January 6, 2016

2015 Reading Round Up, Part Deux


This is the 4th year I've taken the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I read a lot, but I like to shoot for 2 books a month, or 24 books a year. In 2015, I read 38 books. Back in July, I posted 2015 Reading Round Up, Part One. Below are the 22 books I've read since then.


Hot Chicken Cookbook:  The Fiery History & Red-Hot Recipes of Nashville's Beloved Bird by Timothy Charles Davis

I received this book as a gift and really enjoyed reading it. I live in Nashville and love hot chicken, Prince's Hot Chicken Shack holding the number one spot in my heart, obviously. There are recipes in this cookbook, but it honestly reads more as a history on Nashville hot chicken. It's a great gift for the hot chicken lovers in your life.

I, Tina by Tina Turner, Kurt Loder

The 90s movie, What's Love Got To Do With It, was one of my favorite movies in college. It hadn't occurred to me there was more to the story. I picked this paperback up at a thrift store and read it while holed up in a cabin for Christmas. It's great! If like me, you loved that movie, do yourself a favor and read this book. It will fill in a lot of gaps. Viva la Tina!

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

This isn't a novel, it's a small pocket-sized book of Cheryl's best known quotes. I love it and will keep it in a place where I can flip through it. I'm a huge Cheryl Strayed fan and appreciate this little bright green hardback reminder to be strong and take care of yourself, but I will continue to eagerly await new writing from her.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

I didn't love the first book, The Cuckoo's Calling, but I really enjoyed this one. It read a lot faster and the characters were easier to keep track of. I'm anxious to read the third book in the series. I think these will just keep getting better.

On Writing:  A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

This book is fantastic! The first part is a memoir, which I wish there was more of, and the second half is how Stephen King writes and tips he passes along to us. It's a pretty short book, but it's an important book for creatives and writers. I plan on re-reading this a million times. Enthusiastically, highly recommend.


Purity by Jonathan Franzen

I liked this book! It took a long time to read, but about half way through it really picked up and I read the last half pretty fast. This book is a lot more relatable than Freedom. I liked Freedom okay, but it was hard to read and hard to finish. I enjoyed Purity pretty much the whole way through. It's current and it has likable characters. If you liked The Corrections and didn't love Freedom, try Purity. I was pleasantly surprised.

Big Magic:  Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

I LOVE this little book! I underlined and dog-eared passages and pages like nobody's business. It probably helps that I saw Liz during the book tour, and hearing her speak about the book in person added extra meaning to the text. It seems hokey on its face, but it's a legit book for creatives and aspiring-creatives.

The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane

Oy. I didn't like this book. I read it after reading another book in the series that I loved (You're My Favorite Client). I don't know who this book is written for, but it's not written for me. I feel like it's a book for other content strategists to read and pat themselves on the back over. It's not helpful or insightful, and it doesn't connect to other fields. Meh.

Sick in the Head:  Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow

Meh. First of all, this isn't a traditional book. It's a collection of interviews and magazine articles that have been transcribed and organized alphabetically by the comedian being interviewed. If you're a comedy nerd, it's worth reading, but it's a little tedious. Also, it's looooong.

Selfish Shallow and Self-Absorbed:  Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids by Meghan Daum

I love this book!! I didn't realize how much emotional baggage I have around not having kids until I heard my voice echoed in these essays. I've always felt defective for not having a "biological clock", but turns out, it's totally normal to not want to have kids! I didn't know how much I needed to hear that until I heard it. I also read an essay in this book that made me connect my childhood to my decision not to have kids - something I'd not yet thought about and now totally get. This book was really helpful for me, but I think I'm the exact demographic it was written for. FYI, I'm 39.


You're My Favorite Client by Mike Monteiro

This book is so great! I'd recommend to other client-based, small business owners. It's a super smart book and it's well written and easy to read. Can't recommend it enough.

How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

I'm glad I finally got around to reading this. It's so old, but it's shockingly still super relevant. It's definitely changed the way I think when I'm approaching a new client, or sending an email to someone I need to ask a favor of. It's a quick read. I recommend it.

Richard Hittleman's Introduction to Yoga by Richard Hittleman (duh)

This book is hilarious and awesome. It's a legit yoga how-to book, but the 60's-era pictures are the best part. I've been practicing yoga for so long that I've forgotten what some of the poses are supposed to help, so it was interesting to re-learn all of that, plus see pictures of the correct way to do the pose.

Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

I loved this book! It was given to me as a gift and I knew nothing about it or the author. I would have never read this if I had known what it was about, but I effing loved it! The stories are so weird and amazing. I'm super interested in sci fi/fantasy now. I want all of my friends to read this book.

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

This book is kind of terrible. I feel like there are better ways to get this message across. Big thumbs down from me.


Louder Than Words:  Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice by Todd Henry

I bought this book because I listen to the author's podcast. If you're used to Todd's voice, this book will be easier for you to read. His language could be simpler. I have an aversion to marketing-speak and Todd uses some of the buzz words that turn me off. But his intent is good and his message is helpful. I'm glad I read the book. Not sure how much I'll recommend it to others.

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

This book is so great. I regret waiting so long to read it, but honestly, I don't know that it would have been so impactful earlier in my life.

**I re-read this over Christmas and understood it in a whole new way. I'm apparently going to need to re-read this once or twice a year.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

This book is magnificent! I can't believe I waited so long to read it! Ann Patchett creates characters and storylines that you can't easily walk away from. This story and these characters have continued to haunt me days after finishing the book. This book is a lullaby that ends in a nightmare, but it is one of the most beautifully written books I've read. This will be one of the few books I will re-read.

Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

This is the first 'business book' I've read. The authors write in a clear, concise way, but also funny. The lay-out is great. It's easy to read. I loved it! Lots of helpful tips for small business owners, even ones like me who aren't web or software designers.

Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #2) by Stephen King

If you don't know, Finders Keepers is the follow-up to Mr. Mercedes, or the second book in the trilogy. I enjoyed reading this book, but it didn't grab me like Mr. Mercedes did. This book is a lot of story and not a lot of action. It took me almost a month to read. It's well written and it was nice to continue the story of the Mr. Mercedes characters, but most of the suspense is at the end. I'm hopeful the third book in the trilogy will be more like Mr. Mercedes. There are hints in Finders Keepers that it will be.


Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon

I'm so glad I read this book! I know next to nothing about neither Kim Gordon nor Sonic Youth, but this book came so highly recommended, I had to read it. I loved it! This book reminded me of what I love about NYC, what I love about music and what I love about women with a strong point of view. This book is divided into short chapters and reads fast. If you were alive and listening to music in the nineties and have feminist leanings, this book is for you.

Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett

This was my first Ann Patchett book and I loved it! It's such a touching story, while also being a little dark and mysterious. I read it super fast. Great book! Can't wait to read more of her work.

2 comments:

Loren Warf said...

Career of Evil is by far the best of the Cormoran Strike series. You should read it soon! Also, in the cookbook genre, you should check out The Flavor Bible if you haven't already. It isn't a typical cookbook because there aren't any recipes, but it lists the flavors that pair well with pretty much any ingredient you can think of, so it helps you get creative with recipes.

The Blonde Mule said...

Hey Loren! Yes, I'm so excited to read the 3rd book! I've heard it's the best one. I'm on the library waitlist for it now. I'll report back after I read it. 10-4 on the cookbook, too! I'll check it out. Byeeee!

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