Craft a thriving business. Do what matters. Crush Distractions. Get the Kit:

Great books

What I’m Reading: October 2016

A list of alllll the books I read this month (there were a lot!) and what I plan to read next. Read more at TaraSwiger.com.

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I read

  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, by Scott Adams – I took copious notes on this book! In it, the Dilbert cartoonist explains how he reached crazy goals (spoiler alert: systems!). So you know I loved it and recommend it.
  • The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, by Sherri Lynn Wood – Oh man. I love this book. It gave me so many quilty ideas! It's exactly the kind of craft book I love – lots of ideas + inspiration + “how to think” stuff, without step by step instructions (which I never follow anyhow).
  • Leaving the Saints, by Martha Beck – Oof. I thought I was reading a (well-written) book about the author leaving the Latter Day Saints. And then it turns into so much more. It gutted me and I'll be thinking about it for a long time.
  • The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, by Susan Wise Bauer – Yes, the author is a bit sniffy about those of us who haven't had a “classical education” but I always say what I learned in college wasn't so much conjugating French verbs but HOW to learn anything, and how to think critically. This book gives you the tools to apply that critical thinking to both fiction and non-fiction. It also provides a list of books in literature, history and philosophy to round out your classical education. Since it's a library book, I didn't read the blurbs for all the suggested books, but I did take notes on critical method and the books I haven't yet read. (I started a new note keeping system during reading, would you like to see it? Lemme know on Facebook!)
  • Year of Reading Dangerously, by Andy Miller – The above book led me to the “reading” section of my library (meta!) where I found this. Funny, interesting, and definitely got me re-excited about my Great Books project. (My list is here.)
  • Self-Compassion, by Kristin Neff – This book is summed in her TED Talk. If you enjoy the talk, read the book. (It's just $7.99 on the Kindle right now!)
  • Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle-Melton – Like I said last month, I found Glennon's blog, read a ton of her archives and immediately checked her first book out from the library. And then her next book came out and I snatched it up… and then it was named Oprah's next Book Club pick. I hope that won't turn you off from this, a totally gripping memoir about a woman's understanding of herself, as a woman, in this world that objectifies and sexualizes us.
  • All the Things We Never Knew, by Sheila Hamilton – Another memoir! This one by a woman who slowly uncovers her husband's mental health diagnosis and struggles to keep him safe and alive, even after it's totally destroyed their relationship.

What I’m reading

I need some more recommendations! Tell me on Twitter or Facebook!

Yeah, so I read a LOT this month. I didn't even share them all here (I skipped the ones I didn't love, or wouldn't recommend.)  Here's to another great month of reading!

What I read last October.

And in October 2014.

What are you reading?

What I’m Reading: November 2014

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.

What I'm reading: November 2014

What I read

  • The Magician’s Land, by Lev Grossman. I've been waiting on this book since I finished the last book and it did not disappoint. It was a great ending to the trilogy. But it did have an adverse affect – I didn't feel like picking up another book for a good week after finishing it.
  • Wonder Woman Unbound, by Tim Hanley. I don't remember why I picked this book up, but it's a fascinating history of of the comic book superheroine. The book dives into the motivation of her creator (a rare 1940s feminist (male) psychologist who developed the DISC personality theory and the lie detector test!) and how she's been transformed throughout the years. It serves as a great introduction to feminist cultural criticism and it was fun to read.
  • Looking for Alaska, by John Green. I read this in one day on the train to LA (and back) and it was delightful and devastating.

What I'm reading

The Great Books Project

After months of waffling, the Great Books Project is finally underway. I’m tracking it via GoodReads (my entire list is here) and holding discussions on the Facebook page, with conversations about our lists, our progress, and regular quotes from the books I love. I’ll be sharing a little update here each month, and you’re welcome to join in on your own project, either in the comments, or over on the FB page (the joy of FB is that we can all reply to each other).

After last month's reading glut, this month, the official beginning, kinda fizzled. I got two translations of Confessions from my library and they both were totally impossible to read. So I ordered this translation…and it didn't arrive yet. I got about halfway through Aeneid, and then it was due at the library and I was going out of town…so I'll pick it back up again this month. (I'm enjoying it much less than the Odyssey, frankly.) I got Dante's Inferno from my library, so we'll see how that goes!

What are you reading?

 

What I’m reading: October 2014

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.

What I'm reading: October 2014. Details at Taraswiger.com

What I read

  • GirlBoss, by Sophia Amoruso – If you like business biographies, this has got a healthy dose of that, which I think is the best part. Less interesting is her “advice” for young women. On one page she's giving you interview tips, on another page tips for hiring, and it left me thinking: who is this book for? A woman entering the workforce? Middle management? What I was hoping for was a book aimed at US, women who build our own businesses…but the advice was a little shallow for that.
  • The Odyssey, by Homer – I'm sure I read parts of this in High School, but as part of my Great Books Project (details below) I wanted to read the whole thing. I was completely shocked by how gripping and … modern it all felt, especially if you read any sci-fi. I wholeheartedly love it, recommend it, and can't believe it took me so long.
  • Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles – Another Great Book that was actually great. Of course I knew the story, but Sophocles's play positions us so we watch Oedipus discover his crime. My favorite bit from the forward (written by the translator, Robert Fagles), that perfectly explains its relevance:

“Sophocles play has served…our own terror of the unknown future which we fear we cannot control– our deep fear that every step we take forward on what we think is the road to progress may really be a step toward a foreordained rendezvous with disaster.

I mean, right?

  • 10 years in the Tub: a Decade of Soaking in Great Books, by Nick Hornby. I picked this up randomly from the Reading section of my library (geek alert!) and I am so happy with it. It's a collection of Hornby's “What I'm Reading” articles (you know I love that!) for the Believer magazine, which he wrote for 10 years. The articles are funny, memorable, and perfectly express what it is I love about reading. It's a biggie, and I've been reading a few articles every day, stretching out the enjoyment. (Warning: It caused me to add over a dozen books to my To Read list. Beware!)
  • (Some of) How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler. I didn't read it all, because the tone totally turned me off. The author gets snobby (or as British Nick Hornby would say, sniffy) about reading and how to properly do it and while I learned bits, I didn't like his voice or style enough to keep going. But according to Mr. Adler, the only fair criticism is to agree or disagree (with a non-fiction book). I agree with this:

“The first piece of advice we would like to give you for reading a story is this: Read it quickly and with total immersion.”

And this:
“A story is like life itself; in life, we do not expect to understand events as they occur, at least with total clarity, but looking back on them, we do understand. “

What I’m reading

 

The Great Books Project

After months of waffling, the Great Books Project is finally underway. At your suggestion, I'm holding most of it over on the Facebook page, with discussions of our lists, our progress, and regular quotes from the books I love. I'll be sharing a little update here each month, and you're welcome to join in on your own project, either in the comments, or over on the FB page (the joy of FB is that we can all reply to each other).

My project officially started October 1, but as you can see I got a little excited and hit two of my books already (The Odyssey and Oedipus Rex). This month I hope to plow through Virgil and St. Augustine. Do you have any recommended resources for any of them? (For example, I'll be using CraftLit when I hit Dickens and Wilde.) My entire list is here.

 

What are you reading?

 

 

 

What I’m Reading: September 2014

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.
What I'm reading in September.

 

What I read

  • The Know-It-All, by A.J. Jacobs. A fact-filled recounting of the author's read-through of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Read it (and put his other books on my list) at the recommendation of Elise.
  • Deep Thoughts from a Hollywood Blonde, by Jennie Garth. Don't judge. I grew up on summers full of 90210 and can't resist a biography…especially by a fellow blonde.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (still reading it, actually).

Umm…and that's it. Apparently my reading time takes a dive in the summer with all the road trips and my increased crafting. (Baseball season = crafting season).

What I’m reading

Still obsessed with…

got obsessed with the idea of reading the Great Books – you know, the books that have formed the foundation of our culture, that teach us something about ourselves…those books that everyone else read in high school and college that I missed. You can see my list of 101 Great Books here (some of which I’ve read, thank goodness!).

But now – what the heck should I do with this list now? Read through it in a year? Read one a month? Where would you begin? Some of readers said that if I started a Great Books read-along, they'd join in. What about you? Is this something you’d want to read on the blog (once a month) or follow along on Facebook?

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Mother's Day Brunch. #yum
The beginnings of brussels fried rice. (Via @isachandra) #sogood #vegan
My darling is fine! Waiting on biopsy results, but happy & clueless.
It's the MOST wonderful time! Of the yearrrr! Strawberry season! #yayspring #whatveganseat

I am so grateful for…

  • A safe procedure for Beau. (And being able to pay for it, because whoa.)
  • A lovely Mother's Day weekend!
  • My mother-in-law – today's her birthday! Happy birthday, Rhonda!
  • STRAWBERRIES
  • The smooth launch of the new class (even better – people are joining! yay!)
  • Massive inspiration – I wrote more than 3000 words in just a few hours!
 

The Finds:

I’m loving:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?