Wednesday, February 4, 2015

January Reading

I've been reading books again. Hallelujah! I don't know what I was doing instead during the fall, but looking back at my book journal, whatever it was, it wasn't reading. At least not books. Magazines, maybe?

Some good books/articles read in January:

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Find Your Life's Work, by Steven Pressfield.
A super fast read, but one I think I came across at exactly the right time to read it. I was particularly interested in the idea of a "shadow career" - those things we do, even pour a lot of investment and energy into, in order to keep us from really facing the things we want to do with our life.

A blog post by Mat Frazier (of No Meat Athlete, though this was featured in the Huffington Post) on being obsessed about your goals.

A blog post by Seth Godin with some good advice for life (and perhaps especially parenting), including this quote: "A pitfall of throwing tantrums is that sometimes, people throw them back." I think all of my worst tantrums have come as a parent, and I don't like that.

An inspiring post by Leo Babauta, of Zen Habits, also about setting goals and making changes, but from a quite different perspective than most such writing. A quote: "Acceptance isn't stagnation - you will change no matter what. You can't avoid changing. The question is whether that change comes from a place of acceptance and love, or a place of self-dislike and dissatisfaction."

A disturbing but important article from The New York Times: "U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit", reminding us, yet again, that farm animals are not covered under U.S. animal welfare laws.

And an inspiring one from The Nature Conservancy's blog, Cool Green Science, about a woman who is mapping animal movement pathways in India in preparation for the infrastructure improvements expected to take place there.

And finally, one of the most amazing books I've read, ever. One Day I Will Write About This Place, by Binyavanga Wainaina. A memoir of his growing up in Kenya in the 80s and 90s. Fascinating, but also beautifully written and put together. I kept looking for a sentence that I could quote but every time I opened it up, every place I looked, I just started reading again. I was introduced to his writing through his satirical essay for Granta, "How to Write About Africa," but they are very different pieces (though that one is great: pointed, funny, and lyrical, which is why I'm including the link here). I'm hoping that at some point a collection of his short stories and essays will published.

What have you been reading?

With a stack of books at least 10 volumes high,


  1. "The Boys in the Boat." I saw it in a local bookstore display, and bought the original version on Amazon. I read it in a single binge. I binge read. This is probably slightly healthier and less guilt-inducing than binge eating.

    I loved "How to Write About Africa." I hope someone will write "How to Write About the Far East." Or maybe someone has, and I just haven't read about it yet.

    1. I am so reading that! I read "Unbroken" last summer in a two-day reading binge - I'm such a sucker for inspiring sports stories. This one sounds right up my alley.

  2. Someone has! And it's actually pretty good.