Each month, I plan to take a photo snapshot of what I’m currently reading. Here’s my bedside pile right now:

What I am reading: December 2012

I’ve just started re-reading Life of Pi before I see it at the cinema. I read it many years ago and loved the book and all the conversations I had with others who had read it afterwards. I was skeptical but curious when I heard it was being turned into a film. I’m reading it aloud to my husband, I wanted to insist he read the book before seeing the film just in case the film doesn’t do it justice.

The rest of the reading pile are all related to blogging:

I enjoyed reading Blog Inc. by Joy Cho of Oh Joy! (a fantastic blog I follow). It’s a practical introduction to blogging aimed at women with short sections such as:

  • Anatomy of a Blog
  • Blog Writing and Voice
  • Community Etiquette
  • Getting Sponsors and what to charge
  • Ad networks
  • Measuring Traffic and Understanding Analytics
  • Updating your blog’s design
  • Your media kit
  • Getting Published

I was impressed that Joy gave some actual numbers as guidelines for how and what to charge for ads which can be a little bit of a behind-closed-doors discussion.

The blog design section was very light, but included a few helpful general tips rather than how to design a blog.

The book has short insightful interviews with bloggers from blogs such as Design*Sponge, Made by Joel, Cupcakes and Cashmere and Rockstar Diaries.

If you’re getting started blogging or want to glean more tips for your blog, it’s worth a read, or a skim through the sections you’re interested in as a starting point for more research.

I highly recommend Trust Me, I’m Lying if you run any sort of blog or are interested in how media is currently working. It’s uncomfortable, original, incredibly insightful and leaves you with the challenge of whether you should use or adapt any of his methodology yourself or be just to be more wary of how the game is being played. I will write more on this book in a separate post because there’s lots to be said! It would be one of the best books I’ve read this year.

I read and enjoyed Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project earlier this year, which spawned a blog. Happier at Home follows in the same vein, and is nice to pick up again as I felt the first book ended too quickly! The book is easy to read, but I often felt a little tired of her quest this time around instead of being inspired by it. I did find a few gem quotes, such as:

“One lives in the naive notion that later there will be more room than in the entire past” – Elias Canetti, The Human Province.

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner” – Colette.

“One of the best ways to make myself happy is to make other people happy; one of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy myself

“I’m not happy unless I think I’m happy.”

“It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it.” – Saint Therese of Lisieux

I love reading books written by bloggers, and after reading Kelle Hampton’s unforgettably stirring birth story (tissues may be required), I’ve been looking forward to reading her memoir: Bloom. I couldn’t read aloud from it to my husband without totally choking up!

I found that there were four key strands she drew strength and focused on while learning to come to deal with the unexpected discovery that her second daughter was born with Downs Syndrome:

  1. Extremely close supportive relationships with friends and family
  2. Choosing to live a life of gratitude and looking for ways to see the beauty and good in everything
  3. Being present in the “now”: living life to the full because life is short
  4. Taking more opportunities to celebrate the little things in life, not just the big ones

My only regret is going onto Good Reads and reading some negative reviews of the book after reading it, it slightly soured my experience. Their criticisms may have some validity (and not every book is for everyone!) but I got a lot of inspiration and ideas from it.

(You might notice that the bedside table has gone, we’re in the process of moving house so we’re down to bare necessity furniture!)

Here’s what I was reading in November 2012 »

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