September Reading List

I’m trying something new this month. Instead of just willy-nilly picking books based on Amazon’s and Goodread’s ‘Recommended for you’ lists, then reading the free preview, getting bored and moving on…  until I accidentally land on something I like, I decided to actually put some effort in to picking a month’s worth of books to read.

This morning I spent about three hours (much longer than I’d planned) putting together that list.  I wanted to pick books from a range of genres while also staying as current as possible.  This was not an easy task!  There are so many places, too many really, that recommend books.  I looked on library sites and book blogger sites and independent book sellers sites, and stayed away from the big lists, like the NYT’s Best Sellers, and Amazon.  I also had a hard time picking the number of books to read.  I read a lot and I read fast, but some months are busier than others, and it is hard to know how much time I’ll have.  For now, I’m going to go with a safe seven.

And so, here is the list:

  • Boredom: A Lively History – Peter Toohey (pop science)
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life – Donald Miller (memoir)
  • The Broken Shore – Peter Temple (mystery)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration – Isabel Wilkerson (history)
  • The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story – Lily Koppel (biography)
  • Redshirts – John Scalzi (sci/fi)
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman (fantasy)

(Click here for list on Goodreads)

I don’t promise to write a review of any of these books, I really don’t like writing reviews.  (What did you think of the book, Jill?  Oh, it was good.  That’s all?  Yup.)  But I’ll try to do the star rating thing over on goodreads at the very least.

Here’s a few of the sites I visited during my search:

I’m starting with Boredom, àpropos considering it was boredom that prompted me to make this list in the first place. 🙂

Happy Reading.


What doesn’t bore me?

I read something, somewhere, about the correlation between Boredom and Depression.  I can’t be bothered to go find the article. Too much effort. I bet the article doesn’t read the way I remember it.  I bet it will contradict what I know is true.

Boredom IS Depression.  The words are synonymous.  There is nothing to do because I don’t feel like doing anything.  I don’t feel like doing anything because there is nothing to do.  This is true.

Boredom sinks into my skin, my hair, my nails.  I am wilted, flat, dry and cracked.  Someone offers to water me and I refuse, afraid of drowning, of floating away, or worse: growing and blooming into someone who is not me.

Everything becomes boring, eventually.  A favorite book, a beautiful walk, a charming man.  Familiarity breeds boredom.

I am bored with you
I am bored with you (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got bored with my own name once.  Told everyone to call me by a different one.  But I never responded to the new name; I forgot it was me.

I got bored with the sound of my laugh.  Sounded overused.  I changed it to match the laugh of someone I admired.  Now when I laugh I feel as if that person is laughing with me.

I got bored by your stories.  Started finishing them for you.

You stopped talking.

The cure for Boredom is Challenge.  Challenge me to a mental duel. Challenge me to read or write or watch something that will boggle/strain/change my mind.  Challenge me to learn something faster than you. (But please stay and watch, without a witness it doesn’t count.  Without an audience or a competitor, the challenge becomes meaningless.  If it is only for me, then it is not worth doing. )

The cure for Boredom is Need. It is having other people around who need me to do things for them.  Important, meaningful, relevant things. (If I think it is stupid or illogical I wont do it.  I will roll my pedantic eyes at you and sneer at your request.)

The cure for Boredom is …. huh? What was I talking about…  I stopped paying attention three paragraphs ago.  Bored by my own words… again.

Thoughts on Writer’s Boredom

I never suffer from writer’s block.  I always have something to write about.  Ideas and words are always available.  They mix and mingle and multiply – they scurry around my brain – they give me no rest.  The hard part is in catching them, putting them to work, organizing them, calming them – that is the part that requires effort for me, not creating them in the first place.

No, there is no such thing as writer’s block in my world.  However, there is such a thing as Writer’s Boredom.  I don’t stare at the blank page and wonder how to fill it.  I stare at a page full of words and wonder, why am I bothering.  It is all so BORING.

I write the words and they flow across the page.  They flow, cough once, then sputter and die. They sit there on the screen looking pretty but doing nothing.  Like an artist’s model with a pouty glare, denying entry into her soul. The artist can spend hours of time, go through buckets of paint, cover miles of canvas, but if the model, or the landscape, or the still life just sits there and refuses to sparkle, well then, everyone’s time is wasted.

Go ahead, tell me it is the artist’s or the writer’s job to make the sparkle happen, not the other way around.

I’ll say, I don’t care, and you are ruining my essay.  Don’t use logic on me when I am feeling pouty.

Boat of Boredom
Boat of Boredom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Look at this picture. It is how I feel – except that the kid is probably twenty-five years younger than I am, and he is a boy, and his underwear is showing which I can’t stand. (Oh, 1980’s high-waisted jeans style – please come back soon. Please!)

I’m glad the photographer called this picture, Boat of Boredom, otherwise I would have had to.  A boat doing nothing. Certainly not floating on water like it is supposed to.  Not carrying its passenger to places more exciting and interesting then here, now.

This post is going nowhere.  I’m going nowhere despite all this mental and physical movement.  Fingers flying furiously – as uselessly as a bird flying in a cage.

There is a sense of obligation to all you imaginary people out there – all you figments of my attention seeking brain, a sense that I need to fulfill the promise of writing something every day.  But I only demanded that promise of myself, no one asked it of me.  And I am the only one disappointed when I fail to fulfill it.

I am not one of those people who can live by the old adage, write for yourself.  If I was my only reader, I would never write.  Never.  I would never spend all this energy wrangling my thoughts just for my own reading pleasure.  Way too much work.  I’d rather just read someone else’s words.

I need an audience.

Need is such an ugly word.  The strong, independent woman in me hates that word.  Well, the strong, independent woman in me is a lie.  I need people. I need family and friends to be a mirror to myself.  I don’t exist except by the way I reflect off of others. How else do I know I am here?

I need people to read my words.

I need someone to tell me if I am boring.