Tuesday, October 9, 2012

September Reading

I read a lot.

I'd far rather read a novel than watch tv or a movie. When Game Of Thrones came out as a tv show, I remembered reading the book years ago. I watched just two episodes, then returned to the books and read the whole lot, giving up on the tv series.

I like to watch TED talks but I'm more likely to Google the speaker and go read their books or papers, that watch to the end of the talk.

Comedy is one thing I like best on screen - there are few books I find funny.

Anyway, I periodically try to keep track of books that I enjoy but I forget and I lose the scraps of paper and notebooks that I write in. So I've decided to write a once a month blog about the books I read - and put a reminder in my phone to do just that. So, here goes with some of the reading I did in September that I enjoyed and recommend.

Magazines

Permaculture published in the UK, this is an inspirational magazine which certainly doesn't hide from the hard issues, but always seems to find positive takes on action people can and are taking in the face of world problems. There is also a wonderful website. #73 - Autumn 2012 is no exception. My favourite articles this time are about Biomatrix Water (transforming polluted waterways), Cultivating Communication Skills, River of Flowers (creating urban wild flower corridors for bees), and Multi-Functional Hedges.  If you go to the website you can download a free copy. The magazine is available in some e-books forms, but I love my paper version, which I can share around.

New Internationalist I buy my copies at Trade Aid shops.
It covers international issues from perspectives very different from the mainstream. The September issue focuses on drugs and asks the question, 'If drugs were legal what would happen.' It made me consider things in ways I'd never thought about before. New Internationalist is also produced in both paper and digital forms, and has a website here.

Novels

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
A post apocalyptic novel that is unusual. It's about the protagonist's personal ways of coping with loss and enormous change. And the ending is neither dreadful, nor unrealistically positive, yet still surprising. I really enjoyed it and finished with a sense of satisfaction.

Goose Girl by Joy Dettman
As a 10 year old, Sally, now nearly 30, survived an horrific car crash in which her father and brothers were killed. Her mother never forgave her for surviving. Sally moves to Melbourne, leaving her steady boyfriend behind, and her crazy mother, and tries to survive alone in the city. Another novel of personal development and growth, it has a happy ending that is surprisingly realistic with no sense of happy-ever-after, but rather one of 'she'll be right.'
  

Craft

Crafting Beautiful Journals & Albums by Anna Morgan
Some interesting ideas and inspiration, along with reasonably clear instructions. I made the following based on one of the projects in the book.



Real Life Journals by Gwen Diehn
This book is so great and so inspiring, that not only have I have renewed the library, but also ordered a copy from The Book Depository - plus another of her books that I haven't seen but know it will be great too. I guess that says it all!

Other Non-Fiction

Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
As a 22 year old, Cheryl's mother died, and afterwards her family drifted away from each other, despite her efforts to keep them close. She tried to escape through numerous sexual encounters and affairs, thus destroying her marriage, and also through drugs. (All this is given in outline, not detail.) Eventually she decides to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, which is a far from easy 'walk'. The book is an interesting mixture of her adventures, her interactions with other people on the trail, and her reflections on her life.

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