November 1st, 2019

Book 26 - 2017

Book 26: Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich – 280 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Stephanie Plum is thinking her career as a fugitive apprehension agent has run its course. She's been shot at, spat at, cussed at, fire-bombed, mooned, and attacked by dogs. Time for a change, Stephanie thinks. Time to find the kind of job her mother can tell her friends about without making the sign of the cross. So Stephanie Plum quits. Resigns. No looking back. No changing her mind. She wants something safe and normal. As it turns out, jobs that are safe and normal for most people aren't necessarily safe and normal for Stephanie Plum. Trouble follows her, and the kind of trouble she had at the bail bonds office can't compare to the kind of trouble she finds herself facing now. Her past has come back to haunt her. She's stalked by a maniac returned from the grave for the sole purpose of putting her into a burial plot of her own. He's killed before, and he'll kill again if given the chance. Caught between staying far away from the bounty hunter business and staying alive, Stephanie reexamines her life and the possibility that being a bounty hunter is the solution rather than the problem. After disturbingly brief careers at the button factory, Kan Klean Dry Cleaners, and Cluck-in-a-Bucket, Stephanie takes an office position in security, working for Ranger, the sexiest, baddest bounty hunter and businessman on two continents. It might not be the job she'll keep for the rest of her life, but for now it gives her the technical access she needs to find her stalker. Tempers and temperatures rise as competition ratchets up between the two men in her life---her on-again, off-again boyfriend, tough Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and her bad-ass boss, Ranger. Can Stephanie Plum take the heat? Can you? Between the adventure and the adversity there's attitude, and Stephanie Plum's got plenty in her newest misadventure, Eleven on Top.


Thoughts:
This Stephanie Plum book sees Stephanie decide to grow up, quit her job at the bonds office and actually be an adult. Alas, its all a plot device, because Stephanie doesn’t last more than a day or two at each of her grown up jobs - usually because of her own ineptness (let’s face it, she’s also a pretty terrible bounty hunter) or because some criminal mastermind stuffs up her day. So she takes a job with Ranger. This might be the smartest move she could have made, career wise, seeing as any skill set she possesses (besides the ability to eat junk without getting fat), but its a terrible idea for her relationship with Morelli. Needless to say, it seems Stephanie is determined to put herself in these type of situations, and the outcome is the same - tension with Morelli, flirting with Ranger, some mad cap crime solving. Standard Stephanie Plum fare.


26 / 50 books. 52% done!


10941 / 15000 pages. 73% done!

Currently reading:
- The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A guide to spending less while enjoying everything more
by Annie Raser-Rowland with Adam Grubb – 226 pages
- Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
by Mike Massimino – 317 pages
- For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today
by Jedediah Purdy – 214 pages

And coming up:
- The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder
by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
- The Odyssey
by Homer – 324 pages
- The Lexus and the Olive Tree
by Thomas Friedman – 378 pages

Book 27 - 2017

Book 27: The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A guide to spending less while enjoying everything more by Annie Raser-Rowland with Adam Grubb – 226 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
It sounds too good to be true. You can save money and the world, inoculate yourself against many of the ills of modern life, and enjoy everything more on both the sensual and profound levels? Preposterous!
Yet here is a toolkit to help you do just that. A tweak here, a twiddle there; every strategy in The Art Of Frugal Hedonism has been designed to help you target the most important habits of mind and action needed for living frugally but hedonistically. Apply a couple, and you'll definitely have a few extra dollars in your pocket and enjoy more sunsets. Apply the lot, and you'll wake up one day and realise that you're happier, wealthier, fitter, and more in-lust with life than you'd ever thought possible.


Thoughts:
So a few years ago, a friend and colleague of mine decided that she was going to make protecting the environment her hobby/mission. This included reducing her own family’s impact, but also encouraging others to do so as well. She started this by creating a facebook group (‘Urban Hippies’ if you’re interested), and as I sit next to her five days a week and she’s very bossy, she has had a real big impact on me. She knows I’m a reader, so when she finds books that connect with her mission, she often shares them with me. This one particularly resonated, and I’m really glad I got to read it. I don’t believe in everything the authors have to say (I won’t be dumpster diving any time soon), but the idea that one can and should find what really matters to them and invest their time and money in that rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses by buying, buying, buying. By taking this approach, one can actually reduce their time invested in things they don’t like, particularly work, in order to fund things they don’t care about. I have been trying to encourage this approach with my family (my mother in particular - raging consumer!), and I’m pleased to say my siblings have really taken it on board (I think we always had tendencies to this anyway). What I have noticed is that those of my friends (and family) who have the access to funds in order to live comfortably (i.e. make a decent wage) are actually the ones most focused on reducing their impact and limiting their consumption. Those friends with limited means seem to always be the ones chasing the latest trend, or complaining they haven’t got enough, or being wasteful. It’s an interesting comparison. Anyway, irrespective of the current climate issues, I think its always important for us, as humans, to try to reduce our impact on the planet, for future generations, and in light of our eventual migration to the stars, where we won’t always have access to seemingly limitless resources. This book provides some really interesting thoughts on how to do that. I recommend all should read it.


27 / 50 books. 54% done!


11167 / 15000 pages. 74% done!

Currently reading:
- Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
by Mike Massimino – 317 pages
- For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today
by Jedediah Purdy – 214 pages
- The Lexus and the Olive Tree
by Thomas Friedman – 378 pages

And coming up:
- The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder
by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
- The Odyssey
by Homer – 324 pages
- Twelve Sharp
by Janet Evanovich – 413 pages