Every so often, I take time to reflect on the books I’ve read. Reading is an escape, a pleasure, and quite often a journey into another world. When I read fiction, I find myself being an omnipotent ‘goddess’ tagging along beside the protagonist, second guessing their every move and thought. I clearly envision the surrounding terrain and visualize each of the characters. A good book stays with me for days, months, years.
December and the first part of January have been slow for reading. I’ve moved forward by leaps and bounds with getting this coaching business established, which has left little time for reading. Still, there have been a few good books, and one large grey cat on my lap most nights.
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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. It’s deep winter and a small village in the medieval Russian wilderness is beset upon by pagan demons. Or is it beset upon by a monk from far away Muscovy attempting to impose new, religious beliefs? Tensions are high in this imaginative retelling of a classic Russian fairy tale. Thank goodness Vasya, the land owner’s wild-child daughter is around to save the day…or does she? I suspect the sequel, The Girl In The Tower, will have just as many twists and turns.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan. Yes, sourdough bread and San Francisco, but also high-tech, grazing goats, farmer’s markets, and cricket cookies. There’s a visit to a Chez Panisse look-a-like restaurant, and an appearance of the owner who resembles Alice Waters, the legendary founder of Panisse. There’s a robot that makes bread, too. Sourdough is quick read with a good story. It didn’t take me much longer than making a loaf of bread from scratch to read.
Inspired and Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work by Tama Kieves. On the journey from employee to entrepreneur…. (Wait, did I just call myself a business owner? I guess I did, didn’t I? I’m still getting used to that…) Anyway, while on the journey from employee to creating a dream job/life as a life coach and writer, Tama Kieves has been consistently inspirational. This book is full of sound, heart-centered advice. I have her new book, Thriving Through Uncertainty, loaded onto my Kindle to read, too.
Curiosity Killed The Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement. Retired sheriff’s deputy turned pet sitter Dixie Hemingway is no pushover – unless there’s dog or cat involved. And there are the dead bodies that (ahem, mysteriously) keep appearing. But Dixie has a complicated history, and solving murders doesn’t help her keep her cool. I’d read more of these. And besides that, reading about hot Florida days is a fantasy in the middle of a Michigan winter.
About A Dog by Jenn McKinlay. Romance, dogs, and small town gosh-golly-gee are in this delightful story. Throw in three girlfriends and you’ve got a charming tale – or should that be tail? I’m sure the others in the Bluff Point Romance series are just as heart-warming: Barking Up The Wrong Tree and Every Dog Has His Own Day.
The Conquer Kit: A Creative Business Planner for Women Entrepreneurs by Natalie MacNeil. I bought this on a whim more than a year ago, really before I realized I was truly starting a business. I couldn’t work with this book at all. But then, gradually, as I became more aware of the business that was emerging from my consciousness, this book became an inspiration. It is a business plan, but it’s not stodgy or boring. It causes you to brainstorm and apply solid business tactics in creative ways. There are still parts I haven’t been able to work through. I think that’s the point, though – as I develop as a business owner, I can see returning to this book over and over again to discover fresh perspectives.
Artemis by Andy Weir. Yes, the guy who wrote The Martian in his spare time while working a computer programmer is back with another book set off-planet. This time we’re on the moon, and all sorts of adventure is afoot in the domed city. The main character is just as sharp as The Martian’s Mark Watney, and in about as much trouble, too. I hope Andy Weir has a few more books like these to write!