Richer Reading Life Book 10

I was able to borrow Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt which is a Pulitzer Prize winning book about a transgendered teen. She went from Wyatt to Nicole and it was a one helluva journey.

It was in journalistic style which kept an excellent balance between personal and objective. It reminded me of The Bling Ring but this with better writing and a more compelling story. Nutt was the unbiased narrator who told us about the boy in elementary and middle school who created problems. We heard about how the Maines family was split up and how the twins attended middle school in secret.

It was a beautiful portrayal of the family going through this struggle. They fought for equality and understanding, even among themselves. Nutt also provided factual, scientific information to match the personal struggle of this family. It even had a solid ending despite life usually not having such things. 5/5, would highly recommend.


August Wrap-Up and September TBR

August was a pretty good reading month overall and I’ve got decent ambitions for September.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
It was a slow build but a sweet story. It solidified my beliefs about allowing people to choose to die with dignity. I saw the ending coming a mile out and understood and respect both points of view. No, I didn’t cry but I did feel sad. 4/5

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling et al
The library must have ordered a ton of copies because I got mine just days after it came out. I have an active enough imagination that I could picture the events going on as if it were being staged. I didn’t love how the adventures ensued. It felt best left to another franchise. Overall I enjoyed revisiting these characters but couldn’t unsee some major plotholes or missteps on the writer’s part. 4/5

The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores by Danielle Vega
A sequel to the original Merciless, Sofia is the one being exorcised instead of doing the exorcising. I liked how Vega wrote it so that you’re not 100% if it’s real or imagined. Entertaining but it was a slow build. 3/5

Blindsight by Peter Watts
This was recommended by a friend of mine on Twitter. It sounded really interesting but it wasn’t my jam. 3/5

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor
Wow. This is a prequel to Okorafor’s lauded Who Fears Death. It was fascinating and captivating. I really look forward to delving further in this world. 5/5

Chester 5000 XYV Book 2 by Jess Fink
I kickstarted this book so I got it before the general public. It added so much to the story. Just as sweet with twice the adventure. 4/5


I’ve realized how many books I have to read in order to check off everything for all my reading challenges. My brain briefly broke but I’m hoping September will get me closer.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
I got it for $5 from Book of the Month and I’ve heard good things about her writing.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
A national book award winner, I have heard nothing but amazing things about this work.

Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup
I have really liked some stuff I’ve seen on her blog and could really use some advice in this area of my life. It also fits the ‘genres I avoid’ bill by being Christian and self-help.

Something by Jane Austen
I need to read something published before 1850 so Jane comes to the rescue. I haven’t decided which book I’ll read but it won’t be P&P. I’m going to dare to be different.

Based on my list above, I hope to read more than these four but I need at least a little bit of freedom.

September Capsule

I wanted to do a smaller, short capsule after my bigger, longer experiment. September seemed like a good month since I want no wardrobe restrictions  near Halloween. The difference is that this capsule only applies when I’m working. Weekends are fair game.

I have exactly one Sunday in September that has nothing booked for it. All Saturdays, remaining Sundays, and a couple of Fridays, are already spoken for. Some of my activities will require a costume while others can just be for comfort or themed for the event. My September is going to be hectic enough so I thought I’d keep it simple when dressing for work but give myself some breathing room on the weekends.

My plan to differentiate between the two is just to keep my capsule stuff in the closet and all non-capsule hanging clothes will go behind my costumes. My Friday events will come from my capsule with a few minor modifications.

Music Monday: Personal

These are all songs that I have connected with on a very personal level. I’ve struggled with depression and something that may be more than depression. I’ve experienced loss, struggle, betrayal, pain, and acceptance. It’s made me stronger, sharper, and difficult. My life is finally in a better, more stable place but it’s not perfect.

Turning Tables by ADELE
If the World Didn’t Suck by Aqua
Bad Blood by Taylor Swift (w/o Kendrick Lamar)
Tricky by Fitz and the Tantrums
Real Girls by Chantal Claret
Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson
Northern Star by Melanie C
Brave by Josh Groban
Supposed to Be by Icon for Hire
Throne by Bring Me the Horizon
Cynics and Critics by Icon for Hire
Faster by Within Temptation
Fin by Anberlin
Break In by Halestorm
The Only Exception by Paramore

Richer Reading Life Book 9

For a recommendation, I opted for a hard sci-fi novel recommended by one of my Twitter friends. Blindsight by Peter Watts deals with discovering another AI and the ideas of consciousness, identity, and AI. While it was interesting, it wasn’t my jam.

It lacked a lot the exposition I need to imagine, understand, and make sense of the world. Necessary information was given out at random intervals. I didn’t find out what went wrong with Siri’s relationship or WTF vampires were until far too late in the narrative. When describing what is discovered out in the Kuiper, it was so short and vague that I wound up googling for images.

The characters also felt underdeveloped or the development came in random spots in the story. I wanted to know that key piece of Bates’s history shortly after Siri started interacting with her, not at the halfway point in the book. I gave it a 3/5. While my Twitter friend and I like many of the same things, this book wasn’t one of them.

Music Monday: Instrumental Covers

I love instrumental covers. I’m not sure why. I like the power of just instruments but you also get the fun of subverting expectations. Enough overthinking. Here’s the playlist.

We Found Love by Lindsey Striling
Let It Go by Daniel Tidwell
Fight Song (Scottish Cover) by The Piano Guys
Summertime Sadness by Vitamin String Quartet
Hysteria by 2Cellos
Wake Me Up by Simply Three
Smooth Criminal by David Garrett
Uptown Funk by Dallas String Quartet
Black and Yellow by Josh Vietti
Wild One by Piano Tribute Players
The Hanging Tree by Taylor Davis

2016 Books 13, 14, 15

I told you all I knew I’d be going over 16. I’m thisclose with my latest 3. The first was an impulse purchase on vacation. It spoke to me for both obvious and ironic reasons.

These next two are the hard-to-find, likely-out-of-print companions to the Asia edition I picked up at Awesome Con. Africa I bought used from an indie and Europe I got new from the creator.

There are still a few more titles I want to pick up but I won’t be getting any of them  until closer to October. I made peace with going over 16. Now I’m just trying to do it by not much.