Being half way through the year and realizing I had only read 10 books made me sad. I don’t have a number of books that I want to read in 2017 per se but I just felt like I was slacking and really needed to up my reading time. So in July to did just that.
Also I think by doing a monthly book review, I’ll hold myself more accountable to reading more. Because if I only have one book to post for a month, well that will just be sad, but I’ll have to do it anyway. You guys keep me accountable!
Usually when I pick out books to listen to on Audible, I pick long books. I feel like I get my money’s worth and also I’m less likely to let the book linger on my nightstand and read others first if it just feels super long. I got through some long books this month.
JULY BOOK REVIEW
Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, by Alice Schroeder
I listened to this on Audible (Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks) because it was over 36 hours long! If you are at all interested in investing or finance or just have a fascination with Warren Buffett — you will love this book. I found it super interesting. I actually used to live in the neighborhood he grew up in in Washington, DC. And I’m from Kansas City, which has a Nebraska Furniture Mart, so that was some interesting history about that. Also I learned that GEICO stands for (and used to be) Government Employee Insurance Company — who knew!?!
Even though I listened to this book, I think if I was interested in investing at all (on my own vs. through my financial advisor) then I’d want to read the hard copy and take notes, so if you’re into that, you might want to get the hard copy!
There was one particular excerpt in the book that I wanted to write down but out of the 36 hours I have no idea where it was, but the lesson really stuck with me. Basically Buffett said, what if you were going to be given one car to use for the rest of your life. You’d only get one car. You’d take really good care of that car because you’d want it to last in good condition. You’d take it to the mechanic when something was wrong, you’d get all your oil changes on time, etc. Now think of that car as your body. You only get one body in your lifetime, you should take care of it. I was like whoaaaaa. So true! I need to relisten to that portion if I can find it (this is really the only trouble with listening to books is marking a spot that you want to remember). But at the same time Buffett eats terribly so it’s pretty ironic that he gives that advice.
The Nix, by Nathan Hill
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
Loved loved loved this book. I would say that there were a few parts that were on the slower side but overall it was such a lovely story and I highly recommend it! I didn’t know anything about it when I started reading so every plot twist was a surprise. I can totally see it as a movie. A beautiful movie.
I loved the detail about the food and the behind the scenes at the hotel and restaurant in this book. I loved how Towles had the Count talk about the food and wine pairings. There really is such a difference when you research what food and wine pairs well together, have a slow proper meal, and really savor the flavors. Somewhat of a lost art I think (especially in the U.S.).
Loved this interview with Towles.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See
Highly recommend this book. The story was one of those that you can’t put down and it was just so memorable to me. I think I’ll remember this story for the rest of my life. I wasn’t a fan as much of the little girl’s story from her perspective and I felt like the ending happened too fast but other than that it was an amazing story. It sort of gave me the same feelings as I had when reading The Nightingale.
This book made me want to drink more tea and really learn about tea!
Goodbye, Vitamin, by Rachel Khong
This book is written as a journal. At first I felt like it was choppy and I wasn’t connecting with the characters. But about halfway through I really started to connect. When I realized there were only a few pages left, I didn’t want it to end! I wanted it to keep going, I wanted to know more! Because the book talks about someone with Alzheimer’s it really hit home for me.
A few excerpts and notes from this book (excerpts in italics):
I’ve never liked New Year’s. The trouble with beginning is that there’s no such thing. What’s a beginning but an arbitrary point of entry? You begin when you’re born, I guess, but it’s not like you know anything about that.
While I totally agree, I feel like you can start something at any time, doesn’t have to be at the new year. And you definitely shouldn’t wait to start something until then if it’s something you really want to do. The gym is really slow in December so if working out is your thing, you can always start while everyone is busy with the holidays!
Something else I appreciate about hangovers: you are given the chance to value your regular things. Water, for instance, becomes so delicious and appealing. I like also that having a terrible day pretty much guarantees that the next day will be much, much better.
So true! As much as I love wine and sometimes have a hard time stopping at two glasses, I always feel better if I do stop at two, and I think I’m finally to a point where hangovers just aren’t worth it at all and I chug a ton of water every time I drink anything.
You mentioned that there were some things on your mind, but lately you were having trouble getting to them—accessing them. You had the feeling that all the thoughts were in a box covered in tape, and the trouble was there was too much tape, and the trouble was you didn’t have the proper tools to access them—no scissors and no knife—and it was a lot of trouble—every day it was new trouble—trying to find the end of the tape.
This statement helped me understand what it would feel like to have Alzheimer’s when you are still cognizant enough to realize you know things but you just can seem to find them in your brain. Must be so frustrating. Dealing with this in my family too, it’s really sad.
There was also some info in the book that, being a novel, I had to look it up to make sure it was true, like:
It was on the forum where I had read: dark colors can appear threatening to the patient with dementia. Black clothing an cause anxiety. If you put a black rug on the floor, an individual in the disease’s later stages will be afraid to step over it, for fear that it is a hole.
I did look these things up and it seems they are true according to several websites I read. Such interesting things, I had no idea!
What have you read this year? What should I add to my list?
Photos by Emma Weiss