Tsundoku | My reading list for November 2021

How is it December already? Wasn't it November a few minutes ago?

Well, a new month means a new reading list, so here are all the books I read in November.  For the stats:

  • Books read: 6
  • Approx. pages read: 1412
  • Split ebook/paper books: 1/5
  • Split fiction/non fiction: 1/5

How to Change by Katy Milkman

A great book on how to use science — not willpower — to form habits. Do you want to start exercising, eat healthily and save money? Read this book first. It's the perfect type of non-fiction. Short enough to be read in one sitting but packed full of knowledge.

A weird side-note: I kept believing I had read this book before during the whole reading. But Milkman kept mentioning the pandemic, which doesn't add up. Maybe the Matrix glitched.

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

The only novel this month. How to Stop Time is the story of Tom, a so-called alba (from albatross, apparently people in the past believed they lived forever), a group of people that ages much slower than us normals, lovingly called mayflies. Tom was born in 1581 and ages at a rate of 1:15. This book is all about what it's like to survive your loved ones, see the world change over the centuries and how to cope with all of it.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Another one by Matt Haig. In Reasons to Stay Alive, Haig writes about his experience with suicidal depression in beautiful prose. This book is part memoir, part guide on how to keep going. I have never experienced depression. So many things here were difficult for me to grasp, but regardless I can only recommend this to everyone, especially if you know someone suffering from depression.

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

And yet one more Haig. The Comfort Book follows in the footsteps of Reasons to Stay Alive and is, to quote Haig, "a collection of consolations learned in hard times and suggestions for making the bad days better". There's a lot of Stoic influence in this book. It even reads like Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: a book/journal written for the author himself to read on bad days.

There is a lot of wisdom in these pages collected from different sources. One example: one chapter is a list of songs Haig listens to when in a bad mood.

Courage is Calling by Ryan Holiday

Talking of Stoicism: Ryan Holiday, THE Stoic guy, has released a new book, Courage is Calling. This book is, well, obviously, about Courage. The kind of capital C courage that changes worlds — no matter if it's only the tiny, personal world the protagonist inhabits.

I've always liked the way Holiday tells a story. He follows a specific principle: first, some historical storytelling (to me as a history fan, the fun part), then what lessons can be gained. Funnily enough, my favourite chapter this time around was the afterword. It was a personal anecdote, and I believe, his strongest chapter in the book.

The stories in Courage is Calling are rather "grandiose". It's mostly about people that either changed their world fundamentally or so strongly believed in their cause that they died protecting it.

I have, as of yet, a few days after reading the book (and writing this review) to see how I can apply what I read to my life. I hope that I am odd enough to dare to do the courageous thing regarding my life decisions. But for the big stuff? Capital C Courage? Maybe I'll be ready when courage is calling. But for now, I am entertained.

The Minimalist Entrepreneur by Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia is best known as the founder of Gumroad; a platform helping creators make money with their (digital) creations. Unlike most companies, Sahil bootstrapped Gumroad. Though they raised funding in the past but failed, Sahil restarted the company to be much smaller and saner. In the Minimalist Entrepreneur, he shares what he has learned and what he now believes is the best way to create a successful, healthy company.

I don't see myself as an entrepreneur (yet?), but I believe a lot in this book can be used as guidance for a successful side-gig, slash hobby, like this very blog.

I have realized that I don't even remotely read enough books written by women. I need to remedy that.

Please send me your favourite books of the year written by a woman.