Rants and Raves

Best Books (That I Read) of 22?

I was taking a look at my list of books that I read in 2022 on Goodreads. I think the two that I enjoyed most were Breath by James Nestor and Sunset Swing by Ray Celestin.

Do you have a fave or two from last year?

 

Sunset SwingSunset Swing by Ray Celestin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew I’d like this only a few pages in due to the author’s writing style. After that I just kept my hopes up that I’d stay engaged. I didn’t know it was the 4th of a series though- it was fine as a standalone novel, but now I want to get the author’s other works.

Breath: The New Science of a Lost ArtBreath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very interesting look at how we breath and how that’s changed over time. One of the most interesting books I’ve read in a while. I even try to incorporate some of the ideas in my day-to-day life during sports and meditation.

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Quick Links – Dec 2022

A post about from a writer who wears a smartwatch on one wrist and a traditional watch on the other. It’s tempting me to get a smartwatch. I keep thinking about getting an Apple Watch or a Whoop device.

Kareem’s blog and newsletter– if you’re not a subscriber, you should be. His blog makes me want to work at becoming a better writer.

NYT’s Best Books of 2022 (And the Staff Picks for 2022)

Goodreads.com Best Books of 2022 (Based on User Choice)

Troubled Blood – big and entertaining

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this up because I saw it on a list of the CWA Ian Fleming Award candidates (along with the Robatham author I had read recently‚Ķ). I went in blind not knowing anything about the characters or even that the author’s name was a pseudonym – although I found that part out pretty quickly after adding it to Goodreads. But I was trying to avoid spoilers so I tried to avoid seeing anything about the story online.

I usually don’t start at #5 of a series of previously established characters- but that didn’t matter here. Good character depth and really well written.

I was a bit impatient in the middle – it’s a long book – but that’s because a lot of mysteries I read are pulp and I was thinking that this case would be solved quickly. I also read this as an e-book that’s why I wasn’t grasping that this would be that a long tale. But it was worth sticking out.


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Alone : The Classic Polar Adventure – *****

Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure

Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure by Richard Evelyn Byrd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A relatively quick read and very interesting even though I was worried I wouldn’t like the book’s story (it was a gift). The afterword was a welcome addition which helps provide some historical context and insight after the tale had ended.

I think it was interesting timing that I read this given what is going on in the world right now with Covid-19. In particular, this account of the author being alone in the Antarctic had a few passages that seemed very relevant to today.

eg: being solo and trapped inside and keeping to a schedule -the author was to be taking weather readings at regular times and had to maintain his hut/base- extreme WFH? Even Scott Kelly (astronaut) wrote about this recently in the NY Times.

Another example was a passage about a previous expedition with a healthy crew in isolation, but one day they opened a crate of old clothes and all of them got sick.


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Shadow Divers – ****

Shadow Divers

Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I read this on the recommendation of a friend who dives. This is a really intense book that explains the perils of deep diving. Mostly the story about the discovery of a U Boat and the men who explored it, but a good overview of this type of diving and about the teams’ work above water too. It made me feel claustrophobic when describing the insides of wrecks.



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