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Books Owned Not Read … Yet – April 2020

Books Owned Not Read … Yet – April 2020

Over the last few years I’ve developed a habit of collecting eBooks that capture my attention, with the intention of reading them sometime in the future. The cost of an eBook is often less than five dollars, so the temptation to buy them when they are on sale is a bit difficult to resist. Unfortunately, after I add eBooks to our electronic library they often get overlooked; they disappear into the computer’s memory. I came up with a few impractical ideas to make our eBooks more visible around the house, such as making a stack of cards with book covers printed on them so I could shuffle them around and display a random card each week to remind me to read the book, however there was a major drawback with this idea, i.e. the cost of the ink and paper. Eventually I found a solution: create a printed catalogue of our owned-not-read-yet. eBooks.. It wasn’t long before I discovered that it is possible to print out a list of books from GoodReads.…

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The Art of Writing by Peter Yang

The Art of Writing by Peter Yang

The craft of writing is one of my favourite genres and I loved this book from the very first chapter. Over the years I’ve read many books on the subject of writing. Several are memoirs, such as Stephen King’s On Writing, and Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life. Others are motivational, such as Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, and Julia Cameron’s The Artists’ Way. In contrast Peter Yang’s The Art of Writing is more specifically directed at showing us how to apply four principles of writing to improve the structure of sentences, paragraphs and most importantly to the whole writing project, be it a book, an article, a blog post, or other categories of writing.…

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Laidlaw by William McIlvanny

Laidlaw by William McIlvanny

I read and enjoyed this book in 2019. I’d abandoned the audiobook back in 2013 after listening to the first chapter and thinking that the Scottish accent of the narrator (William McIlvanny) was a little too dense for my late night listening (before dropping off to sleep). This year, 2019, I purchased the eBook edition, and matched the audiobook with it, and then found I could follow the story more easily; I was determined to read it. Also, I noticed, after reading the text via the eBook, that the first chapter of the story had a fractured structure, and that was the reason I had difficulty, connecting with the story, back in 2013. This time, my ear became more accustomed to the narrator’s accent as I travelled along deeper into the story. Having the eBook meant that when I got a bit lost within the action via the audio, I could re-read over the section. There were quite a few characters in the story so I made a list of them and their relationship to each other to anchor me more firmly.…

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The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne

The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne

If you enjoy thrillers, this is a good one. For me, a not-keen-on-thrillers person, it was all I could do to get through to the end; it was harrowing. Harrowing is not my favourite thing, but there was something intriguing about the story that made me “go with it”. I really liked the main character, Dr Theo Cray, a Computational Biologist, and I loved his scientific method of solving the puzzle, however it’s much too “thrilling” for me so I won’t go for book two in the series. If you enjoy a thriller you’ll very likely enjoy this story.…

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Edinburgh Twilight by Carole Lawrence

Edinburgh Twilight by Carole Lawrence

Within this first book in the series, the author, Carole Lawrence, takes the opportunity to build the characters, gradually, as the story evolves. By the end of the story, they are fully formed and interesting; the goodies being likeable and the baddies being despicable. In a good way, the book is a bit melodramatic, which suits the story; the reader is held securely, with a good plot, to the very end. A very readable mystery. …

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The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch & Jeffrey Zaslow

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch & Jeffrey Zaslow

The first time I heard Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture”, about ten years ago, I was blown away by the wisdom he shared. Recently I came across the hardback edition 2008 at my local charity shop, so I snapped it up, and started reading it immediately. The impact it had on me, this time around, was different, I pondered about a person’s sense of self and whether it can be too big or too small. (I should share the fact that I’m an introvert, therefore when I read about a person embracing the love of many, I don’t quite end up on the same page.) The wisdom within the book is very good and it is an important book to read, however this time around it left me wondering about the personality behind the wisdom he shared, and his sense that what he knew mattered; and, don’t be mistaken, it does. I’m just left wondering about ego, and a confusion about whether or not it’s OK. …

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