Whilst it is VERY easy to let everyday life distract you from the things you enjoy, as well as the stuff that is good for you, it is important to make time for non-productive, non-money making, non-thinky stuff. That is easier said than done but the benefits, once you’ve tried it a few times, become obvious in better sleep, better health and better mental well-being.
Taking an hour, or four, for reading fiction can seem wasteful in a world where we are told to find hobbies that can become jobs that can pay the bills and make it feel like we haven’t had a working day inflicted upon us. (Unless you’re a publishing editor in which case, reading non-work related fiction can seem like wasteful time).
Every day I fall into the trap of thinking about what I ‘should’ be doing, but every day I get a little better at dismissing that thought.
That’s why I read books.
This month I had mixed successes and here they are:
- The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. I picked up my copy of this from a charity shop, so I don’t feel that I lost anything, but I couldn’t finish it. I wanted to finish it but I couldn’t find any connection with the characters. It is the tale of a couple finding their way back from loss by walking 630 miles. Maybe I could have given it longer, maybe I would have found a way into it if I had, but in order to find books that drag me away from reality I have to be prepared to give up on the ones that don’t.
- The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin. This again was a charity shop find and I’m not really sure why I picked it up as I don’t enjoy historical fiction, but it is also crime fiction so I suppose I thought that might win out. It did not and I couldn’t finish it, however it is very well written and atmospheric. If you think you may enjoy reading about New Orleans in 1919 this book will get you there. There are also gruesome murders, so there’s even more to recommend it.
- Planetside by Michael Mammay. I bought this as the sequel was being recommended on John Scalzi’s blog, Whatever. I bought the sequel before even getting to the last page. This is a well paced read that draws you into intrigue and conspiracy immediately. It is no surprise that the author is a veteran as the military background is utterly believable, even though it is set in space. Highly recommended.
- Spaceside by Michael Mammay. A great follow up to the previous novel and explores the realities of post combat/conflict/cover-up’s whilst also delivering another absorbing tale. Again, highly recommended.
- Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa. This graphic novel was recommended to me by a commenter, thank you Pacquino! Whilst I cannot say I enjoyed this, it is a harrowing tale of the bombing of Hiroshima after all, I am very glad I took the time to read it. This is a tale, told by someone with firsthand experience, of suffering and loyalty and I think we should all be reminded of those from time to time.