Dear readers, so much has happened since my post from August! I’ve been a busy lady! For starters, I started a new job! That’s mostly the reason that I haven’t written in so long. I don’t work any different hours, really, than I did before, but I stay busy constantly and it challenges my brain constantly and I love it. I also joined a new workout club, a kettlebell club that I’ve been focused on in my spare hours during the week. I feel the burn in every workout, I realize I still hate planks, but I feel stronger each time I go back for more. It is an ultimate total body workout. If you have not tried an intense kettlebell class, you should read this blog post, then jump up and find the first kettlebell class you can find! Just don’t eat before you go, you might puke in your mouth like I did after my first workout.
Finally, I have gotten back on track in reading books on my 30 books to read before I’m 30 list. I turned 29 this year, so to kick off the year of 2015 I made a list of books that I wanted to read by the time I turn 30 in September of 2016. This is something I came across last fall when read a buzzfeed article about books that can change your life. Then I wanted to set up a goal of books that would give me perspective, expand my imagination, and help me grow or simply entertain me while I take the big step into another full adult decade in my life.
With that said, I wanted to share what I’m reading in the month of October. I am ten books into my list and hope to have half the list done by the end of the year. So here is what I’m reading:
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I actually just finished this book at the beginning of October. I had been meaning to read this book over the past few years as it was recommended by friends every time one of my friends or when Jeff read it. The story is very nostalgic and beautiful as Kathy tells us the story of she and her school friends growing up together at Hailsham, a school created for their “special”talented selves. You don’t really realize why all of them seem so intensely special to the guardians at the school until close to half way through the book, though you get little hints of it through out the beginning chapters.
The story flows through quite lovely, and before you know it, you have read through a shit ton of pages. I found myself, once I knew why the students were so special, wanting to finish the book because I was longing for the same answers as the characters. Why was the artwork so special? Why did Madame take their work to a gallery? What is to become of these beautiful creatures when they are adults? And the final piece of the puzzle happens within the last sixty pages. It’s heart wrenching, it’s sad, and the imagery in the end is so freakin’ unbelievable you just want to curl up with a pillow and sob. This book makes you question the future of technological advances, and whether we are prepared for the consequences when making them. The characters are beautiful with flaws that peak your curiosity. Needless to say, I loved this book. I recommend it if you have not read it, or if you’re an educator looking for a book to add to your reading assignments!
- Democracy in America by Alexis De’Torquville
The nerd in me loves history, and when researching books to read in your lifetime, this was on the list. The retro part of me loves classic novels and classic nonfiction, though I’ve only begun to delve into classic nonfiction in the past few years. This book is an autobiographical essay on Torquville’s visit to America in the year 1840. I just started this book last week, and his writings hooked me right away. The introduction discusses his fascination with the newly established United States. While he speaks fondly of this new found democracy in America, he isn’t afraid of tackle the most difficult of subjects, one being slavery. He compares American democracy to that of France and the government in Great Britain, and speaks, through great poise as a wealthy aristocrat would, as though American democracy is an improvement these governments should learn from.
Throughout the book, Torquville admires the level of entreprenuarship , the mentality of neighbor-helps-neighbor, and that if one wants to advance themselves then the whole community must advance. I find it interesting how, as a book written in the mid-nineteenth century, Torquville admires the American democracy established but communicates that,while having little flaws at the time, he predicts that eventually one group of individuals who make the most money will eventually become the individual who advance most in the country, while a majority of Americans will be degraded to poverty. He suggests that a future revolution could come from this, a.k.a. the ‘I Occupy’ movement. That’s so sad, but also very freakin’eerie and cool that he’s able to predict it! I’m excited to finish this book. With it being less than 300 pages, it’s an easy read; and because of it’s vivid expression of a country that we cannot imagine because of the change in the country since then….See, I told you I was a nerd.
- The Civil War by Shelby Foote
I was first introduced to Shelby Foote when I watched Ken Burn’s documentary The Civil War when I was in eighth grade. Mr. Holland showed us this documentary along with Gone With The Wind. We learned how the soldiers stood in the lines and fired by all of us lining up and performing a mock battle (let’s just say, I probably would have died from friendly fire, I stood up too soon when the line behind me was supposed to fire), and we learned the different dances people danced in the 1850’s and 1860’s. It was one of the best history semesters I ever had, and it was when I became fascinated and more appreciative of the significance of the civil war. Shelby Foote was one of the interviewed individuals for Ken Burn’s documentary, so after a few years, I did a little research and found that Foote wrote a three volume set about every detail from the beginning of the war to the reconstruction. So I put it on my list to complete by the time I’m thirty. So imagine my giddiness when I found the first volume during my birthday weekend at Barnes and Noble last month. The smell of a new book, the thickness of the pages, make it that much more exciting to read! Foote’s depiction of the war has been called the best of all time by some. He not only seems to tell the story but liven up the people who were involved, showing flaws and personality in each of their characters.
What books are you reading? If you have any you would like to suggest to add to my list ( I only technically have 26 books on my list of 30 by 30) then I’d love to hear them!