New Video! February 2019 Book Haul

I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t I JUST post one of these videos recently? Well, yes. But everyone knows one can never have too many books! Right? RIGHT? Anyway, I picked up a few more books recently from my local HPB because they gave me a bed in back where I sleep now. Ha.

Also, special shoutout to Die a Stranger by Steve Hamilton, The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler, and You by Caroline Kepnes. I bought all of these over the weekend and I already had the video edited and uploaded. Whoops.

Now watch and tell me which books you’ve picked up recently!

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Two Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading

I haven’t read anything since early February, though technically that isn’t true since I started and stopped The Great Gatsby. I guess I should say I haven’t finished anything since February.

American War

I’ve written about this book on here already. It’s still pulling me to the cusp of purchase, though I’ve held off so far.

Shattered

This is also a new release. It tells the story of Hillary Clinton’s failed bid to win the presidency. On election night I was 24-years-old. I cried. It wasn’t because of the upset victory no one saw coming, it was because I couldn’t imagine Donald Trump leading my country forward into the 21st century. All he’s done is roll back environmental protections, try to ban people from coming here, nominate Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and is now backing AHCA.

This book will take me back to election night. I’m not sure what I hope to gain from reading it. I’ll gain something.

I’m planning to finally start Thirteen Reasons Why today. So that’s also on my list. 

Bana Alabed Gets a Book Deal

If you dont know Bana, then you may be living under a rock. Or just not on social media. She’s 7. She became widely known last year after she created a Twitter account to document the devastation she was experiencing in Syria.

Now she has a memoir coning out.

I remember the first time I noticed her I immediately thought of Anne Frank. The similarities are striking. Anne had her diary and Bana had the power of social media. The ability to reach the world with the click of a button. I have no issue with her getting a book deal. I’m glad her story will continue to be told. But I can’t be the only one with reservations. She’s a refugee. I imagine her family struggles. This story will be worth millions to Simon & Schuster. My concern is that it’d be easy to offer a very small fraction of the compensation to a family of refugees who need it rather than a more justified market value. My hope is that they treated Bana and her family fairly.

Any thoughts on her book deal?

Go Now!

This week in the Houston area is one of Half Price Books’ coupon weeks. What is coupon week? Shoppers receive a coupon for each day of the week to use in-store. The week started with 20% off one item and has now risen up to 40% off an item. Tomorrow will be 50% off an item.

I write about this just about every time it happens because there is no better deal to be had. Why spend outrageous amounts of money to buy books if you don’t have to? Now go get something before the coupons are all gone!

Also, I can’t guarantee that it’s coupon week in other parts of the country. 

Five Books I Recommended to a Non-Reader

This was my video topic for this week, but I decided that I’d better express myself through a written post.

I typically don’t recommend books. It doesn’t matter who is asking or why, but I’ve made exceptions to my rule over the last couple of years. The following is the most recent example.

Earlier this week a friend of mine told me he wanted to start reading in an effort to adopt more healthy habits. With all the things one can do with free time, I think reading would definitely qualify as a healthy habit. What did I do when he told me this? I took him to Half Price Books, of course! Not kidding.

The first thing I did when we reached the store was ask him what he enjoys reading. His response was anything that keeps his attention, he’s open to any topic. So I did the only thing I could do in that situation, I referred back to my own reading history. Kind of like your Google history in books. I came up with five books to tell him about.

Lone Survivor – Marcus Luttrell

No matter your position on war or the military, I’m well aware that nonfiction war books are not for everyone. But to say this book is only about war would be a disservice to Marcus Luttrell and every other man who died during the operation to save him and his fellow Navy SEALs. This book is about faith, family, survival, life and death, and yes, war. Most people living today will never know what it means to trust another person with your life and have them entrust you with theirs. The men described in this book are the best the United States has to offer, and their story is one to remember.

Unstoppable – Bill Nye

I’ve read a few hundred books during my lifetime, and this one (like I said here) is easily the best book I’ve read. It’s science. Another type of book that simply isn’t for everyone. But this book isn’t written for scientists. That would defeat the entire purpose. The book takes on climate change, one of those topics that people seem to want to give up on or kick down the road. But not Bill Nye, nope. The reason this book holds so much weight with me is because of the optimism. Bill Nye is part of the generation currently in power. It’s his generation that has moved technology further than ever before, but it’s this same generation that has gotten us to this point in the climate change debate. This isn’t about blame, it’s about what’s happened. The beauty of this book is that Bill Nye recognizes who will ultimately enact the necessary changes to really combat climate change and begin the the process of preserving our planet for generations to come. Millennials. That group of young adults who gets blamed for things completely out of their control. It’s that same group of young people who are more aware of current issues than just about any generation of people who have come before them. Some would say the issues aren’t as important as the ones previous generations have had to tackle, but to say this is to once again belittle the issues Millennials face today. Humans are imperfect, but we have the ability to preserve this beautiful world we have. I believe history will hold Millennials in particularly high regard when humans look back at who decided enough was enough and that the issue of climate change is not something to leave for others to deal with.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Atticus Finch. I can go on and on about Atticus Finch. I’ll be short and simple. I recommended this book because even when everyone around you is guilty of buying into society’s backward and wrong beliefs, one person can stand up for what’s right and what’s true to the human spirit. That’s what I believe Atticus did in this book, and it’s an idea still relevant after nearly 60 years in print.

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

With social media today we’re able to get a glimpse into the lives of persecuted individuals. Anne Frank’s diary is more than just a glimpse. It’s her life. Now that I’m sitting here writing this I realize that her diary is her version of a blog or Facebook account. Through her words we know what a young girl and her family endured during humanity’s darkest hour. She gives us an idea of what it means to be unwanted, untouchable, and hated. She shows us that we always have the ability to be kind, even when facing the worst of circumstances. Another book that has never lost its relevance.

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Society has expectations for just about everyone. It’s up to the individual person and the people they’re surrounded by to stick to what they’re supposed to be doing or to exceed every expectation imaginable. That’s what this book is about. And that’s why I recommended it. In this world the districts are expected to contribute to the welfare of the Capitol by maintaining the status quo and doing as previous generations have done. There’s really no avenue for any individuality. Katniss turns the whole thing upside down. She proved that no matter what society expects of you, you can use your voice to accomplish and change just about anything.

An honorable mention was Elie Wiesel’s Night.

I won’t tell you which book he ultimately decided to buy, but he did buy one.

So those are the books I recommended to an admitted non-reader. I took several minutes to describe the message I took away from each one. This wasn’t a planned thing and I did the whole thing in real time, but I think the books I mentioned shed light on the topics and issues important to me. Every one of these is a notch above their counterparts in my eyes.

Sorry for the LONG post! Have you ever had to suddenly recommend books and felt it was more important than a typical recommendation? What do you think of the books I came up with?

2017 Reading Update #2

At the end of January I wrote a post providing an update on my reading progress for the year. Last month will be no different. Let’s take a look.

Books read

2017: 11

2012: 3

When compared to my best year ever, one would think I’m doing well to start this year. Meh, somewhat. I didn’t read a single page after February 3, completing just one book in the month after my record-breaking January. Of course that wasn’t all that surprising since I started my new job on February 9.

Time

62 hours, 36 minutes

Pages

3290

2017 Reading Challenge

7 books

Genres

Young adult: 2 books

Literary fiction: 4 books

Mystery: 2 books

Fantasy: 1 book

Nonfiction: 2 books

Ratings

1 star: 1 book

2 stars: 1 book

3 stars: 3 books

4 stars: 5 books

5 stars: 1 book

Average: 3.54

Best Book

The Lightning Thief

Those are the numbers through February! I’m actually going to HPB today to see if I can find some new books to start reading soon. They’ll be both for my 2017 Reading Challenge and also books I’m simply interested in reading.

2017: The Year of the TBR Shelves of Doom

Oh boy. The title of this post sounds utterly evil. 😂

But it’s a not THAT bad. In 2016 I bought a few books. 39, to be exact. But I already had too many and I wasn’t reading a whole lot until the end of the year. Which made my TBR shelves explode. For most of the year I had more than 80 books I had yet to read. Years ago I’d think having 20 was an insanely high number.

I just counted. I currently have 67 books I haven’t read. Which means I have more than enough for my personal goal of 50 books. I’ve decided not to buy a single new book until I read my personal goal of 50 or I fulfill a requirement from my 2017 Reading Challenge I don’t already own a book for.

Just look. These are them.

Have you ever had so many unread books you’ve banned yourself from buying new ones?