Twitterature (February 2014 edition)

Twitterature (February 2014 edition)

Welcome to the Twitterature link-up! For the lowdown, head over here, or try this Cliff Notes version: this is the place to share short, casual reviews of books you’ve been reading.

Here’s what I’ve been reading

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley

I’ve heard great things about the Flavia de Luce series and thoroughly enjoyed the first installment. 11-year-old Flavia–an aspiring chemist who’s fascinated by poisons–solves her crime and persuaded me to request the next book in the series. These YA mysteries are charming and thoroughly British.

Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh

This slim work was first published in 1955 but feels fresh and timely. I’ll focus more on this in a more detailed post, but I loved her words on women and distractions, on cluttered spaces and the need for time alone. Best read a few pages at a time.

The Girl You Left Behind, J. J. Moyes

This easy-reading novel from the author of Me Before You tells the stories of two women who lived a century apart, and the painting that unites them. It’s not perfect, but it’s engaging and readable and wins points for its interesting past and present structure. I listened to the audiobook, which was a pleasure.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk

If you don’t work in or heavily use social media this book isn’t for you; it’s a worthwhile read if you do. I didn’t get what boxing had to do with social until Vaynerchuk layed it out, but now it’s changed the way I think about social media. Brand new and timely, but likely to age quickly given how fast this business is evolving.

The Medici Effect, Frans Johansson

This business-y book explores where great ideas come from, and why breakthrough insights so often come from the intersections of fields of study. It’s longer than it needs to be, but I’m glad I read it, if only to learn the phrase “associative barrier” and realize that mine are low. (This is the book Ben Arment talks about all. the. time.)

Clutterfree with Kids, Joshua Becker

Will hasn’t read this book but he loves it, because as soon as I started reading it I was inspired to purge my closet. Draggy through the beginning but there’s a wealth of practical information in the bulky middle section, devoted to practical ways to get rid of the clutter. If you need some help getting motivated to clear out your stuff, this is the book for you.

The Age of Miracles, Karen Thompson Walker

The writing is okay and the plot gets a little muddy in the middle, but the concept of this YA almost-apocalyptic novel is brilliant: the rotation of the earth is slowing down, and the wheels are coming off. A little science fiction + a little coming-of-age make for a good read, if not a must-read.

What have you been reading lately?

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35 comments

  1. What I’ve been reading:
    Introduction to Christianity, Joseph Ratzinger: Not for the faint of heart, but without a doubt the most illuminating exposition of fundamental Christian beliefs that I’ve ever read (and I have my MA in theology, so that’s saying something).

    Bertie Wooster Sees it Through, PG Wodehouse: Vintage Wodehouse. A laugh-out-loud funny story of the misadventures of Bertie Wooster and his preternaturally intelligent valet, Jeeves. A great place to start if you’ve never read his stuff.

  2. Loved The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie! I read the second book in the series, but sadly have not made it back to the series. I need to remedy that this year. 🙂 I enjoyed The Girl You Left Behind, but nothing can top Me Before You. Jab, Jab, Jab…has been on my radar. It’s good to know that you found it helpful! Social media is still so confusing to me – especially in relation to a blog, but maybe his book will help! I’ll be adding the other books to my GoodReads list – thank you for such great reviews! This is my first month linking up with Twitterature – so much fun! Thanks for hosting!

    • Anne says:

      I actually liked The Girl You Left Behind more. (I listened to that one, but read the hardback of Me Before You, so it doesn’t seem like an entirely fair comparison.)

  3. Ok, you made me curious about associate barriers so I googled them :). Mine are low, too. I wonder if that relates to the fact that I often neglect the simplest explanation in favor of the most obscure… 🙂 You know that phrase “when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras?” My husband’s always saying that I’m “so zebras.” 🙂
    But I digress…
    I want to pick up that Clutter-Free book–now!

  4. I can tell I’m falling WAY behind on my reading when two of the books on here I went to check out on amazon, only to find out I’ve already bought them but still haven’t read them yet! (sweetness at the bottom of the pie and the girl you left behind) – definitely want to get to both of those soon!

    I really enjoyed The Age of Miracles – my book club read it and a lot of our members were a little on the fence about it while I was gushing about how great it was lol. I’ll concede that he reads pretty slow but I was just hooked.

  5. Breanne says:

    I always love this post, and this month is no exception. Sounds like some fabulous titles and some good educating titles. =)
    Gift from the Sea has been on my list for way too long, thanks for the prompt. Jab, Jab, Right Hook sounds so interesting as does The Medici Effect.
    And I think I need Clutterfree Kids last month. 😉

  6. Andrea says:

    Re-adding my link to get on the right schedule with this post – love it. I felt the same about Age of Miracles – super cool, but underwhelming in parts. Looking forward to The Girl You Left Behind: I adored Me Before You and also just enjoyed The Last Letter From Your Lover 🙂

    • Anne says:

      I liked The Girl You Left Behind better than Me Before You. (I listened to one and read the hardback of the other–I’m wondering if that makes a difference?) Now I’m wondering about The Last Letter from Your Lover and especially about Honeymoon in Paris….)

  7. Carrie says:

    Two of our books were the same this time 🙂 Did you find that JJJRH was mostly intuitive? I am finding it difficult for the solopreneur/blogger to get a lot of takeaway from it.

    • Anne says:

      Hmmm. Much of it was intuitive, but I still found it valuable, if only for the boxing framework he provided. I really liked his paradigm of “jabs” and “right hooks”–that was new to me, and not a concept I’d applied to social media in my mind. I thought it was useful in that way for me as a blogger.

  8. Love, love, love Gift From The Sea. My mom gave it to me as a gift many years ago and it’s such a treasure. I agree, best read in small snippets and savored. Thanks for hosting this fun link up.

  9. Amy says:

    I read “Sweetness” last fall and thought it could be a fun series to continue with – the books are somewhere in my reading list. Adding Jab, Jab… to my list now. Love this link-up!

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