Reading list

New Year, new page – my reading list. A friend has a similar page on his blog and I liked the idea.


As sometimes happens with life – I’ve been a little short on time lately for personal reading. However, I’ve slowly been reading unpublished works written by a friend. I hope to add to this list of read published works sometime by mid-to-late April.

Bertrand Books, LisbonMeanwhile, we stopped at the oldest, continuously selling bookstore in the world! It’s in Lisbon, Portugal. If you’re in Lisbon, and you love books, Bertrand Livreiros is an interesting stop – even if just a quick one. There is a small section for English books, and a small cafe at the back of the shop. The store features some tributes to famous Portuguese writers with a little information about them in English.

The 1755 earthquake that decimated the city didn’t stop the owners from moving locations and to continue sales. Now that’s a love for books! The official site is here (in Portuguese). The Guinness World Records site is here.

Read this so far this year:

Wastelands II: More Stories of the Apocalypse: One of the last physical books I bought before my Kindle days was the first Wastelands short stories book. In this second book, the editor acknowledges it was a challenge to make it as good as the first. I read it anyway. Light reading, but there were some gems. I have always loved dystopia and how dire situations affect humanity. Some authors in this collection approached storytelling in non-traditional ways – and I also love to see variations of the short story formula. All in all, it was an okay read. I have two stories left. I think I’ll move to a heavier Daphne du Maurier collection next, which has been on my list for quite some time.

Lift Like a Girl: This book is by Nia Shanks, a strength trainer who has battled an eating disorder. I found her on Instagram and I liked some of her exercise videos. While I cannot relate to her eating disorder, I have battled other addictions so I stuck through the first half of the book even though much of it bored me. I did enjoy the workout advice later in the book, and likely will return to some of her approach when I restart my fitness training. (We’ve been traveling a lot since mid-December, and I haven’t worked out since I left a wonderful gym back in Mazatlan, Mexico.) I bought this book on sale for $.99 on Amazon. Personally, I would not pay more than that.

The Refugees: A short story collection by an author I’ve never read before – Viet Thanh Nguyen. I dug it. Stories of trials and victories told through Vietnamese immigrant voices, and I related on a human level. Theses stories made me feel something. This was a recommendation from my library based on my past check-outs.

Men Without Women: I like to get a man’s take now and then on love and lust and life. Only one of these short stories haunted me. Another story dragged on – I just couldn’t get into it. Overall, I enjoyed my first read of Haruki Murakami and I would give this author another try in the future. This was on my library’s reading list for me based on other selections I’ve read in the past.

Secret London – an Unusual Guide: This was on the shelf at our Airbnb rental in London. When I get back to London one day, there were places in this book I want to go see when I have more time – especially the London Library and the Greenwhich Observatory, which both are among the more mainstream options outlined in this odd guide.

*As an early retirement budget traveler (who travels light), I download free ebooks from the library. My preferred platform is Kindle, but I’ve been known to read through iBooks on my phone, or a .pdf on my laptop when necessary.