In an attempt to resurrect my foul mood regarding the month of January, let’s reflect on our best friend, BOOKS. Do you keep track of what you read? I wish I’d done it my whole life. It’s fascinating to know what I pick up next and see what kind of trends are trending in my brain…
Of course I have my trusty journal with pink uni-ball pen, but last year I also began keeping track through the Goodreads challenge. My goal was 50 books. I read 33. For 2018, I again put 50 as my goal again because I’m unrealistically optimistic and gosh darn it, there are BOOKS TO READ (and less People.com stories to scroll through. am I right?)
Friend Annie, has an app, and has the ambitious goal of 52 books (one a week!) Do you have a goal?
Let’s get really nerdy for a moment. Of the 33 books I read, here’s a breakdown, with my favorite book for each category (SO HARD to decide!):
Children’s: 3 books. Favorite: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Middle Grade: 3 books. Favorite: Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson
Favorite Illustrations: Eloise Wilkins Stories, the Little Golden Book Collection
Young Adult: 4 books. Favorite: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (break your heart good. An important read for parents.)
Adult Fiction: 11 books. Favorite: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (incredibly relevant. sadly.)
Short Stories: 1. Dear Life by Alice Munro. (superb)
Poetry: 1 book. Bright Exit by Laurie Zimmerman (powerful)
Writing Craft: 1 book. Favorite: The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass
Memoir: 7 books. Favorite: Lit by Mary Karr AND The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Inspirational: 2 books. Favorite: Proof of Heaven by neurosurgeon Eben Alexander (WOAH.)
Most anticipated book that was way over my head: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (his obvious brilliance eludes me :()
Male Authors read: 11
Female Authors read: 22 (one author read twice)
Interestingly, of the nine memoir/inspirational reads, only 2 were male authors (Clayton Christenson and Eben Alexander.) Memoir is dominated by female authors, which makes me wonder if men are writing their stories down…
It’s very obvious that I’m drawn to stories with family drama. Favorites will make me laugh AND cry. ALL of the books read this year were realistic fiction or nonfiction. I read no fantasy, speculative, or dystopian. As for my children? Nobody but me and Gregor likes realistic fiction all that much. Does this mean I lack imagination??? But even as a child, I disliked it. Judy Blume couldn’t get write fast enough for me!
I only read one book with one of my children: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien. This makes me kind of sad as daily reading with a child dominated much of my activity in earlier years. I’m determined to find books to read with Brynne and Paige this year (Brynne is reading The Help right now, on my suggestion.)
Since we’re breaking down the entertainment, here were a few other 2017 Favorites:
TV Shows: Mercy Street (LOVE), John Adams, Chicago PD, Blue Bloods, Hart of Dixie (so cheesey, but that Lemon!), The Crown, Poldark, Victoria, This is Us, The Good Doctor, Turn.
Geez, I could get a lot more reading done with all that time the above, ahem…
Movies: Wonder, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, and The Greatest Showman (although historically suspect, I loved the acting and the music is tremendous!)
Podcasts: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Helping Writers Become Authors with K.M. Weilland, Modern Love by the New York Times, and the 10-Minute Writer’s Workshop.
Whew! That’s fun. Okay, your turn. What do I have to get to this year???