Books Read · Books to Movies · classics · dystopian · Gonna Need a Stiff Drink For This One · series books · thoughts

Books I wish I’d never read. My list of the worst books to read during a government imposed quarantine.

Boy, howdy.  The last few weeks have been rough.  Popping in to see how y’all are doing.  Everyone in my fam is safe and well, something I am grateful for every single second these days.  Lately, it seems like everything we did before last week was silly and meaningless.  We were so innocent and naive and the world was wonderful.  Writing a blog about the books I read was a fun and quirky hobby.  Now, at a time like this, it has felt silly and without purpose.

But then I went for a run on a beautiful day in our beautiful neighborhood and found that someone had written inspiring messages across a good 1/2 mile of the park loop.  The ones that stuck out the most were

“Always look for the helpers.  Mr. Rogers”

and

“Look for the light.  If you can’t find it, be the light.”.

So, here I am, ready to be a helper and a light bearer.  I don’t have much to offer, but if you enjoy discussions about books and love westerns, historical fiction and sci-fi, I can offer you companionship and camaraderie through a blog about books.

The last few weeks have left me anxiety ridden as I have (very unwisely!) gorged on news and found myself ticking off a mental checklist of news items found readily on a highlight reel of dystopian novels.  As my beautiful home state prepares to lock down tomorrow, there are several books I wish I’d never read and didn’t have a mental memory picture to pull references from right now.  Without further ado, I present to you, my list of the worst books to read during a government imposed quarantine.

The top three are quite obvious and cliche.  The number of young adult books on this list is alarming.  And finally, I’ve read so many books by Latin authors discussing the economic and government fallout of their countries, that they belong on this list as well.  Unlike the others on this list, I wouldn’t avoid reading the Latin American books right now because they aren’t dystopian novels, but they will bring an entirely different perspective to life outside of America as we know it and can be quite uncomfortable to read at times.

1984

Animal Farm

A Brave New World

Catch-22

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, The Mockingjay

Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant

The Light of the Fireflies

The Lord of the Flies

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Giver

The Time Machine

The Maze Runner

A River in Darkness

 

Latin American Books:

In the Time of the Butterflies

The Motorcycle Diaries

Guerrilla Warfare

Dreaming in Cuban

On my current reading list, I’ve been diving into the Deep Magic e-zine and Jeff Wheeler has a new book out, Killing Fog, so I’ve fallen into both of those lately.

Take care of yourself friends!  Drop me a comment or shoot an email response and let me know what you’re reading and how it’s going.

Cheers, – R

 

 

classics · finance · minimalism · Self Help

Wrapping up 2017: The Millionaire Next Door, Madame Bovary and Babbitt

As I finalized my books read list for 2017 the other day, I started reflecting on the year’s book choices and realized many of them were rooted in challenging the status quo, particularly the thoughts and habits built around consumerism and finance.

“The Millionaire Next Door”, was recommended by my mentor as a tool to frame how we were setting our financial goals as a family.  I expected a “get rich quick” theme or endless lecture similar to Dave Ramsey or Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  What I got instead was a life changing paradigm shift.  The Millionaire Next Door really opened my eyes to how we personally and culturally define “success”, how we measure ourselves against a name brands and labels, and most notably how research shows that the “rich” among us are not the ones buying big flashy expensive new things.  Without a doubt, this book changed my life.

While The Millionaire Next Door sat brewing in my brain for several months, I picked up Madame Bovary, a classic French novel written in 1856.  The story follows the beautiful Madame Bovary who drives her family to ruin with her boredom and endless search for meaning in frivolous material pursuits.  Unfortunately for Madame, the unhappiness she finds in her very normal and simple life cannot be cured by her many debt-inducing purchases, the birth of her only child, nor the affairs with handsome interesting young men, leading poor Madame to commit suicide while her husband and child deal with the fallout of her selfish decisions.  While the language can be a bit old fashioned, Madame Bovary is every bit as relevant today as it was 160 years ago.

The universe popped “Babbitt” into my hands shortly after Madame Bovary.  Sinclair Lewis did an amazing job capturing the mind and emotions of a middle aged man who had already achieved significant wealth and success but was caught between his desperation for his youth, more money, further success, his endless lust for acceptance by his peers and being happy.

I absolutely hated Babbitt and his grandiose speeches, his wishy washy nature, his constant need to be loved, admired and respected by his peers.  His constant scheming, planning and ladder climbing left me grossed out and I felt like nothing Babbitt did ever felt genuine or true.   Again, a credit to the author, who created a character so wholly flawed you can’t help but feel sorry for him, even though you hate him.

Until next time, may you find the time to curl up with a good book and a pot of tea!

Cheers!