Monday, September 01, 2014

August reads

August reads. I was sure there was another non-fiction book; I'll have to check the other kindle. I've been updating this as I finish the book, and the post was scheduled to post early this morning. It didn't post; not sure why. That makes me wonder if, in the updating process, I messed something up. Stupid Blogger. Or stupid me. Anyway, here we go...

The Road to Cardinal Valley - Earlene Fowler - This is the follow up to last month's The Saddlemaker's Wife. It takes some unexpected turns, but overall, continues well with the lives of the characters. I doubt there will be a third in the series; all the loose ends were tied up and there doesn't seem to be anywhere else for the characters to go.

The Swan House: A Novel - Elizabeth Musser - I would really like to know on whose blog or recommendation I picked this up (first week of July this year). It's a wonderful novel, set in the early sixties in Atlanta, in the middle of historical events (the crash of a planeful of Atlanteans in Lyon, the civil rights movement). In fact, I liked it enough to pick up another by the same author.

The Guards: A Novel (Jack Taylor series) - Ken Bruen - Sooooo...whilst wandering through Netflix, looking for something in the "hard boiled detective" genre, I ran across a miniseries starring one of the actors from Game of Thrones. The first installment wasn't too bad, so I decided to check out the books on which the series is based. I pick books for the strangest reasons...This is set in Ireland, Galway, in fact, as the author continually reminds us. The protagonist is Jack Taylor, ex-Gardi, current alcoholic with few friends other than the bottle. The book is well written, though very, very...Irish. Dark. Brooding. Full of poetry at odd spots and strange formatting. The comparisons in the blurbs are to Elmore Leonard, and like Leonard's books, I'm happy with one every so often, but don't care for them enough to make it a steady diet.

Dwelling Place - Elizabeth Musser - This is a follow up to The Swan House, a next generation, if you will. I don't want to say much, but I will say I very much needed to read this book.

Master Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Organizing Your Life With Evernote (and 75 Ideas to Get You Started) - S. J. Scott - The title may be longer than the actual book. I started using Evernote a few years ago (it's available for free as a desktop app, along with free apps for all mobile platforms, plus kindle and nook), and find it handy to keep some information available without having to deal with paper notes. You set up "notebooks" to hold your "notes - which can be typed, scanned, photos, audio or video files - and can stack notebooks and tag individual notes. There is an add-on web clipper, with which you can save a URL,an entire web page or a portion of a page (like a recipe). You can store your information locally on your device, but an Evernote account comes with free cloud storage. By storing your notes on Evernote's servers, you can sync and retrieve them across all your devices. Even though my "if it's in the cloud the government can get at it" paranoid, tin-foil hat wearing side isn't thrilled with using the cloud storage, it is incredibly convenient to look up the size fluorescent tube I need on Evernote when I'm standing at the hardware store, having forgotten the written note that would tell me the size. The book has some handy tips for organizing things, making use of functions within Evernote of which you might not be aware.

My Life in France - Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme - I know things have moved on from the great Julia craze, but I was watching old episodes of The French Chef and realized I'd never read this book. If you've seen the show, or read any of her cookbooks, you will recognize her unique voice in this memoir, even though it was written by her great nephew from interviews he had with her. It's written in the the first person, and sounds just like her. The glimpse into 1950's France is fascinating, as is the history of the publishing of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her husband Paul, in addition to being in government service most of his career, was quite the artist; most of the pictures in the book are his. All in all, this was a great look into the life of a truly unique woman.

Manage Your Day to Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind - edited by Jocelyn C. Glei - This is a round up of blog posts about how to enhance creativity, by authors ranging from professional creative talent wranglers (think people who keep songwriters on task and on schedule) to writers and research professors. In general, the book takes what we are used to viewing as productivity enhancers for business and applies them to the "business" of creativity. Even though some of the concepts are very familiar, the way in which they are applied have special twists to adapt them to the creative mindset. Contributors include Seth Godin and Mark McGuinness, with an afterword by Stephen Pressfield. On balance, some good information.

1 comment:

melissa said...

Read the Musser books years ago and enjoyed them as well, and the Julia Child, which I thought was a real eye-opener. Thanks for sharing your list. Always fun to see what other folks read. :)