Gretchen Rubin

What I Read This Month: October 2019

What I Read This Month: October 2019

For more than two years now, every Monday morning, I've posted a photo on my Facebook Page of the books I finished during the week, with the tag #GretchenRubinReads

I get a big kick out of this weekly habit—it’s a way to shine a spotlight on all the terrific books that I’ve read.

As I write about in my book Better Than Before, for most of my life, my habit was to finish any book that I started. Finally, I realized that this approach meant that I spent time reading books that bored me, and I had less time for books that I truly enjoy. These days, I now put down a book if I don’t feel like finishing it, so I have more time to do my favorite kinds of reading.

This habit means that if you see a book included in the #GretchenRubinReads photo, you know that I liked it well enough to read to the last page.

When I read books related to an area I’m researching for a writing project, I carefully read and take notes on the parts that interest me, and skim the parts that don’t. So I may list a book that I’ve partly read and partly skimmed. For me, that still “counts.”

If you’d like more ideas for habits to help you get more reading done, read this post or download my "Reading Better Than Before" worksheet.

You can also follow me on Goodreads where I've recently started tracking books I’ve read.

If you want to see what I read last month, the full list is here.

October 2019 Reading:

Echo in Amethyst by Sharon Shinn -- More Sharon Shinn. This is the final book in the "Uncommon Echoes" trilogy. So good.

A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman -- Reading about the senses and the body, what a delight. This book is a classic on the subject.

Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by Anna Quindlen -- This choice was random. I saw it on the library shelf and couldn't resist.

Not by Chance Alone by Elliot Aronson -- A memoir, not sure why I happened to read it, but interesting.

The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman -- So, so, so good. How I love Philip Pullman. I cannot wait for the final book in the trilogy. I love being immersed in this imaginary world of Lyra.

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford -- This is related to the five senses, in my current conception...because it's related to the hand.

The Finger: A Handbook by Angus Trumble -- More on the hand. You'd think, "A whole book about the finger?" and I finished this book thinking, "I need to learn more about the finger!"

The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert by Joseph Joubert, translated by Paul Auster -- Aphorisms.

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson -- A delightful, fascinating book all about the body.

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson -- Terrific. I happened to pick it up because of (you guessed it) my five senses/body project. And this novel was so good that now I have to go read or re-read all of William Gibson. By the way, if you love novels of William Gibson, you'll love Scarlett Thomas, and vice versa.

No One Tells You This by Glynnis MacNicol -- In my own quirky way, this memoir also seems related to my five senses book. It's about many things, and of particular interest to me, the experience of living in New York City.

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