What I Read in August

Just out of curiosity, did you make any reading resolutions at the beginning of the year?

I read somewhere that fitness, money, and reading goals are at the top of the list for most common resolutions, and since I made a resolution that pretty much ping-ed each of those, I'm wondering if you do too. 

I am currently at 32 books read of my goal to read 52, so I'm on course, but barely, so I'm doggedly trying to keep up and not lose any steam.  

The 4 Hour Work Week - Tim Ferriss

There are definitely some inspiring takeaways here, but I'll be honest that it doesn't seem realistic, especially if you're not interested in being an entrepreneur. 

What I can get behind is Ferriss' (and probably most people's) idea that life is not about chasing money and we should not define ourselves by what we do for a living. We need money to live, and that's kind of the extent of it. 

We agree on the value of our time, but unless you want to own a business and farm out all of the work to folks in other countries who will work for $5/hour, it just doesn't feel like an actionable dream. Most of us work for someone, and frankly I enjoy the security of someone else being responsible for keeping a business in motion, so this book wasn't really written for me. 

Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich

Now here's a book for me. Fiction, short story style, but woven together perfectly. 

This book follows two families on a reservation in the Dakotas (I think) and covers several generations, lots of mistakes, lots of alcohol, and more kids than anyone needs. But also the way people build connections, come together, and forgive. I consider it a must-read

The Rules is Magic - Alice Hoffman

I grabbed this book for a quarter at a Salvation Army in Michigan before we left. I liked the cover, so I took a chance without reading the back. I didn't realize it was written as a prequel to Practical Magic (you know, that Nicole Kidman/Sandra Bullock movie about witches?). I saw it once, and wasn't really into it, so I didn't have high hopes for this book. 

But -- I liked it. It's about three siblings - Frannie, Jet, and Vincent - growing up in 60's era New York City. They are discovering that they have *powers* and their family is cursed, which is interesting in a Harry Potter-ish way, but they're also siblings navigating tragedy and whatnot during a cool decade. There's not a huge amount of plot, I think because it just sets up the back story to the more commercially successful Practical Magic - after the fact - but it was a nice read nonetheless. I kind of wish I read it in October. 

The Rules of Magic (Novel) by Alice Hoffman | biblio-style.com

The Art of Asking - Amanda Palmer

Okay. I was given this book at least three years ago, maybe more. I put it off because non-fiction isn't really my jam, but this year I wanted to read at least 12 NF books and so I crammed it in the camper and assumed I'd run out of other things to read eventually. I was right. 

So, I'd never heard of Amanda Palmer, but she's a bit of a cult creator in the music space and at the time of the book's publication, had the highest-earning musical Kickstarter in history, with more than 25,000 backers putting up more than a million bucks. This book is part memoir, part self-help and details how she made it in the music industry by having the audacity to ask for help. 

I'm going to be honest. Her voice reads in that "look at me, I'm such a badass" tone that so many in the rock 'n roll industry do (to me), which feels a little cringey. But she also acknowledges a few times that she likes attention and I get that. I like attention too, and sometimes I think that tone is so cringey to me because I recognize it and self-hate it in myself. Does that make sense? 

It's a good read. Interesting and far more engaging than your standard non-fiction, self-helpy style books. I read in two days and found enough takeaways to counteract the tone. 

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer | Biblio-style.com

What are you reading this month? 

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