Tag Archives: on my shelf

Books of the moment

Lots of crafting done last week and the week before that was my reading week lol! There have been some days recently when I have come in from work and read a whole book in one night. Sometimes it’s inspiration and other times it’s because I have had enough of crafting and wanted a change (or intellectual challenge considering the titles of some of the books!).

You can tell from the titles alone I have been into the reference/ informative books lately. Something to get my chops round you know?! I still have a list of fiction books to read, which has grown a little recently, but sometimes you have to go ‘off-list’!

In no particular order, this is what I have been reading in late July/ early August:

The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

This book is about finding the one thing you need to do to become more successful and happier in your life. It was OK, the whole thing seemed too general and vague for me, I suppose a lot of these books are as they don’t know your exact individual circumstance. But the basic premise seems logical really – narrow down your to do lists to find the most pressing, important thing that needs to be done in order for positive change to happen and do it. A good idea, but more of a coffee table read for me than one which I would make notes from.

 

The No Spend Year: How I Spent Less and Lived More by Michelle McGagh

This book leapt out at me because it is the kind of thing I could see myself doing and it’s interesting to read about other people’s experiments doing things like this. I liked her style of writing, but there seemed to be a jumbled layout of things, with random bits of information in tiny chapters that I didn’t overly love. The information was good and the points important, but totally randomly spaced out. Also, I thought she could have done more activities and ‘things’ and maybe could have broadened the scope of her little project, perhaps by looking at more ethical and eco-friendly things to do? I’m not sure what it was missing but it was lacking something, maybe pictures? But a good read nevertheless.

 

The Million Dollar Blog by Natasha Courtenay-Smith

I loved this book, I loved the tips and the layout and the style in which it was written, and I even scribbled some notes and underlined stuff in pink in the book. The trouble with lots books about blogging is that they are too samey, but this had lots of good case studies – which actually answered questions and not just gave a biography. On one case study, a question was asked on how to find content to publish and the guy who was being questioned said 50% what was happening (in his niche) at the moment and 50% on keyword searches (i.e. via Google), which was what people were currently looking for, and that was something that had never occurred to me. Definitely worth a read for those serious bloggers out there!

 

She Means Business by Carrie Green

Carrie Green was one of the case studies in the book above which is how I first came across her and when I saw this book in WHSmiths I thought I’d give it a go. It’s written for women who are thinking of starting up an online business and reads more like a general self-help kind of book. Again, it can be quite vague, but the overall message is, if you are thinking about making money online, then why aren’t you taking steps to do so? It’s a good read, with the more useful stuff in the second half of the book. I think it could do with some more examples as she tends to use the same ones a lot, but overall not bad as it focuses more on the inspirational and creative side of things.

 

Craft, Show and Sell by Torie Jayne

Definitely a coffee table book this one albeit one with pretty pictures. This one is so vague and general and I suppose, again, it has to be as the author doesn’t know your personal circumstances, but it could have done with a bit more substance to it. Although, saying that, I did like the formula for how to price your crafts on page 79 – that was good. The case studies especially were a missed opportunity as the book focuses on the visual side of things, which means each case study gets a short biography and a short description of their business and that’s it. Perhaps doing a double spread at the end of each chapter with some useful questions answered would have been more useful? I don’t know…if you want pretty pics and something to kick start your research then this is the book for you.

Some food for thought – happy reading!

Book Challenge Update

This year I set myself the challenge of reading what I had left unread on my shelf (as well as whatever new books may appear from time to time).

I had a small list of 13 (although some are REALLY long books like War and Peace or Vanity Fair). So far I have managed 6, so that’s roughly half. I have been knitting and crocheting like mad, started a new job and what not, so reading has taken a bit of a back burner, although it does come in fits and starts (3 books one week and then none for a month).

I have read the following:

  • The Return of the Native   JANUARY 2017
  • Women in Love   JANUARY 2017
  • The Riddle of the Sands JANUARY 2017
  • 20000 Leagues Under the Sea FEBRUARY 2017
  • Daniel Deronda   APRIL 2017
  • Cross Stitch   MAY 2017
  • Anna Karenina
  • Ivanhoe
  • War and Peace
  • Rob Roy
  • Vanity Fair
  • The Woman in White
  • The Mill on the Floss

(As well as 84 Charing Cross Road, Goodbye Things and a re-read of The Gunslinger).

Cross Stitch (Outlander in the US) by Diana Gabaldon was finished today, it has taken me almost 2 years to read (sorry Lizzie!). It’s about a 1940’s nurse who time travels in Scotland by about 200 years. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, I don’t know why. Maybe because there was so much left unexplained, like what happened to her husband in the present. Maybe there could have been more focus on how she got there and how she gets back and other women who it had happened to (yes, I know you see Geillie but who else?). It was well written and in an easy to read style, but still, I felt something was missing. Maybe I am being overly fussy and pedantic – who me?!!

I think I might read Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood next, yes it’s not on the list, but at only 7 to go, I think I have time for this challenge to be completed this year!

Hmm, need another trip to the library soon I think! Have a Happy Thursday, Ellen x