Saturday, 10 October 2015

Daring Greatly

Book 57 of 2015 is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown.

I can't say enough positive things about book. It could be because it validates the opinions I have on vulnerability or because Brown articulates those opinions better than I am able to.

This sums it up for me:

  1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
  2. Cultivating Self‐Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
  3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
  4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
  5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
  6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
  7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self‐Worth
  8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
  9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self‐Doubt and “Supposed To”
  10. Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”

5 bouts of shame resilience out of 5.

Should I read this? If you respect vulnerability in others and are working on your own authenticity then yes..
What did I learn? I'm on the right path. Now I have more tools.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Gone-Away World

Book 56 of 2015 is The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway.

Harkaway is the son of John le Carré so no pressure. I didn't find this out until more than half way through the book but then it made a lot of sense. Some online critic described this Le Carré with ninjas but that is unfair and overly simplistic. Harkaway is a great writer independently of his great writer father.

This is an original story which I'd say is closest to Fight Club than most other books I can compare to.

I can't talk too much about the story because there are too many spoilers and you must take the journey yourself.

5 ninjas out of 5.

Should I read this? Without a doubt, yes.

What did I learn? There are very few writers who write this well. This is an adventure in writing and is so well executed that I sometimes felt dirty.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living

Book 55 of 2015 is Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living by Paul Collins.

One of the better biographies of Poe. He doesn't condemn him, celebrate him nor pretend to understand him. These are the kind of books about authors I like. A story. A context. A human being.
presented as they are without influence,

Unfortunately, as a short book, this felt too long and I wanted more of Poe's great quotes written in context. Give me context!

3 ravens out of 5.

Should I read this? If you like Edgar Allen Poe then yes.
What did I learn? I need to read more about authors.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Quote - It's all messy


Book 54 of 2015 is Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall.

When I started this book, I wasn't expecting too much from it. I was pleasantly surprised and cried at the appropriate moments when Sugar's journey mirrored mine.

My childhood was not as bad as hers because I had a good family but the self image and emotional bruises are very familiar.

4 sugary treats out of 5.

Should I read this? Fat people should read this book. It means a lot to me.
What did I learn? Fat people are people too.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

World After

Book 53 of 2015 is World After by Susan Ee.

Oops, I hate when I read a second book in a series by accident. Now I understand why the world isn't well explained.  Still, you gotta love Angels and Demons at war.  I'll keep going and read book one later.

I do like the dynamic between the female protagonist and her complicated overly macho angel love interest but it is much enhanced by the writing and mythology that backs this.

I shall go back and read the first with interest but I do not recommend you start with this one. There is obviously a void a la Jaba the Hutt's sand monster.

3 fallen angels with wing grafts out of 5.

Should I read this? Maybe after the first.
What did I learn? Angels are only human.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Book 52 of 2015 is Swarm by Frank Schatzing.

There is a lot of sci-fi out there in the newly published books. This is a lot more traditional in that it is aimed at pimply teenage boys. The thing is, it is written well but I wish he'd used his talent to write something less macho and cliche.

3 nanites out of 5.

Should I read this? Nah. Go wash your hair.

What did I learn? Geek boys need a girlfriend.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Horses Never Lie

Book 51 of 2015 is Horses Never Lie by Mark Rashid.

I have never felt an interest in horses until I read this book. The amazing thing is that this book applies to people as much as it does to our four legged friends.

This should be a must read book for people who manage people. The passive leader is the best leader of all.

4 truths out of 5.

Should I read this? Yes, if you understand that human beings are animals in the end.

What did I learn? I need to connect with some horses and some humans.