Pensive Pelican Reads: July/August

My July and August reads included six non-fiction and six fiction books. Three of them were re-reads, ten were hard copies and two were Kindle versions.

If I had to choose just one to recommend, I would suggest Bad Blood. The topic was fascinating, it was well-researched and paced as well as fiction. It was of particular interest to me because I’m fascinated with white collar crime and this story had completely slipped beneath my radar.

Here are the books I read in July and August 2018, working backward from the most recently finished.:

The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life

Not a ton of new ground here, but I don’t mind that. Reminders never hurt. A couple of stand out ideas include making a set of rules for yourself (e.g. I never have more than two drinks, I write 500 words every day) and making a not-to-do list, which is an interesting concept. Very quick read. Worth picking up.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

What can I say? This is at least my third reading and I watched the movie this weekend is well. The world J.K. Rowling has created is amazing. The friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione continues to deepen. We learn more about Harry’s abilities and strengths. Ginny’s character begins to develop and as always the plot progresses at a breakneck speed.

Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day

Not really anything I hadn’t read before. Quick and easy read though and could be a good addition to the bookshelf of someone trying to ease into fitness.

Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House

Not particularly well written, organized or edited, but worth a look. A bit self-serving, confirms what most of us suspect, but it’s a quick read.

Full review here.

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

The 5 second rule offers practical advice for overcoming procrastination, anxiety and fear. Properly applied, it can give you a kick in the pants to be your authentic self or to prevent introverts from turning into hermits.

Full Review here.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

It’s kind of amazing that people at the level of Board members George Schultz, Henry Kissinger and James Mattis failed to perform the baseline level of due diligence the average person would when purchasing a used car.

The President Is Missing

It wasn’t bad. Lagged in a few places, a few loose ends weren’t wrapped up, but they were minor ones and I didn’t guess the ending, which is important to me in a thriller.

A is for Alibi

This is a re-read for me. I love the entire series, but this read was to examine plotting, exposition and character development for my own writing education. It really is a master class in series mystery writing.

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

As always, Lewis is able to take complicated topics and make them understandable to lay people. This one is a bit of a slog, but worth working through, particularly for Americans who may believe that the 2008 American financial collapse, triggered by subprime mortgages, occurred in a vacuum.

Before The Fall

At its core, this is a story about entitlement. Entitlement based on gender, on social standing, on wealth and the consequences of standing between an individual and what they believe they are entitled to. Heartbreaking and frustrating in parts, the characters are well-developed for the most part and the plot is well-paced. It’s a real page-turner. I tore through this in no time.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

What better form of escapism than diving back into a series where good ultimately triumphs over evil despite seemingly unsurmountable obstacles.

In this, the first book of the series, we meet the orphaned Harry Potter and are by his side as his world is turned upside down.

This is one of my favorite’s in the series because we witness Harry being lifted from the misery than is his life with the Dursleys who treat him horridly despite his being their own flesh and blood.

There is also a degree of innocence to the book that launches a series that will grow increasingly darker and more complex.

The Button War

Interesting allegory of the futility of war. The story is told from the viewpoint of children, so their impressions are filtered by their youth and the trickle of information that their parents share.

If you’ve read any of these books or want to recommend a book, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. All the books are linked to Amazon.

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