Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Visiting with Goldberg, Kindle Unlimited, and a Few Books

I'm being drawn back to Natalie Goldberg's books on writing. It's like visiting with an old friend. Uplifting and inspiring. 

Yesterday was a good day. I felt that I had a lot of energy and I was especially chatty at work and had so much spinning around in my mind. I kept going back to my co-worker's office to let him know just one more thing...usually it pertained to work in some roundabout way. From our last team meeting, we learned through a sharing that our boss used to eat up Ian Fleming's books when he was in fifth grade. He was devouring them so quickly and steadily that his mother became concerned and asked the teacher to see if she could get her son to add something else to his reading mix. I've only seen the movies, but now I'm curious to read something, anything by Ian Fleming, so through Kindle Unlimited, which I've given a try for 30 days, I'm going begin reading one of his books. The book I chose is Thrilling Cities, which is a travelogue covering 13 cities that he visited between 1959-1960. It began as a series or articles and then turned into a book.

Kindle Unlimited. $9.99 each month. 10 books at a time. First time users get a 30 day free trial to read or peek through 10 books at a time. The Kindle Unlimited library is supposed to have over 500,000 books to choose from. I like going page by page and I couldn't possibly keep clicking through that many pages, so I clicked as far as I could, noticing that many of the titles are parts of series and romance novels, neither of which I like reading. I also don't particularly enjoy mysteries, unless books are involved. 

The interesting thing is that most of the books that I would want to read are also available as e-books in the public library system. My problem is that I get impatient waiting for popular or new titles that have long waiting lists. What made me finally decide to give Kindle Unlimited a try was that they had The Storied Life of A. J. Fickry available. I had been waiting to check it out from the library for weeks. I had nothing to lose. 30 days for free and I would get to finally read this book. I downloaded it and finished it in a couple of days. It turned out to be such a satisfying read. I must admit that after a particular scene, I wasn't sure if I was believing it, but I kept going and went with it. I'm so glad I did. It was really a heartwarming book about love, life, second chances, and of course the power of story and books.

One great thing about Kindle Unlimited for me is that it has gotten me to read a couple of books that I might not have. I had been curious about Water for Elephants when it came out, but I didn't have it high on my radar. Scanning through the popular titles on KU, I saw it there and gave it a try, all the while in my head I'm thinking it's free. 30 days. See what you can find. I had vaguely recalled reading the first few pages some time ago and felt pulled in, but not ready to commit. When I started reading it this time, I was in for a great surprise. I had no idea that I would enjoy the book as much as I did. The storytelling, the characters, the tension. The circus completely came alive for me and the interesting historical background and tidbits rounded out the story. I felt that I wanted to be there, but I didn't need to go, because through this book, I was there. 

I also read Without Reservations by Anthony Bourdain. I didn't plan on ever reading his book because, although I enjoyed his culinary adventures on the travel channel, I didn't know if I could handle his cockiness on the page. I loved it. It was yet another glimpse into the the world of being a chef and he laid it all out there. I have begun reading his follow up that he wrote 10 years after this one: Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People who Cook.
And because of his book, it led me to George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London. And it's available as part of Kindle Unlimited! 

I have several other Kindle Unlimited books that I'm dipping in and out of. Each time I find another title, if I already have 10, I have to return one. 

My 30-day free trial has expired and for now I've decided to pay the $9.99 because I have 10 books downloaded and I like the ease of being able to read them without worrying about a time limit, and also because I don't necessarily want to own the e-books. At some point, I'll cancel my subscription. For now, I'm enjoying the convenience, and hope to find a less cumbersome way of exploring the library.

And of course, a few of Natalie Goldberg's books are part of the Unlimited library, so instead of fishing my books out of the boxes in my garage, they are part of my 10.

Love this quote from an accounting e-newsletter:

"I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door, or I'll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present."

--Rabindranath Tagore, Indian writer


One never knows where they will find gems. : )


Vincent said...

Rebb, I haven't read your blog for a while, & regret it. If for nothing else, I need to thank you for introducing me to Natalie Goldberg. By some web of connectivity I remember your quote from her, that the reason we write is because we love the world, by which you introduced me to her name, and it got me to buy her book Writing Down the Bones which has been a great inspiration lately. Thank you!

K & I are still devoted to our Kindle 3s. I mainly use mine to download things direct from the Web. We decided a while ago not to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, I can't recall why. I think we wanted to read lots of books not on their list.

Rebb said...

Hi Vincent, What a pleasant surprise to see you! Your comment makes me happy. It's nice to know that you have found Writing Down the Bones to offer you inspiration. Fantastic! You are most welcome. Another book I may have mentioned before somewhere, that also offers inspiration and nudges is Julia Cameron's The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life. I have purposely only read a few pages spread out over years because I want to savor it; perhaps I need to speed that up a bit. : ) I read a few pages this morning. I think she's best known for her book, The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I have also taken this one in small doses.

Great to hear you and K are still plugging along with your Kindles. At some point, I might resubscribe to Kindle Unlimited. I did resubscribe to Audible books for a few months and listened to some books. I found it to be quite enjoyable.

Have a great day/evening!