Monday, August 3, 2015

Book list for July 2015

Ready Player One. Ernest Cline

Throw Out 50 Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life. Gail Blanke*

I borrowed Ready Player One from Casey when we were at the beach and read it over the course of a few days.  It was a good beach read with a bunch of cliffhanger chapters and a generic dude protagonist.  I was really into it, wooden dialogue and all, as I was reading for most of it but started questioning things about three-quarters of the way through.  Sorry if this gets spoilery.

Are we not supposed to care that the great and powerful Woz character (I'm really proud of that pun) doesn't even notice or seem to care that that one character dies?  Does this author know any person from any kind of Asian culture ever and that's why he thinks it's okay to slap 'san' on the back of any ol' word?  Does he know any lesbians or did he just figure 'hey, I bet they're just like guys in lady bodies'?  Most importantly, has he ever seen a mobile home?  I get that this is a fantasy novel set in the near future where everyone's super poor and there's not enough fuel (even though some people can use solar panels and apparently the sun is still shining soooooooo.....????) and everyone's addicted to virtual reality (ha) and education is still funded by video game programming philanthropists (okay) but there's no way in any iteration of any poverty-stricken universe in which mobile homes can be stacked on top of each other twenty units high and the folks living in the bottom, uh, eighteen won't get smashed flatter than pancakes.  There's just no way.

I read that this will get turned into a movie, which I think was the Cline's real goal all along. 

As for Throw Out 50 Things, I liked parts of it and wasn't crazy about some parts.  But it's fine if I don't completely love the advice I get from a library book.  What I really appreciated was Blanke's acknowledgement that most of us don't have the means to throw out every article of clothing in our wardrobe and start over, and that most of us aren't the type of people who want to throw out every knick knack because some things just make us happy and it's nice to keep certain things around.  Like I mentioned in my last post, this was a good jumpstart to the big home overhaul I've been working on for the past week or so.  The thing with the '50 things' challenge is that your big pile of t-shirts counts as one thing.  Clothes = one thing.  Books = one thing.  I think I'm halfway to 50 large containers at this point, so I'm not keeping track of everything.  She has a workbook for that if you're interested, but I'm not.  Once something's gone, I'm usually glad it's gone.  It's been nice to let go of some things that had bad feelings attached to them and I only need a pretty general record of what I donated for tax purposes.  The rest of it is super gone and I don't even want it sticking around as a line on a list. Still, I would recommend this if I were telling you to check it out from the library. 

As for clearing out things, I have so far regretted donating exactly one skein of sock yarn because I think it would have been nice to make my very favorite nephew some tube socks while his feet are still small enough that I'll want to knit him socks.  I have more sock yarn, and if I want to go out and buy that particular skein of sock yarn, it will cost around $5.  Considering that I don't even know if his mom wants to keep up with handknit socks for a sweaty little guy who gets a bit obsessive about his footwear, this is a pretty small regret.  Ta da.