This post is long over due, but better late than not post at all. April’s reading list was short. I read one book, but I read it twice! The book is called Blockbusters by Anita Elberse.
I read this book twice, which was recommended. Read it once for fun, then a second time to understand the business model of how blockbuster products are made and how the entertainment industry is constructed. I came upon Anita Elberse’s book by way of her Harvard business school lecture series. Oh how I would love to sit in person and listen to her lectures! Anita is an expert in the entertainment industry and has structured several of her lectures on case studies based on popular media. I love how she explains how blockbuster products are made. Products such as movies, songs, television shows, books, and how you can tap into the competitive market.
Since I’m a huge business nerd, it was a no brainer that I would be interested in reading her book. I’m interested in studying how things work, and how I can transfer this knowledge to make my own business a success. Now it’s time to apply some of this knowledge and put it to work!
I managed to clock in reading three books, two of which were poetry. It’s interesting to read poetry when you know the author also wrote a book you love dearly.
The first book is Ariel by Sylvia Plath. “Ariel” is also a Hebrew word meaning “lion of God“—and was the name of Sylvia Plath’s own horse that she loved to ride in Devon, England when she lived there with her husband, poet Ted Hughes. It is a story that depicts a woman riding her horse in the countryside beginning at dawn. Written in the style of Sylvia Plath’s confessional poetry, autobiographical, and with clear and precise imagery.
I absolutely loved it, and made several markings so that I could remember what impressed me. I also loved the Foreword, which was given by her own daughter Frieda Hughes, and the facsimile drafts of the poem “Ariel” at the end of the book. There you can see her actual handwritten notes and scribblings which give you a great sense of her creative process. What a delight and I highly recommend for those of you who love literature.
The second book I read is called A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier.
It’s a story that takes place after the Great War where the narrator (Violet Speedwell) finds herself a “surplus woman” one of many due to the war killing so many young men. She has lost her brother, and fiance to the war, and does not want to end up a spinster taking care of her overbearing mother. Violet finds a job in Winchester, where she befriends a group of women who embroider kneelers for cathedrals.
I loved the idea of the story, but it dragged on a bit. I wish there was more of a love story involved, and to be honest, that’s why I chose this historical novel, hoping there was a fairy tale happy ending. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the writing style of Tracy Chevalier, which is always amazing.
The last book I read in March is another poetry collection titled Winning Words. I had heard about this during the pandemic when we were all shuttered in our homes. I’m happy I found it. As with a lot of people during Covid, I was searching for something inspirational and positive to read. Winning Words is a collection of positive poetry to uplift and lighten your daily life. Highly recommend.
That’s all for now. As for April I’ve already got a few books on my nightstand, and I’m really enjoying them. Until next time!