Reading List for February 2017

This is turning out to be such an amazing year already that I don’t even know what is happening right now. I thought that January was good, but I was way behind on all of my goals because I set my goals super high. I didn’t really intend to hit them, I just wanted something big and shiny to aim at. But what actually has happened here is amazing.

I published another book right at the start of February. Pen name thing, not going to refer to it here. I’m not going to talk about sales or anything, that’s not the point. It’s just part of my process of meeting my goals: I have a “words published” metric that I’m tracking. That’s the only book published so far this year. I also have a goal to write 1 million words this year. I’m behind on both.

But these last two weeks I have been in some crazy groove. My daily grind has come together in a way that I couldn’t foresee at the beginning of the month, and I’m not only going to surpass my word count goal for February (the yearly goal is measured by days and months), I’m also going to make up ground on what I fell behind on in January. So yeah, that’s something.

I’ve also been able to catch up on my reading goals in these past 2 weeks. I’ve also scheduled in more playtime. I’ve also had more social interaction. I’m hoping that I will be able to publish several books next month because of all this.

In short, I am absolutely crushing things right now, and it doesn’t even feel like work. It wasn’t some major change that got me here, either. It was just the same process, and tweaking it to make it better even on bad days, until things just clicked into place.

I am thinking about writing a short productivity book about it later in the year, though, because I’ve tried several systems to get to mine, and I’m sure there are others who could benefit from this one. I’m not saying that it’s superior, but it is definitely working for me.

Anyway, enough with the update, here’s this month’s reading list:

White Fang by Jack London (audio): This took me forever to finish, and honestly? Not my favorite. It was good, and worth a read, but the pace was too slow for my liking.

The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood (audio): A fun weird short story. Popped up as a YouTube recommendation, so I listened to it.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass (audio): Moved this to the top of my TBR because President Trump didn’t know who Douglass was. Of course the book is interesting, if only for the circumstances that went into it. I did happen to find two other points that really struck me as intriguing. First, although Douglass benefited as a slave from religion – whose classes increased his ability to read and write – he was an opponent of the same religion for the vindication it instilled in his masters. And second, he was anti-Underground Railroad not because it didn’t help people, but because it potentially meant worse treatment for those who were still slaves. Both of those points necessitate a level of thinking that most educated peoples today can’t reach. That’s a jab at policy makers of the present, in case you were wondering.

How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jay Abraham (audio): This is from the 90s, but is full of great marketing advice. A little bit dated overall, but the fundamentals haven’t changed.

The Listener by Algernon Blackwood (audio): Horror I guess? Short story. I wasn’t thrilled with this one. Same deal – YouTube algorithm probably figured I could be roped into another story by Blackwood.

Anthem by Ayn Rand (audio): Given the context of Rand’s escape from a Socialist country, this novella makes perfect sense. A society where everything is decided for you, where the word “I” doesn’t exist in the language, where everything you do is for others – and you try to cope within the system, only to have it punish you, and then you heroically escape from it. I mean, even if you haven’t been under a collectivist system, you’ve probably had a shit job that fits those points perfectly (I know I have). But the writing here? And the story? Amateur and heavy handed. I get what she’s laying down, and I don’t disagree with it, but this was not brilliant execution.

Find Out Anything From Anyone, Anytime by James Pyle (audio): This is really thorough. Well worth reading, just to figure out how to ask better questions.

Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t by Michael J. Losier: Someone gave me this years ago, and I never read it until now. It was short, and straightforward. Just okay.