Monday, April 04, 2016

#lisareads2016 - Non-Fiction Goal Met!

March was the month for non-fiction apparently! I finished two, returned one to the library unfinished (ran out of time), and I've got another sitting on my nightstand floor waiting to go.

Here's a quick re-cap/review.

Fire Season by Phillip Connor. This book is the musings and observations from a man who works in a fire lookout tower in the SW United States over the summer. It is filled with interesting facts and history about the US Forest Service, and how their attitude towards fighting fire has changed over the decades. But mostly, it is a story about a man who lives half his year away from people, watching for fire. There are so many amazing reflections on time, and solitude, and nature in here. A real treat for someone who enjoys being alone out in the wilderness, even just for a moment. I think anyone who has ever sat in a park, or on a mountain can find connection with this book. Plus, this is one of BFF's dream jobs, so I really felt even more connected to him as I read it.

How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie was recommended on some book site or forum for people on the autism spectrum, for assistance or insight into interacting with neurotypicals. While I don't consider myself to fall on the Autism spectrum, I have similar difficulties that this poster referenced, and definitely don't consider myself neurotypical! It's strange that a "self-help" book that was written 70+ years ago can still find relevance today. Most of the references are out of date - sending letters and telegrams for example - but the advice was spot on. Lots of "real life" examples from his seminars, and plain speak. Easy to follow and understand, and he summarized his main points after each section with a handy list!

I did have some issues with how he actually wrote about neurodivergent folks and this whole page on "insanity" that I was not cool with, but overall I was impressed. Definitely changed my whole attitude, and I have seen major improvements in my work and my interactions with coworkers and friends lately. Did NOT expect that at all.

Next In The Queue...
I have been reading some heavy books lately. Not in weight, but in content. So I needed a palate cleanser, and I like to turn to books I know and love when that happens. So I have been re-reading Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next Series. These never fail to disappoint, and I can breeze through them in a couple of evenings.

I just started reading the memoir that was sitting on my floor. It was due back at the library It's titled Iceberg and in it Marion Coutts is recounting the moments in her family's life after her husband got a major health diagnosis (and then passed away, if I remember correctly). I am only a few pages in, but already it is reading like no other memoir I have ever seen before, and I am sufficiently hooked. I only hope that no one else has put a hold on it, so I can renew this bad boy!

Also, my buddy loaned me some of her faves. I can't remember the titles off hand, but I believe one had the word "bitch" in it, so I am already a fan.

On Hold...
I've got two books "in transit" for me at my local library. Good old Idylwylde. Yes, there are a lot of Ys. Both were featured on a recent (or not so recent) episode of "All the Books".
1. Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere by Andre Aciman. Another non-fiction, and my first dip into the latest "trend" of essay collections.
2. Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz (a rhyming name!). This one sounds absolutely bonkers, so what better way to lighten the mood!

UPDATED: Just checked and I have FIVE books in transit for me right now. Fuck-balls. It looks like there are a couple of YA in there though, so that's my saving grace for keeping my head above the water this month. If March was all heavy, let's make April as light as coloured marshmallows. Or something. Metaphor!

I have an essay writing, MLS-related query. How do I properly document the name of a podcast in my writing? Italics? Underlined? Quotation marks? The last time I wrote an essay, there was no such thing as podcasts. Hmm.

What are you reading friends?

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