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The Book Basement Bulletin #11
The Art of Being Still, High School Murder Mysteries, and How the Mind of a Best-Selling Author Works - In This Week's Issue
Hello! I hope you’re having a wonderful start to your week, whatever it is that you’re doing. This week has been rather productive book-wise. I finished reading Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday as well as A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. What book(s) did you read this week? Let me know by replying to this email.
Three Things I Wanted to Share
As mentioned, one of the books I finished reading this week was Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. Holiday, as a person is really impressive. He runs a daily podcast, a daily email newsletter, and manages to crank out a book every year (or so). Stillness is the Key is the first book of his I’ve read all the way through. It’s about the noise we face in our day-to-day lives, how to eliminate it, have a peaceful existence, and be still. He talks about the three domains of the mind, spirit, and body, having short chapters explaining how to make those parts of your being more still, and content. What I most loved about this book were its examples. You’ll learn about the Cuban missile crisis, Anne Frank’s journaling habit, the numerous beliefs of different philosophers, and how they all have similar underlying understandings. Stillness is the Key applies to you no matter your religion or set of beliefs. As a matter of fact, it draws its teachings from a plethora of belief systems. Stoicism, Christianity, Cynicism, Hinduism, and Buddhism are all mentioned in different chapters, separating the book from what would enclose it to a specific audience. Being relatively short, and full of helpful, well-written advice, there’s no reason to not pick up this book.
I also read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Pippa is not convinced. She knows Sal Singh didn’t murder his high school girlfriend Andie Bell. To have an excuse to dig into this case, she uses her senior capstone project as an opportunity to investigate. As she pieces together the events of that night, she begins being threatened; someone doesn’t want her to find out the truth. With the threats increasingly getting worse, she’s faced with the choice to drop it or keep going.
I really liked this book. It’s really easy to read, and it had me hooked from the beginning. Nearing the end of the novel, I couldn’t put it down for a second, I needed to know how it ended. Needless to say, the ending doesn't disappoint. The cobweb of leads that the main character has to look into provide so much substance and depth to the plot which makes it incredibly immersive. The pages that have images of documents, maps, or reports are a nice touch and show the book’s attention to detail. If you want a murder mystery that will take you out of any reading slump you may find yourself in, this is the book for you.
Barnes and Noble, the chain bookstore, has a podcast! They have two as a matter of fact and this week I listened to the B&N YA podcast with Nic Stone, author of the bestseller Dear Martin. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dear Martin so when I stumbled upon this show, and they had an interview with its author I didn’t hesitate to listen. The interviewer has good, conversation-inducing questions that provide insight while still maintaining that “friendly” conversational tone that doesn’t make it seem like an interview. I learned a lot about the small diversity that can be found in some schools, which in turn makes some kids feel isolated and like they don’t belong. Stone also mentioned her writing process, and how she managed to get her first book published which was fascinating to listen to. Overall a great episode and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Quote of the Week
“We have become, in our society, overwhelmed by people clamering for our attention”
Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point
Do you wake up and immediately check your phone, the news, your email, messages, and other means of receiving information? If you answered yes, you’re certainly not the only one. Millions start their morning by overwhelming themselves with information, much of which they could’ve gone without knowing. Starting your day by consuming unnecessary filler information will make your day worse. You need time to think, breathe, and appreciate the new day ahead of you. You should be able to wake up and not consume the world’s problems (a vast majority of which are completely out of your control). The morning shapes the rest of your day, so why not polish it to its fullest extent? Eliminate the noise. Do this, and you’ll find yourself appreciating the day ahead more.
I’ve been binge-watching videos from Nonstop Dan, a flight reviewer that goes on dozens of flights and well, reviews them.
If you’re looking to purchase a journal with daily prompts, then you can’t get much better than The Daily Stoic Journal. Just having physical paper to write on makes me excited to answer the daily question. Highly recommend!
My favorite episode this week: The Quarterback Problem from Malcolm Gladwell’s Book “What The Dog Saw”
I hope you found something interesting to watch via this week’s edition. If you did, then share this with someone who you think would also enjoy it. On an unrelated note, this week I’m reading The Hazelwood by Melissa Albert and Deep Work by Cal Newport. You’ll hear about those when I finish them, next week. Have a good one!