‘Tracks of the Cat’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 95/100

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Tracks of the Cat By Nevada Barr

Audiobook Edition

Finished on 11/13/2017

Goodreads

Description: Anna Pigeon fled the turmoil of New York to become a national park ranger, only to discover she hasn’t escaped murder and violence. When a colleague is killed, claw marks on the victim’s throat and paw prints around the body are too perfect to be those of an alleged killer mountain lion.

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Southwest

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‘Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 94/100

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Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion By Bill Messenger

Audiobook Edition

Finished on 11/13/2017

Goodreads

Description: The uniquely American music and art form, jazz, is one of America’s great contributions to world culture. Now you can learn the basics of jazz and its history in a course as free-flowing and original as jazz itself. Taught by Professor Bill Messenger of the Peabody Institute, the lectures in this course are a must for music lovers.

Genres: Music, History, Nonfiction, African American History

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How I Read 101 Books in 12 Months

Here’s how I read 101 books in 12 months:

  • Accountability
  • Staying ahead of schedule
  • A diversity of genres
  • Remaining open minded
  • Be willing to drop a bad book
  • Read long books and short books
  • Audiobooks
  • Library Books
  • eBooks
  • Have Fun!

Accountability

I wrote reviews for the books I read. At first writing so many reviews felt a little unnatural, but over time I started anticipating writing the reviews almost from the first page of every book I read. You might choose a different method of accountability (such as joining a couple book clubs).

Staying Ahead

Over the course of a 52 week long year, you need to read about two books a week to stay on schedule. I tried to keep 7+ books ahead of schedule because that allowed me to read really, really long books without falling behind.

Diverse Genres

I read multiple genres and nonfiction this year. Variety is the spice of life. I have no clue how someone can read one and only one genre without going mad.

Be Open Minded

I do my best to like every book I read. I try to find the best aspects of every book, and then describe them in my reviews. I read some books which were… less than awesome, but I did my best to enjoy them nonetheless. Maintaining an optimistic attitude helps in finishing bad books faster.

Be Willing to Drop or Skim a Bad Book

… but sometimes an optimistic attitude isn’t enough to make a bad book good. I set for myself a standard of the first 50 pages of a book before I quit if I’m not enjoying myself. Of the 100 books I read in 2017 I dropped only two (Pohl’s GATEWAY and Hemingway’s THE SUN ALSO RISES). If you get frustrated with a book’s inadequacies just put it down and go on with your day.

Read Long and Short Books

Reading long books can be frustrating, and my favorite genres (fantasy and sci-fi) are presently plagued by massive books. To stay sane I balance out long epics with shorter novels. For every ‘Way of Kings’ I read a ‘Sherlock Holmes.’

Audiobooks

Audiobooks are my favorite method of book consumption because I can read a book while doing other things (walking the dog, exercising at the gym, playing video games). A good narrator can make a book live and breathe in a way which paper or ebooks can’t (similarly a bad narrator can dampen your enjoyment of a book). Finally, if you use the right listening device/app you can speed up an audiobook so you can listen to it even faster, which is great for hitting your goal of 100 books.

Library Books

Books ain’t cheap. Go to the library and get some from there so you don’t spend thousands of dollars reading hundreds of books.

eBooks

Keep your eye open for cheap ebooks on Amazon/nook/whatever. Every day there are ebooks on sale. This is my second favorite format after audiobook because of it’s portability, and the fact that you can either buy the audiobook for cheap once you own the ebook or you can use a text-to-speech program to listen to a low-quality audiobook.

Have Fun!

You will never finish this resolution if you’re not having fun. If you hate reading, or are merely indifferent to it, you’re doomed from the start. Read books you like, and maybe reach out to internet communities which also like those books and talk about them.