Reading Log

List of books read as of January 2017, with a short review and the month in which it was read. Listed in reverse order with newest on top.

 

At Home in the World
by Tsh Oxenreider

Read: 2018-08  Rating: 9/10

I enjoyed this more than I anticipated. It is a family travel for a year type of book. And, I enjoyed hearing about the places they traveled. But, I also enjoyed the family stuff that felt real and not contrived or made up.


There Are No Grown-Ups
by Pamela Druckerman

Read: 2018-08  Rating: 8/10

Overall I enjoyed it. It made me stop and think about a lot in my life. It was a good book to read on the eve of turning 40. A lot of it is not relatable though.


Royal Assassin
by Robin Hobb

Read: 2018-08  Rating: 8/10

I needed to finish the series as I wanted to find out what happened with the characters I liked. The main character also mostly redeemed himself, kind of.

 


Assassin’s Quest
by Robin Hobb

Read: 2018-07  Rating: 6/10

I very much enjoyed the first one. This one I didn’t really feel for the character anymore. I was more interested in what happened to the periphery characters then the main one.


Assassin’s Apprentice
by Robin Hobb

Read: 2018-06  Rating: 9/10

I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy novel. It was a nice change from the non-fiction that I read most of the time.


Making Ideas Happen
by Scott Belsky

Read: 2018-06  Rating: 7/10

Full of good reminders. Nothing life changing though. And the program/software that is discussed is no longer available.

 


Walden
by Henry David Thoreau

Read: 2018-06  Rating: 7/10

I have tried to read this a couple times. I did slog through it this time. Overall I did enjoy it btu some sections were very long winded.


13 Little Blue Envelopes
by Maureen Johnson

Read: 2018-05  Rating: 7/10

I did enjoy the descriptions and the fun of the adventure. But, I wasn’t a big fan of the main character and her personality. Overall a fun read.


House of Thieves
by Charles Belfoure

Read: 2018-05  Rating: 6/10

I loved The Paris Architect. I didn’t enjoy this one as much at all. It was an interesting story, but it seemed longer than necessary to me.


The Baker’s Daughter
by Sarah McCoy

Read: 2018-04  Rating: 9/10

I really enjoyed this book.The two intertwined story lines were lovely and I wish I could have met the characters.

 


Organize Tomorrow Today
by Jason Selk

Read: 2018-04  Rating: 8/10

This one had quite a few useful bits of information an a useful view point. Worth the read.


Living Well, Spending Less
by Ruth Soukup

Read: 2018-03  Rating: 4/10

I did read it all but it was a long slog and I kept hoping there would be one nugget of useful info, but I guess there were reminders of good stuff if you are new to it.


Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World
by Tim Ferriss

Read: 2018-03  Rating: 6/10

It was long just to be a big book. A lot of it was from his podcast so repeated content. Disappointing.


A Paris Apartment: A Novel
by Michelle Gable

Read: 2018-03  Rating: 9/10

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was not what I expected at all, and was very intriguing with the two sepearte time frames in the story.


Dark in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel
by JD Robb

Read: 2018-02  Rating: 9/10

This one was a good solid brain candy read.

 

 


The Nordic Guide to Living 10 Years Longer
by Bertil Marklund

Read: 2018-03  Rating: 9/10

This was a good quick read. It covered all the important things that we should all do to improve are health and longevity.

 


Happy Potter and the Cursed Child
by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

Read: 2018-02  Rating: 7/10

I’m not a big fan of reading plays, so that was part of the lower score. I also found much of the story tedious. I found the some of the original characters were so similar to the original that it was silly. The characters should have matured past teeenagehood in nineteen years.


Real Artists Don’t Starve
by Jeff Goins

Read: 2018-02  Rating: 6/10

It was very interesting to learn about the different artists. I wasn’t in the right place in my life to read this one. I’m also not overly artistic so it didn’t fit for me.


All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
by Robert Fulgrum

Read: 2018-02  Rating: 6/10

Basically a collection of short stories. Some were good some were mediocre.

 


Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
by Carol Dweck

Read: 2018-02  Rating: 8/10

This took me two tries. I bought it a few years ago, but I came back to it and was ready to read it now. Very insightful.


The Year of Less
by Cait Flanders

Read: 2018-01  Rating: 9.5/10

I really didn’t have high hopes for this book. I have read the authors blog for some time now, and generally the first book is just blog posts put together. That is NOT what this is, it was wonderful.


Manage your Day-to-Day
Edited by Jocelyn Glei

Read: 2018-01  Rating: 8/10

This was a second read through for me. I felt I needed the reminders of how to better manage my time.


The House at Riverston
by Kate Morton

Read: 2018-01  Rating: 7/10

I didn’t enjoy this one as much at the Forgotten Garden. This one was put-down-able, and I read it over the month. This is very unlike me for fiction books.


The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook
by Mickey Trescott

Read: 2018-01  Rating: 6/10

I didn’t find it as helpfully as I had hoped. But it did provide quite a bit of information to get me started.


Orphan #8
by Kim van Alkemade

Read: 2017-12  Rating: 8/10

This was extremely sad but beautifully written. I read it while on vacation, so reading this on the beach made it less heart-wrenching. Lovely novel.


Eat That Frog
by Brian Tracy

Read: 2017-12  Rating: 9/10

It took me a couple tries to read through this one. It is so packed with useful information that you want to highlight every single sentence. This will likely be a book I come back to when I need a productivity kick in the ass.


Who thought this was a Good Idea?
by Alyssa Mastromonaco

Read: 2017-12  Rating: 9/10

A behind the scenes look at working at the White House as a high level woman. I throughly enjoyed this book, it felt like a breath of fresh air with all the negative news of late.


Steal like an Artist
by Austin Kleon

Read: 2017-12  Rating: 6/10

Not anything earth-shattering or new. But a good reminder about what art is. I’m glad I bought the ebook so I can review it again at a later date.


Wicked
by Gregory Maguire

Read: 2017-12  Rating: 8/10

I enjoyed the book, but wasn’t sure keen on the writing style. It was also put-downable for me. I want to watch the musical again now that I have read the book.

 


The Nordic Theory of Everything
by Any Partanen

Read: 2017-12  Rating: 6.5/10

I did enjoy the book and learning the differences between the US and the Nordic countries, but it was written from a superiority view point. That the US is basically horrible and the nordics have absolutely everything right. It also repeated the same points over and over and over, and could have been a third of the length and gotten the point across.


Grit
by Angela Duckworth

Read: 2017-12  Rating: 7.5/10

This took me quite a few months to read, as it was put-down-able. Not as much practical information as I would have liked, but it shows me I have little grit….


Focus – A memoir
by Ingrid Ricks

Read: 2017-12  Rating: 8.5/10

I think going blind is a fear that we all have in our hearts. At times gut wrenching and other times very insightful. I’m glad I read this, while going through my own health concerns, as it put them in perspective.


The Cozy Life
by Pia Edberg

Read: 2017-12  Rating: 6/10

Interesting view of life, but not very applicable to other people. Interesting enough to finish though.


The Four Tendencies
by Gretchen Rubin

Read: 2017-11  Rating: 9.5/10

This book was more insightful then I thought it would be. I quite enjoyed it. The perspective on personality was quite eye opening.


book cover artworkSmarter Faster Better
by Charles Duhigg

Read: 2017-10  Rating: 8/10

The productivity chapters had interesting stories to show the points made. It could be a book to go back to, specifically the stretch and SMART goals chapter to refresh when needed. No revelations, but I didn’t expect any. Solid productivity book.


book cover artworkReading People
by Anne Bogel

Read: 2017-10  Rating: 9/10

Was an interesting look at personality tests. I’m not sure it is a great kindle read though. A physical book might be better to flip around more easily and look at the different classifications for the different tests. Unique book.


book cover artworkAppetites: A Cookbook
by Anthony Bourdain

Read: 2017-09  Rating: 7/10

I enjoyed the stories behind the recipes. Many of them seemed a bit beyond me as far as finding ingredients and making them. But I enjoyed reading it.


book cover artworkThe Bookshop on the Corner
by Jenny Colgan

Read: 2017-09  Rating: 9.5/10

This was so cute. And such a lovely read. I throughly enjoyed it. Different than my typical read, but a lovely story of someone finding themselves.


Secrets in Death (in Death series, book 45)
by J.D. Robb

Read: 2017-09  Rating: 6/10

This series is getting a lot old. It’s still a good read to me, it’s like a warm fuzzy blanket, you know the characters, you know likely what is going to happen, and you know the characters aren’t going to change or grow. They always stay the same, but are a comfortable warm blanket of moderately good entertainment.


Glass Houses (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Book 13)
by Louise Penny

Read: 2017-08  Rating: 9.5/10

I have never read a series that gets better and better quite like this one. Fabulous book. If you even remotely like mystery or suspense novels give this series a try.


Big Magic
by Elizabeth Gilbert

Read: 2017-07  Rating: 8/10

I tried to read this book when I bought it, when it first came out and I wasn’t ready for it. I read it this summer from start to finish (I didn’t finish it the first time I tried to read it). There is a lot of take-aways from his book, and it pushed me to start a daily blog (not this one!) to push my creativity and to push myself.


The Little Paris Bookshop
by Nina George

Read: 2017-07  Rating: 7/10

I quite liked this book. It has very good characters and an interesting if not plausible story line. You kinda knew what would happen at the end but it doesn’t make the story less enjoyable. I also love the idea of a book pharmacy, where there is a book for what ails you!


The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson

Read: 2017-07  Rating: 8/10

I quite enjoyed this story. It is definitely one of those where you have absolutely no idea what will happen next, or in the present or past the story will go! A good fun read.


Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do
by Chris Guillebeau

Read: 2017-07  Rating: 7/10

I don’t believe this assessment is fair as I read part of this book last year and part of it this year. I think I need to read the whole thing through again to do it justice. There is a lot to take away.


The Art of Asking

by Amanda Palmer

Read: 2017-06  Rating: 7/10

I found the stories of her life interesting, inspiring, and heart wrenching. I didn’t find much about the art of asking though, just stories which were great. Worth reading but is more of a memoire than useful information.


Garden of Lamentations (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 17)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-06  Rating: 8/10

This one finished the series for me. I don’t know if there is going to be another but I am done. Overall it was a good series, quite a few in the middle felt a bit like they were going no where, but this book wrapped up a lot of the plot lines, enough for me to feel finished. I hadn’t planned on reading this one after the two previous but in the end I’m glad I read it.


Echoes in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel (in Death, book 44)
by J.D. Robb

Read: 2017-06  Rating: 7/10

I have read all of the series. And read the latest only when I am not feeling well as they are a great escape from reality. I had a horrendous migraine and this was perfect to read as I know the characters and the murder/mystery is always entertaining. There was very little character development through this one, but that isn’t unexpected, so overall it was a good one.


Deep Work
by Cal Newport

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 9/10

This is a book that I might just re-read now. It makes a lot of sense to me, that deep work is what is worthwhile. I found it a bit academic-centric, but that is the authors main occupation so it was understandable. I would have like to have seen some examples beyond general knowledge worker, as I think deep work might look different for different types of occupations.


To Dwell in Darkness (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 16)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 5/10

I found the characters are not developing. Yes, one of the minor characters has a love interest now, but it didn’t really go anywhere. The editing seems to miss details of the cases. This felt like a filler book, but I don’t think I will keep reading. The last few have felt like, oh I have a book contract to complete. Without a lot of thought about the character direction or any overall arch to the series.


The Sound of Broken Glass (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 15)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 6/10

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as some of the others. I found the editing is bothering more and more. There are some inconsistencies that stand out and should be getting better as we go through the series not worse. I also found the characters are developing less and less.


No Mark Upon Her (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 14)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 8/10

I loved the mystery of this one. And the development of the characters was good. But the mystery was fabulous.


Necessary as Blood (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 13)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 7/10

I didn’t love the mystery in this one as much. It felt a bit unfinished at the end. But on the other end of loved the development of the characters in this one. I’m almost to the end of the currently available titles in this series and I am already going to miss the characters!


Where Memories Lie (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 12)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 8/10

I loved this one. It was wonderful to learn more about a minor character. And I am a sucker for a historical fiction and much of the story about the minor character Erika Rosenthal felt that way, and a mystery of course.


The Thirteenth Tale
by Diane Setterfield

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 7/10

If you aspire to be a writer you might find this book better than I did. I found the main character a bit dull, but the story was very compelling, although hard to get into. It took almost halfway through before I was pulled into wanting to know what happens. It’s unlike anything else I have read.


The Vegetable Butcher
by Cara Mangini

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 5/10

There is some great practical advice in here. But, not a lot of recipes that didn’t seem super fancy. And there were many vegetables that would be very difficult to find and I few that I had never heard of. If you lived in Europe and had a great farmers market nearby than this would be a great resource. Living in Canada, not so much.


Managing Oneself
by Peter Drucker

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 9/10

This should be mandatory reading for any graduate. You are responsible for your own wellbeing financially, you need to be your own CEO. Very interesting read and very short!


The New Better off
by Courteney E. Martin

Read: 2017-05  Rating: 7/10

I found this book interesting and it made me think about the way we work and live in the current economy. I didn’t find much if any practical advice though. And there was quite a bit of time spent talking about parenting/children.


Water Like a Stone (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 11)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-04  Rating: 8/10

I loved all the family parts to this. They are really starting to be the centre stage for the books which I am thoroughly enjoying. Although I wish Kit could get a break. That kid has seen a lot of loss, heartache, and the bad side of things.


In a Dark House (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 10)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-04  Rating: 6/10

This got me back into the series! I found the fires interesting as they aren’t generally covered in mystery novels. And the policing politics were a great minor subplot.


When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kakanithi

Read: 2017-04  Rating: 9/10

This book was wonderfully human. It was uplifting and incredibly sad but makes life seem so short. I think it was a wonderful read.

 


Tools of Titans
by Tim Ferriss

Read: 2017-04  Rating: 6/10

Through a lot of the book I kept saying, yes i know this already. If you listened to the podcast you might not get a whole lot out of the book. I think it could be a good reference and reminder over time if I’m willing to slog through it again, or just read sections. I don’t regret reading it, but I don’t think it will be super high on my list for a re-read.


Now May You Weep (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 9)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-04  Rating: 4/10

This was my least favourite of this series. I stopped reading it for a few days. And many of the others I read late into the night. It was a slog to get through. I found the mystery rather dull and the history as well. As Hazel was a minor character before this I wasn’t overly vested in her part of the story. There were also many many gaps in the personal side of the story, and you don’t get those wrapped up or explained at all. If I wasn’t told they get better after this one, I would stop reading now.


And Justice There is None (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 8)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-04  Rating: 9/10

I enjoyed the people in the mystery of this one. The characters felt more fleshed out than in other mysteries in this series. I also enjoyed the personal side of this one, you get to know the main characters better.


A Finer End (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 7)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-04  Rating: 8/10

The history in this one was amazing. I have been to Glastonbury and up the tor as a child. And that made this story more alive for me. I did find the spiritual side to be a bit weird but it was useful for the story.


Kissed a Sad Goodbye (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 6)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-04  Rating: 8/10

This one has been the most intriguing mystery. I enjoyed learning about the history of the area in this one. I wasn’t as fond of the personal story line for this one, but the mystery was great!


This I Know: Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence
by Terry O’Reilly

Read: 2017-04  Rating: 9/10

I have enjoyed the Under the Influence Podcast for years. It provides a unique perspective on marketing and I love that it is a Canadian production so as a home grown viewpoint (even if it’s produced in Toronto). Some great marketing stories and direction in the book. And provides some great ideas for entrepreneurs who aren’t overtly marketing focused.


Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Thing
by Jenny Lawson

Read: 2017-03  Rating: 7/10

This book made me cry and made me laugh. It is a very poignant look at mental health. It’s a great read for anyone who wants to understand mental health better from the survivors point of view.


The Productivity Project
by Chris Bailey

Read: 2017-03  Rating: 8/10

This book had some great ideas and some good research behind it. Overall I found it useful and made me think about my process.


Dreaming of the bones (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 5)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-03  Rating: 9/10

This has been my favourite so far. Lovely story and intriguing mysteries. As there are two mysteries in this novel. Throughly enjoyed this one!


Mourn not your dead (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 4)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-03  Rating: 6/10

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first three. Mostly due to the back and forth of the main characters. The story was good. A good solid mystery novel.


Leave the Grave Green (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 3)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-03  Rating: 8/10

I’m not sure how I feel about the way the main character behaves in this one! But it was a good mystery and I didn’t get the killer right which is always a bonus in older mystery novels.


All Shall Be Well (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 2)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-03  Rating: 8/10

Another good mystery novel. I loved that it was more personal for the one main character. Throughly enjoyed this one!


A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Book 1)
by Deborah Crombie

Read: 2017-03  Rating: 7/10

It was a good mystery novel. It was suggested to me by a friend with the understanding that the series gets better. Better in that, it grows to become more about the main character than just the mystery. This was written at a time when the mystery was the focus and not the main characters and it was overall well written and engaging. I prefer the Louise Penny style of mysteries where it is almost more about the main characters than the mystery, but I will give the series a good try as the first one was entertaining and I didn’t figure out whodunit.


Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
by Walter Isaacson

Read: 2017-03  Rating: 8/10

The book was a bit of a slog for me. I started it last year in the spring and have read it on and off throughout the last year. His life was very fascinating and the first half of the book is great. But I found that the part for Paris onward was either more detailed or wasn’t as interesting for me. His different liaisons with women which were apparently only flirtations was a bit long winded and not very interesting. It was definitely a male perspective on a male for that section! Overall he lived an amazing life and I’m glad that I forced myself to read through the whole book.


Notes from a Blue Bike
by Tsh Oxenreider

Read: 2017-03  Rating: 7/10

I enjoyed the perspective of the book, but without having children quite a bit of it wasn’t very useful for me. I still think it is worth the read. It’s a good view on simplifying your life and living to your priorities.


Unwanted
by Kristina Ohlsson

Read: 2017-02  Rating: 5/10

The story was fairly good but a little dark for a mystery and after reading it I felt it reflected the authors beliefs more than many mystery novels. For the first half or so of the story the translation was only mildly annoying but as I went on it took away more and more from the story. Many phrases didn’t make sense and it was very obvious the translator didn’t spend much if any time in an English speaking country to learn about the language.


How to Live a Good Life
by Jonathan Fields

Read: 2017-02  Rating: 9/10

I got this book out of the library to begin with.I put my name on the waiting list before it came out. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy, but I enjoyed it enough to purchase a digital copy to support the author. I loved the idea of the buckets and will likely come back to this book when I need assistance refilling my buckets!


Younger Next Year for Women
by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge

Read: 2017-02  Rating: 9/10

I think this will be a yearly read for me as I age! It has a lot of great information about aging and what to to to keep yourself fit, active, and young at heart. It touches on exercise, nutrition, but also on social aspects that are important as we age. It is one of the most compelling reads to get me off the couch and back into the gym that I have ever read. I want to age well and not let the tide of aging pull me into being an old lady.


Daily Rituals
by Mason Currey

Read: 2017-02  Rating: 3/10

I had hoped to get a lot out of this book and was very disappointed. It wasn’t the books fault it was my perception of what the book would be about! I expect some organization to the rituals and some type of commentary and organization to gain some knowledge. For example some information about early risers and what they do or don’t to, or night owls, or people who work best during the day. Instead it is small snippets about different figures and their rituals, while interesting with zero organization I didn’t take any learning from it.


Orphan Train
by Christina Baker Kline

Read: 2017-02  Rating: 8/10

I enjoyed this book more than I anticipated. It is a lovely read about two lost souls in different points in history, but both searching for love and a sense of family. The writer made the two characters come alive and I could visually them well from the descriptions.The story from the point of view of the child from the orphan train is quite heartbreaking but has a lovely ending to it. It would make a lovely TV movie, just saying!


The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion
by Elle Luna

Read: 2017-01  Rating: 2/10

Good reminder information about what should be important. The reason I am giving this book such a low grade is based on the format of the book. The main points for each chapter is hand-drawn, which sounds great in theory. However on a kindle paperwhite it is 100% impossible to read the hand-drawn items. Without the hand-drawn issue for the points I couldn’t read I would likely give it a 4/10. I’m not sure if that is because of the timing of reading the book or because it was information I have read elsewhere.


The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health
by Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Sonnenburg

Read: 2017-01  Rating: 4/10

Good information, but poorly laid out for teaching people about what they should be eating. Also, information was very repetitive, throughout. Besides a few recipes I’m left knowing I should eat more things that are good for my microbiota, but I still don’t know for sure what those are. I expected a list at the end so didn’t take detailed notes on each food item as it was mentioned within the writing. Then got to the end without a list just a few general recipes and a list of 17 fermented foods that most people will have heard of before reading this book.

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