what I read in September 2020

Bad Ideas by Missy Marston (DNF)

(Audiobook) I gave it an hour, but just couldn’t get into it. It wasn’t bad, just a bit boring.

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carroll

Part organizational technique and part self-help book. Made me re-consider my planning/note-taking/record-keeping/journalling process.

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

(Audiobook) Fascinating. I noticed a couple of factual mistakes while I was listening (although I can’t remember what they are now), but this is an extensively researched and entertainingly written tour from human head to toe. Bryson is also a great narrator.

Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies by Tara Schuster

I’m usually pretty skeptical about life advice doled out by single, childless, affluent thirty-year-olds, but Schuster’s voice won me over.  I agree with her that learning to re-parent yourself if you didn’t get what you needed throughout childhood is essential for becoming a happy, healthy human.

Eco-Chic Bags by Alicia Steele

My biggest takeaway from this book is the existence of sewing clips. What a revelation! I probably will not make any of her bags, but I have asked for sewing clips for Christmas.

How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi

(Audiobook) A thought-provoking and deservedly successful book. I do think I would have preferred the regular book version, though, because I found Kendi’s style of narration a bit choppy to listen to.

The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Martha Beck 

(Audiobook) Lots of good advice (meditate, be creative, take time to play, etc), but bad narration that flattened the humour right out of it.

Knits From Nature by Dee Hardwicke

Not my kind of thing at all.

Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante

One of the most creative novels I’ve ever read. The narrator deals with the grief of her best friend’s death by creating an encyclopedia about a television show they loved. It’s written by a trans author about trans characters and should be more widely known.

Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with The First Lady by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

Reaffirms every terrible thing you’ve ever heard or thought about all of the Trumps and their entire circle. It must have been painful for Wolkoff to painstakingly explain every single way in which she is a terrible judge of character.

Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables by Abra Berens

I didn’t expect a book about vegetables to feature meat and eggs and dairy quite so prominently. Very few recipes I’d be interested in trying.

What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing–What Birds Are Doing, and Why by David Allen Sibley

Lots of interesting facts about birds, but they’re all kind of jumbled up and scattered throughout the book, which is definitely not suited to an ebook format. The artwork is good, but the text reads like the research notes one might jot down while preparing to write a book about birds.

Wildflowers of Nova Scotia by the Blomidon Naturalists Society


A handy little book identifying a lot of very familiar plants.

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