maybe I should read the book instead (in case I needed to put it down or stop it at any point). This is a memoir of the 2014 Boston Marathon bombing survivor, Jeff Bauman. I flew through the book, finishing it in less than a day. The majority of the book focused on Jeff's resiliency and fight to get back to "normal". I'm not sure I will see the movie, but did appreciate reading about Jeff's daily battle. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - I had heard great things about this book and actually looked for it at the used book store while in Chicago but they didn't have it. When I was grabbing some books from the library I made sure to check this one out. It's a story about a shepherd boy traveling through the desert in search of his Personal Legend and a treasure. The fable reminds us never to give up hope and to chase down our dreams with everything we've got. Oh yeah, and the fact that the greatest treasure is always found within ;) It's short and simple, but definitely worth the read. I would give it an 8 out of 10. 

And with that, my October 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:

Anne said...

You should sign up for Goodreads! I'd love to follow your recs on there. :)