Like a lot of people I know, I keep track of the books I read each month. Mostly, I just update Goodreads (you can follow me on there). But I thought it’d be a fun feature to add to the blog.
Unlike the newsletter, where I recommend a killer series of books, this “Monthly Reads” series is going to focus on what I’ve actually read during the course of the previous month. You can check out last month’s list right here.
At the end, I’ll also include some great articles I’ve read this month about books.
Alright, so away we go.
MONTHLY READS: BOOKS
This was the first month in a long time I was worried I wouldn’t hit three books. The irony in that is I purposely set my reading goal for this year much lower simply so I could read longer books. Oops.
It was touch and go there a bit. I was really busy this month entertaining friends from the UK who were visiting and then the day after they left I was nailed with a nasty case of the flu. So, that was close to two weeks of reading nothing at all. Yikes!
Anyway, to the books!
FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH
Technically, I didn’t have a favorite book of the month for May. I rated them all the same in Goodreads and none of them really blew me away. So, I will leave this space empty for the time being.
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
A few months ago, I delved into my first Christie book, And Then There Were None, and really enjoyed it. Since I’ve been seeing a few movie posters around for the upcoming film The Orient Express (based on the book), I wanted to pick up a few more of her reads.
I started with this one, honestly, because it was on sale on Amazon. I figure you really can’t go wrong getting any book for $1.99! It’s the first in the series of the Tommy and Tuppence set, two friends who decide they are going to get rich by becoming private eyes to the upper crust of England.
There wasn’t anything about the book that blew me away nor did anything really disappoint me. Hence the three stars, it was a solid piece of storytelling.
I enjoyed the character of Tuppence and how she was a ‘modern’ woman. I thought the plot (which starts out on the deck of the Lusitania) was very interesting and there still were a few twists and turns along the way. I think my biggest problem with it was that it didn’t feel quite so believable to me, that T+T would be entrusted with this top secret information, even the Prime Minister knew them!
I think if you want a solid beach read for a long weekend, this is an good choice.
The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy
Darren Hardy is the man behind Success Magazine. He’s been able to build a multi-million dollar business from the ground floor, so he feels like someone who knows what he’s talking about when it comes to growing a business.
Now, you might be surprised to find that I gave this book a 3 while it’s average on Goodreads is 4.5. That’s not because I didn’t like the book. It’s more because I’ve read very similar stuff in other books. I enjoy reading productivity and habit books because, well frankly, I am not good at breaking bad habits. In the past year, I’ve been able to kickstart my own productivity, much of it in a similar was as Hardy writes about in The Compound Effect.
I’d say if you want a really good primer into productivity and the exercises behind it, start with this book. It’s short, but covers just about everything you need.
Basically, the concept follows that by doing very small positive things every day, over time (and by time I mean even years down the road) all that good stuff will compound and put you way ahead of others. I actually agree with that and have seen it in my own life. The minute we stop focusing on long term far off goals and instead focus on systems to do the small things daily, everyone will be better off.
The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
Can you tell I’ve had writing on my mind the past few months? As a freelance writer, I think it’s important to always be educating myself on ways to not only improve my writing but my writing business too. This mindset, helped a lot by last month’s book, The Well Fed Writer was extended this month too.
What I’ve come to realize (maybe a bit late to the party on this one) is that freelance writing is so much about mindset and thinking about yourself as a business. The minute you start making that switch, you approach writing, finding clients, and dealing with clients in a very different way.
This book wasn’t really a revelation for me, it more built upon The Well Fed Writer and added a few interesting tips and tidbits especially on approaching writing for publications. That was never an area I’d really considered previously, so I did learn quite a bit about that side of things. I’m working on giving it a shot as we speak, stay tuned!
MONTHLY WEB READS
I figured I’d add in this little section about some of my favorite reads specifically about books.
- She never went to school: 126 remarkable Agatha Christie facts – I don’t want to completely drown you with stuff about Christie, but this list was pretty impressive.
- What Are Your Five Favorite Books? – I think Quora is an interesting site, especially for book lovers. When I came across this list with over 100 answers, I saved it immediately.
- This Literature Map of the World is Simply Brilliant – I couldn’t agree more!
That’s all for this month. Feel free to share this post.
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