Books 4 and 5

After the lapse of the original schedule I was eager to catch up and get ahead of myself again. Luckily I had a huge bout of anxiety which was semi cured by my wife insisting I read a self help book so here’s books 4 and 5

Book 4 – Instant Confidence by Paul McKenna

Great self help book, read it in an afternoon and has helped with my self esteem issues over the last two days. Would recommend it for anyone, no matter how confident, as it’s got some great techniques for focusing and not getting distracted by everyday worries. 5 stars for what it is

Book 5 – Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

Amazing insight into a comedian’s life. Normally autobiographies are tediously filled with boring anecdotes that pander to fans, not this book. Steve really nails what it’s like to be a developing standup, you never feel like he took his fame for granted and you can see the work he had to put into himself to get where he is. As a comedian this book was exceedingly inspiring and useful for not feeling like you’re doing the wrong things. Again 5 stars.

Next book is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick

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Book 3

I’ve now caught up with myself and finished book 3 on week 3. It’s a great feeling to be completing a book a week, there’s a sense of accomplishment and I’ve missed having something to talk to people about

Book 3 was Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut and I have to say WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?! Seriously what was it? Was it a war story? A Sci-Fi novel? The feeling of wondering where your life has gone and why time is short in paper form? Nonsense?

I couldn’t tell you which of those it was, it was all and it was none. I don’t know if I enjoyed it but I’m definitely glad I’ve read it. 4 stars because it’s clever and emotional but in a subtle way. This has killed my curiosity for Kurt Vonnegut. And so it goes.

Next book is Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

The First Two Books

Phew! First two books finished of the 52 week book challenge, only 32 more to go.

First off I have to admit I’m halfway through week 3 and I’ve only finished two books, I’m already behind. I could make excuses about work and commitments but I finished the first book in two days then found it hard to engage with the second. It won’t happen again (it totally will but you never know).

Week 1 – The Power by Naomi Alderman

This was an incredibly engaging novel. The story was original, the characters relatable and the themes were so current that you could cut yourself on how close they came to the edge. A brilliant book, slightly disappointed at the ending but made up for in its prologue. Read it. I’ve never read a novel like it.

Week 2 – Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I had trouble getting into this book. Gladwell starts with a sports analogy and my lifetime of avoiding any kind of sport means I disengage with the material as soon as it’s brought up in whatever form it comes up in. Also I’m not used to reading non fiction, one of the reasons I’m doing this, preferring fiction or current news to long books on specific topics.

However once I got over myself and pushed through I read the second half of this book in a single day. Fascinating subject matter and full of interesting information which, while relevant to the topic being discussed, provides insights I didn’t expect to find in this book. Again a great book but longer than it needed to be.

Next up Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut