More thoughts on more books I’ve read recently! I’ve started on some of your recommendations from last month and LOVE everything you’ve suggested so far. Keep them coming! My to-read list is my motivation to keep existing.
by Delia Owens
This is Reese Witherspoon’s book club selection. Did you know Reese had a book club?
I understand the recommendation. It’s a good novel about a gal in the swamp country back in the 1950’s. First, her mother leaves to get away from her abusive father. Then, one by one, all her siblings leave. Finally, one day, even her father stops coming home.
I guess some things can’t be explained, only forgiven or not.
She’s a child and she’s all alone, living in the swamps where the crawdads sing. She grows up there, catching mussels, planting vegetables, and dodging the truancy officers. She survives.
It’s a novel about loneliness and fear, about learning and thriving, about love and trust. There’s also a murder mystery thrown in for good measure. I didn’t know who the killer was for sure until the reveal.
by Chris Bailey
A self help book on training your mind to concentrate on the important things. Your attention and your focus are your most valuable commodities and everyone is shouting at you, trying to steal it.
Social media scrolling and opening up the same few apps over and over again are hijacking your life.
Hyperfocus is essentially getting in a state of Flow where you’re completely into the thing you’re into and you’re engaging in an activity that is meaningful and pleasant.
He recommends meta awareness. Like, pay attention to when you lose your attention. I think this is what meditation is good for. You practice pulling yourself out of the situation to see yourself in the situation the moment before objectively. He recommends meditation, too. Of course.
He also recommends putting away your smart phone when hanging out with people.
It’s a remarkable thing when you spend not just quality time with someone but quality attention as well.
As David Augsburger, a Baptist minister said “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”
by D.H. Lawrence
Novel about a noble woman having an affair with the groundskeeper back in the 1920’s. This was a banned book because of the “smut” in it. This book is dreadful and I wouldn’t recommend it. The author needs a thesaurus. I kept checking how many pages I had until the end. It was a book club book, so I had to finish it.
I still found one bit in it for the retire early folks.
If you could only tell them that living and spending isn’t the same thing! But it’s no good. If only they were educated to live instead of earn and spend, they could manage very happily on twenty-five shillings.
Living and spending aren’t the same thing. Living just to work and spend makes humans sad. This human anyway.
by George R. Stewart
This is a book recommended in the comments. A pandemic kills almost the entire planet and our protagonist wanders around trying to find meaning and purpose. It’s a page turner. I read it in a couple of days. We follow the story through decades and I could see it happening. There’s a series called The World Without Us that I think the author, if he wasn’t dead, would enjoy.
And a shout out for early retirement:
He felt it a very fortunate circumstance to be able to lie in bed a little while longer if you wished, not merely on Sunday morning, but on any morning.
by Ruth Ozeki
Oh, this book is adorable. It’s so good and the characters are so likable and so fleshed out. I devoured it in a few day. It’s about a teenager in Japan journal-ing. She throws it into the water and a woman in Canada finds it. The journal is interspersed with the woman’s reaction to reading it. There’s even a bit of magic thrown in for good luck.
The book is really well done. Japan is certainly an interesting society and the author makes clever points about the relationship between a reader and writer, and time. I recommend it with enthusiasm.