In case you haven't been following the drama of my life without the internet (likely), I'll now offer this quick recap:
1. I moved to a new apartment
2. All of my utilities were paid for.
3. Except the internet
4. I procrastinated getting it because:
5. I got curious about what my life would be like without it.
6. Turns out it was good but sometimes bad and ultimately an unsustainable way of life.
7. I sucked it up and called Comcast.
Ultimately, I'm super glad I took a break from all internet all the time. Granted, I still had access at work and data on my phone for emergencies. But I really cut down on the amount of free time I spent online. And frankly, it was eye-opening.
Here are a few things I learned:
- Facebook is so unnecessary. Fun. But not essential.
- Listening to the radio is really underrated. You can get all kinds of information and entertainment from that medium. And it's completely free. It's awesome.
- It's very hard to work from home using only the data on your phone. Especially when that data is limited to 300 MB/month.
- Springville's library is AMAZING.
Which brings me to the real purpose of this post. In the dark ages of last week or yesterday or twenty minutes ago, before I had internet, I spent a LOT of time reading. I think I read more books in the past month than I have in the past year. Honestly, maybe even two years.
But it was so much fun!!
Here's what I read. (And what I thought about what I read, obviously. What's the point of a book list without semi-snarky commentary?)
Boy Meets Girl
by Meg Cabot
Call me controversial, but I love Meg Cabot. Yes, her plots are entirely predictable. You often feel as if you're reading the same story over and over again. But I don't see anything wrong with that if it's a good story. And it is. It really is.
Plus this was a cool book because it's epistolary. And not just letters. You get emails, voicemails, notes, journal entries, receipts. All kinds of fun stuff. I'm a sucker for epistolary novels. Have I mentioned that yet?
A Brief History of Montmaray
The FitzOsbornes in Exile
The FitzOsbornes at War
by Michelle Cooper
These were soooo good! I got completely lost in them. Tad bit depressing at times. And a few adult themes. But mostly I just loved all the history. I don't know why I don't read more historical fiction these days. I used to love it as a teenager.
This first book was kind of what I wanted I Capture the Castle to be when I read that last Christmas. And the second two had an awesome Downton Abbey vibe.
I also loved that these were family fiction. In the sense that they revolve around an entire family with all its quirks and interpersonal dynamics. I'm big on books like that. Especially when they're done well.
Confessions of a Shopaholic
by Sophie Kinsella
I know I'm years late to the party on this one, but it was still fun. I'm not sure if I'll keep going with the series. But probably eventually. This one was extra fun because I checked out the audio version and listened to it at the same time as Colin Powell's book (see below). It made for a good mix. And you gotta love a good British accent on an audio book. Just makes your whole day better.
It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership
by Colin Powell
My dad loaned this to me for the drive back from California a few weeks ago. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. Biggest lesson I learned: When you fail, own up to it quickly. Admit you're wrong and fix it as fast as you can. I'm not sure that was the real crux of the book, but that's what I most needed to hear, so that's what stuck for me.
by Veronica Roth
Guys, I'm in love. I'm sure it didn't help that I saw the movie first. (I don't normally do that, by the way.) But holy moley. I love Four! And Theo James. But mostly Four, whom I refuse to call Tobias because Four is just a way cooler name.
The rest of the book was relatively predictable. But still a fun, fast read.
by Ally Condie
This was a reread. I have to admit, even though I really liked these books the first time around, this one fell a little flat for me this time. Oh well.
by Ann Brashares
I was so stoked when I saw this book at the library! It's the "conclusion" to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books.
Then I started reading it. I had totally forgotten Ann Brashares's unique ability to turn my entire world upside down and make me question everything from my career choices to my longest-running relationships. By the end, everything turned out okay. It's just that I felt like I got hit over the head with a sledgehammer halfway through the book. So it's probably a good thing that this is the "final" book in the series. (Even though I secretly hope she writes a sequel in about ten years.)
City of Ashes
by Cassandra Clare
Don't. Spoil. Anything!! I haven't finished this one yet but I'm kind of glad I got sucked/suckered into reading this series. It's been a long time since I read paranormal and at least this one is surprising me. Not necessarily high quality fiction, but I'm sure you can see from my reading list that I'm not so picky about that.
Anyway, I'm going to get back to reading now. But first, a little word of advice from a girl who only recently re-entered the current century: There are a lot of great things to do on the internet. But there are also some really great things to do offline. Don't forget that you always have the option to take a break and enjoy the real world.
I don't mean to preach. Just want to give you guys something to think about.