I’m on a winning reading streak

I'm-on-a-winning-reading-streak

It’s been a magical mystery tour – in my Kindle, yo! I have been on the BEST reading streak. Every book that I’ve read lately has been a knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park-winner. So, as you can imagine, I keep thinking this book will be the one that will let me down. Isn’t that awful? I don’t know why we think a good thing can’t last.

Well, maybe because it’s not realistic. Who cares? Let the fantasy continue!

Currently, I’m reading The Martian by Andy Weir – and yeah, it’s all science + space exploration + dear diary and I’m soaking it up like a thirsty plant after a California drought. Normally, I wouldn’t praise a book until after I have finished it, but I’m feeling confident (a little too confident, kid) that Weir will deliver the NASA goods.

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And I cannot wait to see the movie, but like others who have read/are reading the book, I’m afraid they will ruin it. We’ll see.

Prior to The Martian, I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and I was totally prepared to hate it. Like totally. I thought it was going to be like Eat, Pray, Love, which I put down after the first chapter, wondering why everyone thought this book was so damn wonderful.

WildCoverFromAuthorsWebsite

I enjoyed and appreciated Strayed’s writing. And by appreciated, I mean, I could tell she worked hard on it and lo and behold, at the end of the book, I saw her thank her writers’ group. Her story was also something that I could relate to, not directly, but her working class upbringing, loss of a parent, and the struggle that comes from taking risks was what made the book work for me.

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr was another book I wasn’t expecting much out of. I think I was weary of a popular fiction novel (cause I’m so cool), but the WWII setting, blind French girl and German orphan character descriptions made me think this would be one of those “well-known stories told in an unusual way” and I was right.

All_the_Light_We_Cannot_See_(Doerr_novel)

Like the previous books, I was reading it as fast as I could and then slowing down when I thought I was near the end because I wanted to savor it.

Best Russian Short Stories compiled and edited by Thomas Seltzer was a freebie from the Guttenberg project. And let me just add, I adore all of the people who have made classics available online for free for expats like me.

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Now, we all know that the Russians have produced some pretty frickin amazing writers and this book was a dynamo compilation of the best. Imaginary (and real) hats off to Seltzer for putting together this body of work; I was continuously impressed, and kept flipping back to the TOC to see who wrote what story.

But I don’t think I have a favorite. I mean, I feel like the Russians writers are almost like a music playlist where I could go back and appreciate a different story at a different time. Actually, just sharing this makes me want to go back and reread them. It’s a door opener.

Bossypants by Tina Fey and Yes Please by Amy Poehler are not in the same caliber as the other books mentioned, but they are worth a read for memoirists like me. It’s also great to read about female comedians who have become famous actors (and screenwriters) in their own right. They are personable, funny and because they are around my same age, women I could relate to in many ways. I found inspiration in their books and they are wonderful role models.

Tina-Fey-+-Amy-Poehler-books

In full disclosure, I should mention that there are other books I have read between these titles, but I have a habit of starting books and not finishing them or using books as references, mainly non-fiction titles. For example, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. I was devouring that before I got The Martian. Of course, I’ll return to it. Maybe tonight.

I love my Kindle. I love reading.

What about you? Are you on a good reading streak? What are you reading now?

42 thoughts on “I’m on a winning reading streak

  1. Loved “The Martian” from the first sentence. Not sure how the humor will translate to the movie.

    My biggest issue with the book was more thematic — like, how much money do we spend to get one white guy home while Earth’s most impoverished every minute?

    I only enjoyed the “Italy” section of “East Pray Love.” (Had to finish for book club.) The beginning was self-indulgent at best, whiny at worst.

    But you’ve sold me on trying the other books I haven’t read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I noticed that theme once everyone started talking about saving him. But so far I’m finding the issue to be a bigger one: one of “Can we do it?” So, for me it’s not a matter of this one guy, but this idea that we want to try. And I think Weir was clever to bring the media so much into it.

      People have been debating how much we spend on NASA for ages. I’d rather they direct their efforts of injustice or what-have-you towards how much the US spends on our military.

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      1. Oh, I agree with you — I think NASA is very worthy, and a far better place for our tax dollars than the military.

        But a trillion dollar rescue effort for just one guy? Don’t get me wrong, I still wanted him saved. But the disparity niggled at me the whole book. Other than that, I loved it.

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  2. I am on a terrible reading streak…I haven’t finished any book in the past year and only started two so far this year. Somehow I don’t get any time to read anymore. I used to read in the evening always for several hours but since I am in Germany it is always work other other important things I have to finish before going to bed 😦

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    1. Well, I hope you can start to introduce a little reading before bed very SOON! There are many benefits including, releasing stress. I understand though. I’ve been very busy myself and haven’t read as much since arriving here, but looking forward to a good book certainly helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s nice to read before going to bed. My problem with that one, though, is I tend to stay up till even early morning because of it….LOL!!!!

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  3. I struggle with reading a book these days. I’m fine with some magazines and broad sheets; smart phone and laptop have competed for my attention. I learnt to have golden time when I had a basic phone (I still have one, you will laugh your head off).

    Now that I’m using my smart phone actively, I’ve to learn to use it smartly. On the plus side, I have discovered a number of kindred spirits out there who have been generous and considerate in sharing information and resources; advancement through technology.

    Just recently, a round robin landed in my inbox. It was a worldly email but well crafted with intelligence, humour and interest. The guy was an acquaintance I knew years ago who now has six crime books published with Faber and Faber. I’m incline to do a book review of his new book due to be published soon. He got me hooked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent. Glad to hear it. There are so many benefits to reading a book!

      I have to admit I’m not much of a smart phone user. I held out for as long as I could as my regular phone works just fine and is durable!

      They are handy for travelling though and that’s when I feel closest to it 😛

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  4. I saw the movie Wild and LOVED IT. If the book is anything like the movie, I definitely need to read it.

    I also had my eyes on The Martian, I heard that’s an excellent book. I’m sure I’ll end up seeing the movie first, though.

    I’m really interested in “all the light we cannot see.” Haven’t heard of that one, but the characters sound very promising.

    Thanks for the recommendations Lani!! I really needed some.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea! Thanks. Yes, “All the Light…” won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, too. I read an interview with the author and it took about 10 years to write. It’s truly lovely and embraces you in.

      I was wondering about the movie for WILD, I’ll have to check it out. Yes, the book, so good.

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  5. Sounds like some good choices, Lani. “All the Light We Cannot See” is on my list. Maybe I’ll just go see the Martian. I finished “A God in Ruins” last week (on my Kindle). It was strange and long, but I liked it.

    I might try one of those memoirs. Which one did you like more?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WILD is the best memoir from the list. Strayed’s writing is on point and her story is humbling.

      “A God in Ruins” – will remember that. Thanks!

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  6. Thanks for the recs. I laughed at the Eat, Pray, Love comment because I also didn’t like it (read for book group years ago)! I found her soooo annoying and like you, I was afraid to read Wild because I thought I would find her pretentious. But I surprisingly didn’t. Right now I am reading “An Actual Life” by Abigail Thomas and I am really enjoying it. Finished “Tortilla Curtain” by TC Boyle a couple months ago and loved it. So well-written, so profound without being in-your-face about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the recommendations. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to feel that way about EPL. Ug. I couldn’t do it. Getting folks to relate to your story is such a challenge, but obviously she succeeded as she has a massive fan base.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. But that is also annoying. I HATE when bad writers (and actually, she was a decent writer, just annoying), get such high praise. Twilight Series, 30 Shades, etc. (sorry if you love those).

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      2. Hahahahhaa. Yeah, I’m sooo 30 Shades. *Ahem* I mean, yeah…

        Actually, I read a blog post ripping apart 30 Shades and it was sooo funny. I haven’t read the book, but she quoted the book so I got the gist of it.

        But in the end, it’s just not my “thing.”

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  7. I’ve heard The Martian mentioned several times but I’m afraid it’s not of the style I’d enjoy. I may give it a go, but if I don’t read it before the movie comes out I may forgo both the book and movie… Thanks for the reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think part of the reason why I am so pleased by the books I’ve read lately is because I took a chance on books that I didn’t think I would like.

      But yeah, science and space exploration is not for everyone 🙂

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  8. This is such an interesting set of books you are reading, Lani. Particularly the female comedians ones. I’ve always loved Tina Fey and wondered how Bossypants was – expecting it to be like her voice and persona, hilarious. I’m currently reading books by writer/blogger Jeff Goins. Love the way he writes non-fiction, weaving personal stories into his works so well. I find that I can’t read multiple books at one time. If I do, I generally forget about certain storylines and confuse stories with one another 😀 Like you, if I am really into a book that I’m reading, I will slow down reading at the end and read each sentence sloooowly, never wanting the book to end 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, you like Jeff Goins, huh? Yeah, I know him as a blogger and have read some of his free downloadables like his manifestos. Can’t say that I can relate to him per se, but I don’t know him that well. I guess you do now, eh?

      Let me know how the book finishes! 🙂

      Cheers.

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      1. I loooove Jeff Goins! I actually discovered him from another blogger a few years ago. He seems extremely positive in his books, though…which sort of grinds on my nerves because life is always so unexpected!

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  9. I was lucky that I stumbled upon “All the Light” before it became a sensation, and didn’t expect anything of it. It is perhaps one of the best books I’ve ever read. Since then I’ve become a big fan of Anthony Doer. I just love his writing, especially his masterful way of employing verbs to tell his stories.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, most definitely worth reading, although one can see how he became a more skilful writer in the process. “All the Light” is definitely the best – at least according to me. 🙂 I also read some travel articles by him, and they were wonderfully inspirational. I refer back to his writing often, as his way with words is the kind of skill I would love to attain.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re a great writer in your own right as well Jolandi 🙂 But great, I’ll check out his travel writing. Woo hoo!

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  10. I’ve heard good things about All the Light We Cannot See. Guess I’ll add it to the list! I feel like I haven’t read anything really good in ages.

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    1. Ug. I hate that. Well, please take a chance on some of the recommendations. I hope they will help turn things around. Hugs.

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  11. I’m jockeying between 2 books, with 1 of them suddenly a priority….a book I plan to give as a gift to my niece who is getting married. It’s a foodie literary travel book by Jen Lin-Liu “On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta”. A Chinese-American who runs her own cooking school in Beijing and recently married her Italian-American boyfriend. So she is now on a travel culinary quest travelling from China through Central Asia, then Iran, Turkey and Italy to discover the history and cultural parallels and differences of pasta making. Really quite cool. She finds among Muslim ethnic Chinese, they make something similar to spaetzel which is a German type of pasta that my partner (and his mother) makes at home….

    So I’m seeing niece in 2 wks…so have to read this book first. My sneak read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a fun culinary adventure. I’ll have to check it out, after you review it, of course 🙂 Congrats to your niece. Have fun at the wedding!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am sad to say that I haven’t read a book in awhile. I am just so busy on the computer writing and editing my own memoir that reading a book is the last thing I want to do during my free time lately. However, those books sounds pretty good, especially ‘Wild.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just wait until you are finish, you’ll have all this free time on your hands and you’ll be ready to devour fresh materal. Sending you stay focused energy on your home stretch!

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  13. I’m trying to be on a good reading streak, but I’m not able to do it as fast as you. Plus, when you said, “I have a habit of starting books and not finishing them”, it was like you were describing me. Anyway, I have resolved not to stress over it and just make sure that every time I am able to finish a book, I should get another one.

    I just finally finished “The Kite Runner” last week and have brought another book that I’ve read several times already. This one, I was supposed to write a review about eons ago and was not able to. So I need to review it to be able to, uh, make a review, he he.

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  14. The Martian is an excellent book. Really got into it as well. Have you seen the film adaptation yet?

    It usually takes me a while to read. I mean, last year I read about 7 books in total, and that was a lot for me! I’m up to 9 this year so far, so that’s something eh? Think the last few books I really enjoyed was Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury and 11/22/63 by Stephen King – really getting into King. Currently reading The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood – been meaning to read some of her work for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I thought they did a good job with the movie. Obviously, the book is better, but Matt’s acting pulled it off.

      Now I feel like my excellent reading streak has come to an end. I won’t mention what I’m reading now because I haven’t really gotten into them and they are “meh” so far. But Bradbury, sounds yummy. I should read him.

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