Melissa’s Reading Round up May

Despite having read many magazines this month and being rather too busy for my liking, I have managed to read nine books. Below is the round up for May:

Jessica Alba The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to YouThe Honest Life

Honest is eco, environmentally and health friendly. It is also sustainable. Her key chapters are on food, cleaning, beauty, style, home, baby and inspiration. A beautifully illustrated, genuine journey through Jessica Alba’s philosophy in life.

Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the BillsFree Range Human, Marianne Cantwell

This book is about finding, developing and executing your idea to redefine your work/life balance. Cantwell writes clearly, succinctly and draws on real life examples (beyond her own) to illustrate her points. This book is for you if you are trying to get up the courage to try a new venture (she will help you want to jump off the precipice); if you don’t think you could escape the 9-5 (for curiosity purposes) and if you have a niggle but you don’t know what it is (this could be your key!). Read my full review here.

The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After, Elizabeth KantorJane Austen Guide

The aptly named Elizabeth Kantor takes you through an intelligent reading of Austen’s work with the thesis that Austen’s heroines provide a road map to clever dating. Kantor recommends a rational analysis of prospective heroes using a set of very Austen-ite categories, before you are too emotionally invested to make a sensible decision. I wrote a full review here.

The Ten Day MBA, Steten day mbaven Silbiger

I’ll be honest; I only read the Accounting and Finance sections of this book. But it was well written, clearly presented and I have used the knowledge I gained already. An introductory knowledge of economics, accounting and marketing are useful before digging into this tome of knowledge.

10,001 Ways to live Large on a Small Budget, the writers of Wise Bread

This handy, quick read book provides tips for frugal living and personal finance. It provides great tips like how to throw frugal parties; travelling on the cheap and saving three months salary (don’t buy a diamond engagement ring!). It’s worth a read.

How to Make Money on Your Blog, Duane Forrester and Gavin Powellhow to make money on your blog

This book is an easy to read technically focused book on starting, growing and monetizing a blog. I have pages of notes of things to try, including some plug-ins, search engine optimization work and tips on how to write good blog posts. If you’re really game there is some HTML code speak!

Smart Money: How to Structure Your New Zealand Business or Investments and Pay Less Tax, Sheryl Sutherland and Martz Witty

This is a good book to take you through the peculiarities of the New Zealand tax system. It talks about tax compliance, deductable expenses, common tax traps, tax audit guides, investment information and business planning. It is a well written, easy to read book.

Confessions of a Lapsed Catholicconfessions of a lapsed catholic, Sheila Cassidy

What a life story! This woman is amazing. She writes of the sublime beauty of nature and how that makes her feel closer to her concept of God than church services full of people. It was timely reading for me in terms of my currently expanding worldviews. The most profound piece of learning this book provided was, “There was no word [in Jesus’ teaching] about celibacy, or the evils of homosexuality; there was nothing about birth control, churchgoing, or respect for Bishops. No. He told us to love one another as he had loved us.” p141.

North and South, Elizabeth GaskellNorth and South

Proving that second readings of classics only gets better; I have delved back into Margaret’s 19th Century Milton (England). I would love to do an essay on the portrayal of social justice in this book. This is an excellent book from the time of the Brontës. Written in the Victorian period, but influenced by the ever-present Romantic period, the tensions between classes and sexes are vividly drawn by Gaskell. Margaret is on the cusp of two worlds as an ex-minister’s daughter living in a manufacturing town. The plight of the working class weighs heavily on her heart and her views (clearly ahead of her time) are that of equality. Like Pride and Prejudice this is a book of intense feeling, beautifully portrayed characters and the development of a deep relationship (firmly based on respect) between the hero and heroine.


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