Summer 2018 Book Reviews

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The reading slump has been defeated, hooray! Getting back into fiction has definitely helped, I absolutely flew through some books.

Very slowly, I’ve been applying my minimalist lifestyle to my book collection, so from now on, every mini book review will include the question, “Would I bring this book into my tiny house library?” I’m not 100% sure that a tiny house is for me yet, but thinking of it like this helps me keep only the books that I really love.

Note on Dutch books: A Dutch flag emoji (🇳🇱) next to the book title means that I read a book in Dutch. I haven’t added affiliate links for Dutch books because I believe a great thing about the fixed book price is that you can choose who you buy from (without paying too much), and for me, that will always be an independent bookseller. If there is an English translation, I will provide a link.

Books read:
  • I read 3 books in June, 3 books in July, and 7 books in August.
  • Out of the 13 total books I finished during the summer, 7 were fiction and 6 non-fiction.
  • I started but didn’t finish 3 books. (These are not worth talking about.)
  • 3 were re-reads. (No mini reviews for these either.)
  • 2 were library books, were audiobooks.
  • Of the following books, 4 books will come along to my tiny house library, and 5 will not.

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Books Mental Health

Book Review: Notes on a Nervous Planet

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Notes on a Nervous Planet

by Matt Haig

Age Group/Genre: Non-Fiction
Publication date: July 5th, 2018
Publisher: Canongate Books
Pages: 310
Format: Hardcover

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The world is messing with our minds.

Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index.

  • How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?
  • How do we stay human in a technological world?
  • How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious?

After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him.

Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.

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5 Star Predictions

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Sometimes I wonder what the point is of picking up books that you don’t think you will rate at least 4 stars. That’s why recently, I’ve been carefully picking out my next reads and researching them thoroughly beforehand. I know I can’t read every book in the world, and that’s why it’s all the more important to think a bit more deeply about your choices. So many books that I’ve picked up because they were cheap, not because I thought they’d be 5-star reads…

Inspired by BookTuber MercysBookishMusings YouTube video on 5-star predictions, here are some of my own. These predictions are based on Goodreads average ratings, blogger buzz, general popularity, and my personal excitement for the book’s topic.

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Document Your Life: January + February + March 2018

In which I go on lots of walks with my favorite dog friend, meet my future service dog’s possible mom, see Joshua Hyslop live, go rock climbing, and more.

Joshua Hyslop – Home (iTunes/Apple MusicSpotify)

I chose this song because, to me, it sort of describes the feeling of waiting for better things. I’ve been waiting for a long time, for things like therapy, my service dog, treatment of my eating disorder, a place of my own to call home…
I also felt like the pace and sadness of the song matched my feelings during these months. Even though I went out and did things, I became increasingly more anxious about the wait. It was never really off my mind.

In the dark, in the quiet now
It’s too much for me to take
To feel alone as if there’s no way out
Oh, give me peace of mind today

When the nights are long
And the days go on

I don’t feel the same anymore


Document Your Life: 2017 In Review

A yearly overview of all the Document Your Life footage from the year 2017. The year did not go exactly as I’d hoped, but looking back on this video, I think I dealt with everything quite well.

Warning: it’s all a bit fast, so if you want to see certain footage more closely, you can always re-watch all of last year’s Document Your Life videos in this YouTube playlist. 😉

I decided to use the same song as last year’s year in review video because it fits so well with the topic and has great pacing!

Special thanks to Tom and Valeria for making it possible for me to finish this video.

Ine Hoem – This Year (iTunes/Apple MusicSpotify)


Spring 2018 Book Reviews

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As I suspected in my Winter Book Reviews, I have, in fact, ended up in a reading slump. Not because my reading pace is slower (that, I don’t really mind), but because I just haven’t been feeling the motivation to read. I think my switch to primarily non-fiction may have something to do with it, so I want to read more fiction in the upcoming seasons to see if that helps.

I read 3 books in March, 2 books in April, and 2 books in May. Out of the 7 total books I read in spring, 2 were from the library, and 5 were books I bought, already owned, or received for review. Only 2 out of 7 were fiction, the rest non-fiction.

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My One Year Autism Diagnosis Anniversary

Today, it has been one year since I got my diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at age 21. Before I sought a diagnosis, I had already known for a few months that I was indeed autistic, but I needed the official paperwork to get the care I require. Since then, a lot has changed in my life.

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Books Minimalism

Books I’m Getting Rid Of

I’ve been putting this off for the longest time, but I may finally apply minimalism to my book collection (at least a little bit).

I’ve always said that my book collection is excluded from my minimalist lifestyle. I was working hard towards a massive home library that had each and every book I had read in my lifetime, whether I enjoyed the book or not. I spent hours hunting down the books I read in childhood, so I could add them to my Goodreads profile and have the number of books I’d read be complete.

I no longer feel like this fits me. I still want to have a massive home library, but when I look at my shelves, I want to see books that I remember having read. Books that I rated at least 3 stars, books I enjoyed. Books that mean something to me. Books I’d consider re-reading. It may take me a little longer to have my three IKEA Billy shelves all filled up, but it’s worth it if it means I can look at my book collection and feel joy.

I will make sure all of these books find a good home, whether that’s through selling them, or donating them to Better World Books.

If you’re curious about why I got rid of certain books, keep reading.

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