Lots of Reading!

I’m happy that my love of reading has been ramped up again this past five weeks. I have started reading some really nice books (and one bad one) and discovered some new authors that I plan to continue to read. I’m in that moment where I want to consume as much as I can, and I’ve been here before. I need to make sure that I  don’t burn myself out.

I am trying something different this time around though. In that past, I would read each book as quickly as I could and then jump right onto the next one. The problem with that is that I might read a book too quickly, reach the end, and only remember bits and pieces of that. I’m not sure if that is a good thing. Instead, I want to take my time and truly enjoy each book I read, but I do want to reach out and get a few done at a time. Since I recently found my Kindle, I’ve decided that I could probably read two books at the same time enjoying a bit of each depending on where I am.

I find the Kindle offers a great chance to read on the go or in places where carrying a book isn’t always the best. I will usually take my Kindle to work with me or use it while I’m spending time with my pet and only have one hand that I can use. When I’m home and in full reading mode, I like having a book in my hand. The feel of the pages and the smell of the book just does something to my brain that makes it even more enjoyable than just reading something off the screen.

I don’t have an issue reading more than one book at a time. I equate it to reading some chapters in a book and reading other stuff like social media, a magazine, or something for school. Since I’m reading both in different formats, one on the Kindle and one in book form, it makes it easy to switch back and forth. I don’t really feel like I’m missing out either, and it allows me to get a little more reading done than I normally would. I’ve even thought about picking up a third format (audio) and using that when I’m traveling back and forth to work, but I’m not sure if I can commit to that yet.

Either way, I’m really enjoying reading right now, and I am happy with that. In early December, I felt like I needed a push with my reading because I had hit a point where I didn’t feel like reading anything. Since then I’ve read around five books and it has been good.

Review: A Clean Kill in Tokyo by Barry Eisler

I just finisheIMG_20190116_002549d reading A Clean Kill in Tokyo by Barry Eisler, and I must say it was a really good read. I picked this book up recently after getting a new Amazon First Reads book also by Barry Eisler. I’m a stickler for reading books in a series even if each book can be read by itself, and I quickly discovered the new book was book number 10 in a series.  I decided to see if I could get a copy of the first book to begin the series. I was happy that my local library had a copy I could read.

The story focuses on John Rain, a half Japanese, half American, who works as a contract killer in Japan. He does have his own code of ethics and has a set of rules on who he won’t kill, and he doesn’t care the reason why he is hired to eliminate someone. His specialty is killing someone and making it look natural so no one suspects foul play. The book opens up with him performing a kill on a target. Standard procedure for him, but it quickly turns into anything but standard when he finds out someone wants to hire him to remove his target’s daughter as well.

If you read some of my previous posts, you will find that I am a big fan of thrillers, so this book is by no surprise one that I really liked. What I found unique about this story was the direction it went after the initial kill. The surprise that awaits the protagonist as he starts winding down from his latest contract that only pushes him forward into a more intriguing set of circumstances and danger.

I also liked the setting of the story. Many thrillers I’ve read over the last year seem to have settings either in the United States of America around the Washington D.C. area or somewhere in the Middle East. Many times both settings come into play in a story. This one was set in Japan, so it made it a nice change of pace from the other thrillers I’ve read recently. I am also a fan of Japanese culture, so that helped too!

If you like the “ex-special forces becomes contract killer” style of thrillers than you will really enjoy this one. The book is a quick read too at around 250 pages. I was able to read this in a couple of days. It really helped that I had the day off because once I got to around page 50, I was hooked. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. I have found me a new author to enjoy. Book #2 here I come!

Author’s website: http://www.barryeisler.com/

Time for a Thriller

The last two books I read were science fiction, which is always a good genre to read, but I’ve decided it is time to go back to one of my favorite passions: thrillers. I recently got a Kindle First Reads book by an author called Barry Eisler. I enjoy Kindle First Reads because it gives me a chance to try a book by an author I haven’t read yet and the thriller on the list sounded like it would be a great choice for me. I jumped on my Goodreads account to add it to my currently reading list and discovered it is like book #10 in a series.

I don’t like jumping into the middle of a series even if the author does a fantastic job of making each book good enough to stand by itself. I always feel like I may miss something from a previous book, so I looked into the series and discovered that the first book is at my local library. They had it, I checked it out, and now I have it and have started reading it. This also means that I have 9 books to read before I can get to the book I picked up from Amazon. I’m not complaining. I’m already a few pages into this book, and the opening has me hooked.

Cover for a Clean Kill in Tokyo by Barry Eisler

So, A Clean Kill In Tokyo by Barry Eisler is what I’m reading now. I haven’t decided if I’m going to read straight through the series to get to the e-book I got earlier this month or if I’m just going to alternate between these books and others I want to read. Actually, I think I have another book at the library ready for pickup, so I will probably alternate between something written by Barry Eisler and something else. That should shake things up. I don’t like the same genre multiple times in a row anyway, so this should help.

I will say I am looking forward to the book after this one too because I’m going to start reading the Mortal Engines series, which I became interested in after seeing the Mortal Engines movie. I have a lot of great stuff to read already and this year is just getting started. I can’t wait!

Must Read: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a really good science-fiction novel. I was swept into the story from the start with the mysterious opening about the protagonist trying to hide the past and the face that this story was going to involve punching holes in space and time. A perfect combination for a story. I was even more surprised at the how likable all the main characters are in the story. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book where I feel like I could be friends with everyone (or even felt like I had been friends with everyone) on the ship. I actually hated that the book came to an end because it felt like the end of a friendship or that someone I knew was going away for a very long time and I may not see them again. I’m actually kind of sad.

It was a great read. This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone. I’ve created a link for the book above. Just click the cover to head to Goodreads to learn more about it. If you liked the TV series Firefly, you will love this book. If you like anything science fiction, I’m sure you would enjoy this book.

Early Morning Monday Update

The downside to migrating from another platform is having to make sure everything moved over okay. I just finished going through all my old Tumblr posts and making sure they looked okay and had to add categories to each one. That took about an hours worth of my time, but it was worth it. Luckily for me, I decided to use my own domain and different software early on in my blogging, so it was only like 35 posts I had to go through.

Book cover for The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I am now on page 190 of the book The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, and I’m really enjoying it. I had just finished a sci-fi book that took me almost six weeks to read because it wasn’t very interesting. I’ve only been reading this new book for a few days, and I’m almost halfway done. The characters in this one are just awesome and very relatable. The story doesn’t seem too exciting when you read about someone taking a job as a clerk on a ship that does stuff in space unless you are like me and like space. Then this is the perfect story!

My goal is to finish my current book in the next two days and then get started on another book. My goal this year is to read one book every week. So far, I have only completed one book and we are entering week three of the new year, so I am already a book behind. If I can get this current one finished fast enough, I can then move on and try and get the other book I got done by the end of the week to get back on schedule with my reading.

Here is to a new week. Hopefully, it will be a good one!

Migrating My Platform

In a post I wrote a few days ago, I mentioned that I was trying to declutter my digital life by cutting out stuff and trying to simplify my online life. I started by cutting out Twitter, which hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. I’m now four days into not using Twitter, and I haven’t even thought about it. I’m actually quite surprised. I’ve been filling the time I would normally spend on Twitter by reading, and the results have been great.

While trying to decide what to do next, I was sitting on Tumblr looking at my blog. I had started it up again and used Tumblr as the platform for it because of the simplicity. However, I don’t like hosting a blog on a platform controlled by others, so I decided it was time to bring back the blog on my own domain using software like WordPress to host my own content. So that is where I am. I just migrated my posts from Tumblr to my WordPress software. I prefer to have my own platform.

I’ll admit it will be a bit more difficult to get readers, but I’m not entirely doing this just so others can read it. Sure, some people will, but it is more of a place for me to publicly write stuff down in the hopes that maybe someone out there somewhere may benefit from it. If no one ever does then it only benefits myself as I work on my writing. The best part is this is my little place on the Internet to do what I want. I don’t have to worry about some arbitrary person deciding that the stuff I do is suddenly wrong and have my stuff removed or block. I control what goes on here.

If you are new to my blog, you will find that I am very random in what I write. I don’t really have a theme for the blog other than the thoughts and impressions that come from my own mind, hence the title of the blog. When I get the whim to share something, I will post it. I encourage you to stick around and see what I share.

Decluttering My Digital Life

I spend way too much time looking at various feeds on a handful of social networking sites. I’ve done this for years and never really thought about the amount of time I’m putting into a site and how little I’m really getting out of it. When 2019 hit, I started evaluating changes I would like to make in the new year to improve my life, and I’ve decided that cutting out some of the websites and apps that I use on a daily basis will help me spend more time doing more productive things in my life.

I don’t plan to just randomly stop using stuff. I’m actually putting some thought into what I use each day, how much time I use it for, and what I am truly getting out of it. At the same time, I’m working on picking what would be a good replacement for something I cut out. If I don’t want to use some social media site anymore, what do I plan to do instead? I know one thing I want to do more of is read. I think that would be a good replacement for the time-wasting stuff that I normally do. I have a few other ideas of stuff I would like to spend more time on, and I’m thinking of picking up a new hobby this year.

Yesterday, I made the first step. I decided that out of all the social media sites that I use, Twitter is the one that brings the least amount of value to me for the amount of time that I use it. I deactivated my account last night and removed the app from my phone. I realize that this will be a challenge because I’ve been using Twitter since 2011. I’ve made a habit of looking at that feed multiple times a day and spending a lot of time using it. That is why I started there because I want to see what happens when I cut out the one social media platform that I use the most and how much that will affect me. Time will tell.

I do plan to cut out sites one at a time. I don’t want to cut out a whole ton of stuff right off because I feel that will just make it harder. I want to do it one at a time over throughout the year. Maybe cut out one website/app each month in 2019 and see how I feel by the end of the year. Should be an interesting journey.