Recent Reads

Here’s my list of books I’ve read so far in 2014, including a Short Attention Span Review for each:

The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle –

Easy to read, and very motivational, Coyle gives 52 tips for developing your talents. He gives good ideas, such as: knowing the difference between hard skills (learning the scales on the piano) and soft skills (learning to play with feeling and musicality) or focusing on one small section of your technique (your tennis serve) and getting it 100% right. Loved this book and will be reading it again soon-Rating: 8

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

A man running a small inn in a small town in Italy is visited by an American movie star. From there, the story moves to America, 50 years in the future, when Pasquale comes to find the actress he once had known. The story is a good beach read. Drifted a bit at the end, but the story of Pasquale and his friend, Dee, make for a sweet story of friendship and love.  Rating: 7 (out of 10)

You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt

The former First Lady sets out eleven principles for living life. Very inspiring and motivational and wise, Roosevelt’s advice includes taking responsibility for your own choices, learning from others and, my favorite, an introductory chapter on always being interested in things around you and continuing to learn your entire life. Rating: 9

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Story of Katey Kontent, a working class girl in the late ’30’s who makes her way up the social ladder. Gray and not-very-filled-with-hope, this book was well-written and amazing to think it’s a first novel. I fell in love with it because of paragraphs like this:
In the meantime, I took five thousand pages of dictation. I typed four hundred thousand words in language as gray as the weather. I sutured split infinitives and hoisted dangling modifiers and wore out the seat of my best flannel skirt. At night, alone at my kitchen table I ate peanut butter on toast, mastered the ruff and slough and waded into the novels of EM Forster just to see what the fuss was about. In all, I saved fourteen dollars and fifty-seven cents.
My father would have been proud of me.

Rating: 9 out of 10. (Some language and sexual overtones.)

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