Heart & Mind

I’ve always been fascinated with the human mind and how the brain works. it is such a complex and intricate machine/organ. I’ve read many books and articles, and watched many documentaries about the brain, about brain surgeries and mind disorders. i just find it all so interesting and compelling.

One of the things that I’ve learned about this, and that has changed the way I se many things, is about the contrasting and cooperating halves of our brains. I like to think about it like a set of conjoined twins: each one has it’s own roles and jobs, but they are both always ready to pick up the slack should there be a need.

Just imagine it. At this moment, each side of your brain is doing its own thing. One side of your brain does all the math, and the other makes you cry at the end of sad movies . You use one side of your brain when you write a letter, but the other when you listen to music.

One side is linked to creativity, impulses, and emotions; and, the other one, to rational thought, and the interpretation of symbols (basic for reading and writing).

So, it came as no surprise when I realize that I feel more emotionally attached to stories when I’m only listening to them. It takes more of a toll on me, when I’m listening to an audio-book and I feel more invested in the characters and their lives, than I do when I’m actually reading the same book.

But, at the same time, I find it hard to remember where exactly in the story I was, and the precise way in which something was said. This doesn’t happen when I’m reading  book, printed or electronic. If I can see the words, I am most likely to remember it.

I guess this is way I work well with a paper planner. I always feel more comfortable with remembering things if i can write them down and see them written somewhere, no matter where… even if it is just on a post-it that i’m going to loose at any moment.

This would also explain why I like to have both, the audio and the printed version of my favorite books…

Does the same thing happen to you?

Have you notice a difference in how you enjoy books if they come in print or in audio?

 

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Opportunistic reader

I have always been very proud of the fact that I can sleep pretty much anywhere…

I can sleep as easily sleep if it’s daytime as if it were nighttime. I can sleep in small beds as in large ones… Even in a hammock. I can sleep on the floor, or in a bedroll. I can sleep on sand (which I have done, when we spend all day at the beach), it does t matter if the sun in on my face.

I can even sleep standing up.

Ok… That last one I haven’t done in ages, but I used to do it all the time when I was younger and we had to stand around during school ceremonies listening to boring speeches. I would just find a wall to lean on, somewhere where no one would pay attention to me, and nod off for a couple of minutes at a time.

This past couple of weeks, I discovered that I might be doing the same with my reading.

These past few weeks, work has been intense and quite busy. For some days before he Christmas break, I had been depending heavily on my phone’s alerts to keep my on time with a changing schedule… But I have been this busy before, even more so… And this is the first time this totally halted my reading.

Having little free time usually means it takes me way longer to finish a book that it would’ve normally taken me, no matter how much I’m enjoying it. But I feel like I haven’t  read anything at all in more than three weeks! This is one of the reasons why I finished my book count before the year was over

I keep feeling at the end of the day, like I forgot to do something. That feeling precisely is what got me thinking about it, and I realized that I read at some very strange times. Like…

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Also… Did you know it’s easier to read while you’re supposed to be working when you don’t actually have a book in your hand? A tablet is way less obvious. I could as well be actually working!

But, let me say this… The best tool to read while you’re supposed to be doing something else: A phone that syncs your bookmarks and notes.

Back on the horse

Sometimes, after a couple of disappointing books, I feel a bit put off from reading… But then, a couple of days pass, and I just miss is so much. I feel like my day is incomplete, like something I HAD to do was left unfinished.

And it is not like I actually stop reading at all. I don’t think there’s a way for me to do such a thing… I simply focus on other things, like the newspaper, or online articles about anything and everything. But then I realize how messed up the world is, and that just gets depressing.

Fiction is better.

13envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Aside from books, another thing that always brightens my day is the mail. And by that I mean, the paper kind… the one that has to be brought over by a person in a big satchel and is vulnerable to rain and sun damage. It i just another one of those things that always brings a smile to my face.

So, you can imagine that a book about letters? Oh, yeah! I definitely want to read that.

And that’s precisely what caught my eye about this book: it is mail related. It even has an airmail envelope in the cover!! How could I not pick it from the shelf?!

If I remember correctly, it is about a girl who gets this letters with instructions that take her on a journey. I don’t remember who is suppose to have sent her these letters, but it is not like I can say I would give it much thought before I decided to  follow instructions sent to me on snail-mail!

It just occurred to me…

It is like a scavenger hunt!!

Not that I’ve ever participated in one of those, but as I understand them, the point is to follow the instructions you get to the next one, and from there to the next one… until you reach an unknown destination. That sounds like an awesome adventure to me.

I’m expecting something like that, but bigger. With lots of letters.

Unfinished business

I don’t know what is it about summer, if it is the heat or the slower work schedules, but it always makes me feel extra mellow and a bit sloth-like.

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

Of course, this is not conducive for reading deep and/or sorrowful subject matters… So, after finishing Library of Souls, I went in search of something light and easy. And I don’t mean necessarily fluff, just something that doesn’t require too much of me.

Me is in low productions these days.

I went back to check out my shelves and remembered that I JUST read Grave Witch (the first in Alex Craft series), and how enjoyable and easy to read it was… So I went and grabbed Grave Dance and decided to give it a go.

It just felt like it might be just right for my current mood.

One of a kind.

I read the prologue to this book, to see if it would something that would interest me…

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The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

 

I was hooked from page one. I couldn’t explain it, but I have always been fascinated with character that are one of a kind. Last of their species, first of their kind, origin unknown where everyone or different… you name it. If we’re talking of a character that has no equal, I’m definitely up for it.
So… The Ala?! Definitely.
While I did READ the beginning of this book, my version of it is actually an audiobook.
Nothing better to occupy my mind while I perform the tedious tasks that are involved in keeping a house, don’t you think?

I know. You’re probably thinking: Weren’t you listening to Slasher Girls and Monster Boys? I don’t remember you finishing it.

And you would be right.

I haven’t finished it. It is a quite long book, and it’s all short stories… And sometimes I just feel like something more complex.
I’m not quite returning it to the shelf, but more like taking break from it. I WILL be going back to it from time to time, between story and story.

In the meantime, let’s learn more about The Ala.

How good is good?

I’ve never considered myself to be very good with words, to be honest. I’m mostly the kind of person that answers questions with the expressions on my face, or the movements of my hands. That’s why emojis have always been my great friends.

So, after I had some trouble describing my thoughts about my last read , I felt it might be time to find a better way to relate my feelings about the things I read. Of course I fell back on some cartoonish faces to help me get my message across.

So, here is the plan:

5/5

LOVED IT!

For the absolute favorites. Those that I will read, and re-read and collect and insist that everyone must read for years to come.

 

4/5

GREAT

For the ones I really enjoyed and might re-read , depending on my mood. The ones I definitely recommend, but will not be obsessing about.

 

Not apt for public consumption

DON’T TAKE IT TO WORK

For the ones full of steamy pages that you don’t wanna be caught up on while at work or when surrounded my strangers at some public place.

 

3/5

GOOD

For the ones that were quite enjoyable, but either didn’t match my expectations or were simply not my cup of tea. Other might enjoy them, but I will definitely put them away and forget about them.

 

So confusing

SO CONFUSING

For the ones that left me just wondering what the hell happened, or had to be re-read and re-read by sections to be able to keep up. They requiere your full attention.

 

2/5

NOT SO GOOD

For the one that end up being definitely disappointing. Definitely didn’t enjoy it and would most likely not recommend it, but I’m open to changing my mind by other people’s arguments.

 

Have tissues close by

GRAB THE TISSUES

For the ones that made me cry. As simple as that. Not necessarily sad dramatic stories, but that have that one chapter that had me reaching for the box of tissues.

 

1/5

WHAT THE HELL…?!

For the one I definitely hated it. It might even lower my opinion of others who say having enjoyed it. Will most likely rant about all the things and reason why  I hated them.

 

Had to put it down, couldn't stand it

COULDN’T STAND IT

For those, hopefully few and far between, that just couldn’t be endured and had to be put away and out of sight so as not to drive me crazy.

 

 

To the left, you can check out the 1-5 rating scale that I came up with, with some extras thrown in for good measure. Hopefully, it is simple enough, that I’ll have no problem using it without having to check out this post again and again for reference.

Keeping on with the supernatural.

Grave Witch UK aus

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

You wouldn’t believe  how many books I have waiting on my shelves (both the wood one and the digital one). It kind of makes me feel like a terrible host.

I invite them into my home, and then neglect them and let them to collect dust. It just seems rude, and it would drive me crazy if I had to sort trough all of them to choose one to read everything I finished a book.

That’s why I keep a list of what book to read next. Of course this list gets corrected, augmented and patched up often, but it gives me a sense of order and structure. That said, I actually ignored the list completely when picking this book. It was a spur of the moment choice, something that just felt it might fit my current mood.

Witches, ghosts, cops and mystery… what can go wrong, right?

Exhausted: Body or mind?

I have always laid down with a book after a long day.

It that moment when your feet hurt, your back aches, and you may have just stuffed yourself full of food after spending a good while feeling like eating your own hand because you’re so hungry…  And no matter all of that, you mind would take you on incredible trips to amazing places. That’s one of the reasons I love book so much.

Summer is usually my more relaxed season when it comes to work, and it being so absolutely melting-hot in my little corner of the world, it has the best moments to relax in a hammock with a very icy beverage and my flavor-of-the-week book…

This summer has completely ruined my plans.

Even the few free days that I’ve had, have been completely exhausting; but, not in the way that I’m used to. Lately, I’ve felt like my brain has been put through the blender, baked and then left for the ants to eat.

After a full day of work, my feet don’t hurt that bad, my back feels fine, and I have completely lost track of the last time I ate… but I’m so tired that my eyes burn and my head feels heavy.

… and my reading time has suffered. And I hate it.

Reading is THE thing that keeps me sane. I LOVE reading. And the fact that I, until the beginning of this month, hadn’t felt in the mood to read really bothers me. How can anyone maintain their sanity without time to themselves, alone with their books?

Things seem to be falling more into place now, and this week I finally got to cuddle up with my book and enjoy it. It felt like a change of skin: dropped of the frayed one and soothingly wear a brand new one now.

I feel restored by a bit of good reading time. Have you ever felt like that? 

Classically challenged

I have never been one to delve into what people call “the classics”. And it mostly has been because the subjects of those books not usually appeal to me… So, it was with curiosity and somewhat excitement that I started with Madam Bovary.

… It is not working out as planned.

I’m not saying that I will not finish it. I WILL. I refuse to be defeated by a book. I am saying, thou, that it will take me a long time. Chapter by chapter, makes it slow going.

I’m not sure if it is just the language or the overly done descriptions, but I’m finding it had to go one chapter (two at most) without going cross-eye and feeling sleep win out.

This had never happen to me before.

I am all about finding the coziest position in my bed to read, until exhaustion gets the better of me, or I manage to convince myself that sleeping is in my best interest. But this book is simply pulling my lids down relentlessly.

I don’t want to think that it would be the same for all classics, but this being my first experience with one, I’m feeling sadly disappointed. With myself and with the book. I might need some reassurance and encouragement.

Keeping up

The non existing month for my publishing bothers me immensely. I failed.

The worst thing is that… it’s not like I’ve been neglecting my reading! I mean, if I were to read more, I would forego sleeping.

True, the beginning of this year brought a new work schedule that took some getting used to, and that was more conductive for mind-numbing TV. But summer and fall are always the most relaxed seasons for me, and it became obvious in the number of books I’ve been moving through.

So my attempt to keep up with all the already-read-but-not-talked-about-books will be obvious, so don’t think me a cheater.

A moody reader, a fickle blogger. 

if I have discovered something about myself is that, while I actually do read a lot, I’m very bad at keeping up with my blogging about it.

I have already done some damage to my reading lists, even when books series tend to trap me and delay me, but I also learn that I’m a very moody reader. Sometimes I feel like I simply can’t stop reading until I finish the story, and sometimes even then, I feel cheated. Like an addict that needs to know more about what happened afterwords.

But, sometimes, I just can’t continue. I take some breaks, switch up my books and try some other characters to lighten me up. Some times it happens because the story is too intense, or too sad, or too emotional. Some times I just don’t feel like I have the patience to read about what I already know must happen.

Some times, my mood just changes and I need something different. What leads me to having to review where I was at, when I get to return to a previously abandoned book.

I don’t know it this just happens to me, but I does get me to be reading  at least 2 books at any one time.. I think that’s mostly how (despite my work schedule) I’ve managed to move along this challenge.

Even so, sometimes I wish I could just stick to one single books until it’s done, and feel productive and efficient about it. But that just isn’t me, apparently.