Books: February 2019

The books I read and the podcasts I heard in February 2019.

Podcast: Dirty John

I heard about this podcast while listening to Dr. Death https://wondery.com/shows/dr-death/  last fall.  It is the almost unbelievable story of deception and ignorance, and it left me wondering how people could be so stupid!  Seriously!  Come on people!  Evil exists and denying that existence doesn’t protect our families or ourselves.  “Dirty John” is just part of this sick story.  I am just as disturbed by his wife’s  (Deborah Newell) behavior.  I found myself irritated while listening, but it was worth finishing.  I have to say that Dr. Death was a more shocking story, but this one is worth the 6 episode time.  This podcast story reminded me of one of my favorite quotes: “You can’t fix stupid.”

Podcast: Over My Dead Body

I hate it when this happens, but I started a podcast (or any show) while it was still in progress.  I usually like to wait until the season is complete so I can buzz through the episodes.  I started this one before I realized it was new, so I’m was on the edge of my seat waiting for the next show.  It’s good.  And if you like true crime (like Dirty John and Dr. Death), you’ll enjoy this one too.  The conclusion is frustrating, but the story is not over so we’ll be hearing more about this one in the future.

On Writing by Stephen King

I’m embarrassed to admit that I have never read a Stephen King novel.  Ever.  I just don’t think he writes in a genre that I would enjoy, but I’m beginning to think that I’ve been missing out on some great work.  After reading several recommendations on this book (about the writing process) I’ve become a Stephen King fan.  (At least of his personality, now I have to read his fictional writing to learn more.)

King’s book on writing tells his story of writing as a child and young adult.  Part autobiography and part how-to, King describes what has worked for him regarding story development and process.  This is the book he was working on when he was hit by a car (while out walking) in 1999.  I really enjoyed the story as well as the instruction.  I’m adding Misery to my list of books to read.  If you have other recommendations, I’d love to hear your suggestion.

5 Second Rule - Mel Robbins

This is another book that seemed to be suggested by all of the others I’ve been reading in the self-help area.  Mel Robbins describes the technique she created to get herself out of bed in the mornings (and the science behind it.)  The 5 Second Rule is a game changer for those who get stuck with indecision or spend way too much time talking themselves out doing what it is they need to do!  This book is proof that changing a habit doesn’t need to be complicated.  We just need to create a cushion of space to change the trajectory of our thoughts.  It almost sounds too good (and too simple) to be true, but the technique is effective.