What could I possibly write about 2020 that hasn’t already been said? It was a strange year. Add having a baby to the mix, and last year was even further outside of my normal than expected.
The fact that I managed to finish 27 books by year’s end (two more than I planned) makes me happy. I often felt like I wasn’t making the most of my time at home, so exceeding my goal by any amount is a win. Plus, I read 12 of these after my daughter was born – a major accomplishment in any year.
We’re already well into 2020, and I realize I’ve not yet posted my previous year’s reading list. My mind has been elsewhere the past couple months (we recently moved house and found out we’re expecting our first child later later this year!), hence this less-than-punctual post. But, better late than never.
Even though I mostly avoid scary movies and TV shows, I love true crime and have a fascination with death culture. These obsessions naturally found their way onto my reading list in the form of non-fiction. Real life situations and science appeal to me much more than fiction, mostly because truth is often far stranger than fiction. (more…)
Yesterday I came across an article on Bookriot, in which the author talks about the 12 books he’d give his 12-year-old self (assuming he had a time machine, of course). This got me thinking about myself at that age. I, like the article’s author, was a voracious reader. Most of my friends would beg their parents for video games or CDs or clothes, but I almost always asked for books. (more…)
[Spoiler alert on this post. If you haven’t read Lolita, please do so. It’s a classic for a reason. ]
I read Lolita for the first time in June as part of a classics book club I’ve attended regularly since the beginning of the year. It is definitely a book I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. As much as I love stories of sordid crime, the twisted tale of Humbert Humbert and his child lover always felt too unseemly. (more…)
I was very disappointed with my reading efforts this year. Five novels and a handful of single comic issues? I can do better.
But maybe I’m being too hard on myself. I actually read a lot this year.
I read news articles every day in my efforts to keep up with what’s happening in the US and to better understand Australia’s political and cultural landscape (there were many articles on international news as well). I read countless blog entries on Jezebel, Cracked, and Lifehacker (many were actually very informative and insightful). I also read two excellent long-form articles– The Overprotected Kid (via The Atlantic) and The Strange Tale of the North Pond Hermit (via GQ) that I highly recommend.
People get too hung up on what counts as reading, myself included. My husband reads the newspaper at least once a week and finishes dozens of comic books each year, and yet people don’t consider him a reader. I don’t think he even considers himself a reader. But maybe he should. Maybe it’s time for us recognize that so-called “light reading”– the kind that comes from pages other than books– is still important reading. There’s still a lot to be learned, and it often leads to reading books.
So, without further ado, here is the list of the book-reading I completed in 2014. Though it is in no way more significant than all the other items I read throughout the year.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Free Comic Book Day issues
The New 52: Future’s End #0 Special Edition
Guardians of the Galaxy
Bongo Comics Free-For-All!
All You Need is Kill
Raising a Reader!
One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (reread)
11/22/63 by Stephen King
This is a toss up between Gone Girl and Dark Places. Gillian Flynn has quickly become one of my favorite fiction writers, and I honestly can’t decide which novel I liked most. What the two have in common is that Flynn manages to make the reader care about some really unlikable protagonists. Her characters are incredibly flawed, but you can’t help rooting for them. (I also highly recommend the movie version of Gone Girl. Flynn wrote the screenplay, so it is incredibly true to the book. It also has some excellent performances.) Worst Book:
There really wasn’t anything I read this year that I hated. The ending of 11/22/63 was a tad disappointing and the story dragged on horribly in parts, but overall I did enjoy the story. Not sure if I’ll be seeking out any other Stephen King books based on this one. I think I’ll stick with the film and television versions of his work.
I also reread To Kill a Mockingbird for a book club, and wasn’t as impressed with it as I was when I was first introduced to it in high school. It’s still a great novel, I was just expected more. Looking forward to in 2015:
I have so much reading to do, that I purposely asked for as many non-book items as possible for Christmas so I can clear my shelves and Kindle app. Still, my husband got me Amy Poehler’s memoir, Yes Please, which I’m excited to start. I also have two Erik Larson non-fiction books to finally get to. We’ll see how successful I am this year, given that I’ve also resolved to focus more on my design and art work, dedicate more time to this blog, and will be continuing the movie review blog.