Book Review | The Library Book

The Library Book by Susan Orlean
3174 / 5Non-fiction, books about books, history

An interesting and entertaining history of the Los Angeles library and its various characters. Recommend for library lovers.

I’m a book lover, duh, right? So, I love meta books, books about books. I thought this might be fiction when I first saw it. I didn’t know it was going to be a historical or that it would be so focused on one suspect. If you are into books about books and also like history you will will love this book.

Book Review | To Shake the Sleeping Self

To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret by Jedidiah Jenkins
To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret by Jedidiah Jenkins

Excellent finding yourself story. Extra star because of BIKES! I do love a good bicycling adventure story. 

I listened to this book on audio and really enjoyed the reader who I believe was the author. I originally added this to my list because it was a find yourself story and discovering what you are capable of. However, I was surprised to find out that this was also a cycle touring adventure as well.

Book Review | So You Want to Talk About Race

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
5 / 5248Non-Fiction, Race

I learned that I have a lot left to learn. That is the best I can do to try to describe what I got out of this book. It is well-written and to the point. What I wanted to do with this is learn a little bit from a side of the discussion that I don’t often hear from. I don’t know a lot of people of color. I’m not sure exactly why this is, but I’m learning more with books like this.

Our country has improved, but in no way is it near where we can be, where we should be. For me, getting there starts by learning more about why we are here and what that is like for those I don’t discuss these issues with. I hope to learn more about race in 2021 and I plan to continue reading books that challenge me like this.

Book Review | Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
3 / 5229Fiction, Spy Thriller

Better than the first one I read as this one seemed to move a little faster. I have read other adventure novels that move faster than this and that is my preference. Lots of explanations and descriptions here. I think it slows the story a little too much.

Ian Fleming may be the brilliant person who came up with James Bond, but from what I’ve read in the first two James Bond novels the movies are far more exciting that the novels. I’m not sure if I will continue to read his work as they just move to slow for me.

Book Review | Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

A non-fiction adventure. Better than some fiction that I’ve read. I wonderful telling of Shackleton and his crew’s unforgettable adventure! This is a great adventure story and I’m sure you will enjoy it. I listened to this book and really enjoyed checking in with the adventure as I listened to it over a week or so.

Book Review | Copenhagenize

Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism by Mikael Colville-Andersen
Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism by Mikael Colville-Andersen

This book offers an interesting and new (to US residents) look at bicycle infrastructure. The author suggest a build it and they will come philosophy to bicycle infrastructure. I whole-heartedly agree with this and 90% of what he offers in the book. My one major complaint is his stance on bikes. I feel they have a place and get more people on bikes. Anything that does that is a plus in my book.

The US has different challenges that the rest of the world, getting butts in saddles is one of the things we need to change. While the COVID-19 pandemic definitely sold bikes, it did not increase the amount of people doing everyday activities, like running errands and grocery shopping on bicycles. At least not from what I see daily. Commuting is also down, so commuting via bicycle at least for those already working from home didn’t change.

What we may have increased with the pandemic is recreational riders and not those who ride because it is the easiest way to get around which is what Mikal talks about in his book. For this to change in the US it means that we need to drastically change our infrastructure. Mikal talks about a lot of different ways to do this. If you want to see what needs to change in the US and places like it to make them more bicycle friendly, then this is a great book.

I loved this book and it only loses a star because of his stance on ebikes.

Book Review | The Water Will Come

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell
The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell

Excellent work on sea-level rise and what its impacts are and will be in the future. Something everyone should read.

This is an important read for those who live on the coast, California, Florida and anywhere were the land is threatened by ocean level rise.

Climate change is something we all need to be learning more about. For me, 2020 was about learning about climate change to a point, still lots to learn. I hope that in 2021 I can start making changes. From what I have learned the most powerful thing I can do is vote, but I can also make other large changes in my life that will have a small positive impact on the environment.

Some of those things I hope accomplish in 2021 are:

  • Go vegan (started in October 2020, had been vegetarian for 3 years)
  • Reduce plastic use
  • Be minimalistic and very thoughtful about everything that comes into the house
  • Vote with my purchases, by purchasing products containing and packaged with minimal or no plastic, by purchase plant-based products, shopping with vendors that are climate-friendly
  • Stop buying gasoline vehicles, this one is hard because while there are a lot of electric vehicles out there, there are no full EV minivans which is a must for my partner, also since we don’t need a new car, this will probably not be something we do for at least another year. Part of what I have learned is to use what you have as long as you can
  • Lead by example, hopefully, by doing the above I will have a chance to change some minds of those around me

Book Review | The More of Less

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker

Maybe the single best book on minimalism I have read. Detailed without being boring. Entertaining, but also very useful. Joshua Becker did an amazing job with this book. An added plus is that he reads his own book in the audio version. Wonderful.

You can learn much more about this book by watching this video

I’m a fan of Joshua Becker’s. I watch his youtube channel and I read his blog. If you want to learn more about minimalism Joshua is a good person to follow. You can catch up on his youtube videos, which are short and sweet as you would expect from a minimalist.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars! I listened to the audiobook version, but I want to get a copy as well for reference. Just a great resource for those wanting to explore or implement minimalism in their life. Best yet Joshua has kids and has still managed to make this happen. He speaks specifically of how to attack this challenge.

Book Review | The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

A very detailed and thoughtful look at our current situation. Greatly disturbing and I wish there had been more about what we can do, however, the author does state that the most powerful thing we can do is vote. I agree, but I also think that there are other things we can do in addition and would like more discussion around that.

This was an audiobook listen for me. I gave this 4 out of 5 stars, as I wanted to hear more about how we can all impact climate change. This was discussed on a recent podcast I listened to that Bill Gates does with Rashida Jones. If you are interested in this topic this podcast is worth listening to. Also, Gates has a new book out called How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need that I plan on reading soon.

Much more about this book, The Uninhabitable Earth on this Talks at Google. Embedded below.

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming | David Wallace | Talks at Google

Book Review | Waking Gods

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

This was great. It followed where the last book left off and it did an amazing job. This is great sci-fi. If you like sci-fi or just robots you will like this series. Very entertaining! I can’t wait to see where the next book will take us.

This is the follow up of the first book Sleeping Giants, which you can read my full review of that at the link above. This is one of the series that I keep coming back to because of its great writing and amazing science fiction. The only problem is I have so many books to read, I keep taking breaks between the books in the series, and by the time I get back I’ve forgotten a lot of what was in the last book.

Five stars for this book. Read this series you will like it! The next book in the series is, Only Human.