I’m behind on my goals! Here is an update. I got all of these books from my library in print or ebook.
In June and July 2015, I read:
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
This was a really good YA historical novel. I have a review coming up!
You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren
I’m interested in adding bodyweight training to my running routine. This seemed like a good place to start. (He has a woman’s version, Body by You, which I might look at too.) I ended up not using the program from this book, but this was very inspiring and scientifically sound, so I would recommend it. Lauren also made the program into a book and app.
Living with Less: How to Downsize to 100 Personal Possessions by Mary Lambert
This was a basic primer on minimalism by an English organizing consultant. I agree with some of the reviews on Goodreads that this was repetitive and a little sexist. (“Men collect sports equipment!” “Women collect clothes!”) Lambert shares excerpts from her blog when she decided to downsize to 100 items. By the end, one of her items was “T-shirts (13).” I understand grouping some things into categories, but to me 13 t-shirts is 13 items! I’m looking forward to going more in-depth on minimalism by reading The 100 Things Challenge by Dave Bruno, who invented the challenge, and The Joy of Less by Francine Jay.
The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff
This book explored “natural science” from around the 17th century to the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was very long, but I enjoyed learning about many of the people who “stocked” US and UK natural history museums and their adventures in other countries.
Stealing Secrets: How a Few Daring Women Deceived Generals, Impacted Battles, and Altered the Course of the Civil War by H. Donald Winkler
Winkler covered women from both the Union and the Confederacy. I ended up only reading about half of it due to time. I liked that each chapter was about a different woman, and was a good overview of each woman’s life. I recognized Harriet Tubman, Belle Boyd and Mary Surratt, but the rest I didn’t know. I would recommend it!
Deep Secret (Magids #1) by Diana Wynne Jones
I finally read this after hearing about it on Neil Gaiman’s blog a few years ago. I thought it was a children’s book, as I know Diana Wynne Jones wrote mainly for kids. It turned out to be a novel for adults, but teens could read it too.
A Magid is a magician who handles the political relations between many worlds in the Multiverse. Each world has three Magids. Magid Rupert Venables’ superiors send him to find Earth’s third one. He finds good candidates at a science fiction convention. He doesn’t know anything about science fiction and finds it all ridiculous. He just wants to find the third Magid and save the Multiverse from evil. I liked the world building and characterization. I understand the second book is for children, elementary or middle school.
Focusing in on Reviews
So that’s what I read recently. All of those tie into my new focus of reviews: nonfiction I want to write about, science fiction, fantasy, or historical fiction. (I didn’t read any classic novels this month, but want to add that too.)