Read a fucking book or something

I get exasperated with my friends sometimes, when they complain about problems that I know the solution to, since I’ve read it in a book, implemented it in my life, and no longer have that problem. My usual, eye-rolling response is “read a fuckin’ book or something!”

Well, here are the actual books that you might try reading, and I will try, as always, to be more patient. Note: I linked to Amazon for most of these, but I found them all at the public library for free. I also read these this year, so they are fresh in my mind if you want to talk about any.

Starting Strength: Weight training for people like me, who previously thought weight training was for musclehead neanderthals and wanted nothing to do with it. What changed my mind was a year of constant, irritating joint pain and a couple of epic mountain bike wipeouts. After seeing this book recommended over and over again, I started the program. Joint pain is gone. Energy level is higher. And apparently my bones are getting stronger as we speak.

Short version:
http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Starting_Strength_Wiki

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: Thought I could take the same approach to drawing as I did to weight training. I looked for a book with an exercise regimen. This seems to be the best way for me to learn, and this is a good book for it. Lots of pseudo-scientific nonsense about right and left sides of the brain, but if you skip to the exercises and do them with discipline, they work. At least so far, I only got the book last week and I’m 1/4 into it.

MoneySense Guide to the Perfect Portfolio: If you keep your savings in savings account, you’re wasting money. Investing can be complicated, hard, and scary though. This book gave me all the information that I needed to confidently get started.

If You Can: A smarter way to think about money than most of your friends are doing, and also the reason why I’m 0% impressed when someone rolls up in their brand new automobile. A brand new car is a bad decision, most of the time. So is a house, depending on the market and definitely including the one we live in. So are a lot of the other choices people make. Which, fine, go ahead and make your bad choices, but don’t expect me to be impressed by the money you’re splashing around. Anyone can spend it, it takes discipline and self control to get free of the tyranny of money.

Choose Yourself: a self help book, but it had me laughing out loud on the bus. Don’t wait for the world to judge you good enough to achieve your goals. Change your outlook, choose yourself.

Good and Cheap: a cookbook aimed at helping people on the US SNAP program (food stamps, basically), eat healthily using the impossible $4/day/person that the US government allots for nutrition.

Also good for those who want to learn to cook and find it helpful to have a couple of constraints in place to spur creativity.

PDF: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52f120cfe4b0bf8fcb650b3e/t/53f4441ae4b08fc795a1a352/1408517146323/good-and-cheap.pdf

Little Ship of Fools: An old man rows across the Atlantic in the company of a pack of athletes whom he dislikes. They do not reach their time goal, and they do not enjoy themselves either. Some inspiration for when your endurance is low.

All Creatures Great and Small: Better than the TV show. My nana got this book when I was about knee-high, and kept it around the house. I must have read it a dozen times when I was a kid. I read it again this year to see if it was different. Nope, just as good as it ever was. Country vet drives around fixing cows and puppies, and the world is full of good people. Was nice to read it and remember Nana.

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Shannon Graham

Shannon has been writing brief essays and occasional how-to articles at Rocketships, Unaffiliated (.ca) whenever inspiration strikes, since 2012. She is interested in your opinion.

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