So we’ve reached the end of the year, and the end of my personal challenge to read 64 books. Did I do it? Yes. Mostly. Sort of? There’s a book I read back in the spring that I didn’t include on my list because it was about “things to do to best prepare yourself and body for getting pregnant”, which I wasn’t prepared to share/talk about on the blog at that time. The last two books on my list here are ones that I will probably finish before the end of the year, and if I finish both of them, then I get over the top and am at 65 books. But I just need to finish one, and I think since this post goes up on the 28th, and we’ve got a few days left, that I’m probably safe in being able to finish one of the books before time is officially up.
A young adult book about a girl who writes a popular webcomic, and then what happens when she becomes friends with a young man who it turns out is a major fan/fanfiction writer for her creation. I liked this book a lot – it reminded me a bit of the book Fangirl which I also loved, but this book did a terrific job in showing the difficulty in being a creator, and in showing how sometimes personal trauma and tragedy can let people sink more into the world of fandom.
This book reminded me a lot of Smarter, Faster, Better, which I read back in August. Which is funny because last month when I had just started reading it, it reminded me of the book about animal cognition. So…yeah. In any case, it was a fascinating look at the science/psychology behind decision-making. For every moment I was listening, I found myself going, “I don’t make those kind of mistakes!” but then thinking again and realizing that I do, because we all do. In any case, it’s gotten me to the point where I want to be more aware of how and why I’m making the choices that I make when I make them.
I chose this book because having read James McBride’s memoir last month I was intrigued, and when I was googling him for my write-up last month, everything mentioned this particular book as being excellent, and the fact that it won a National Book Award, so – yeah. It was pretty good. It follows a young slave boy who is freed and sort of adopted by John Brown, the man who was at that time fighting a “war” called Bleeding Kansas, and would go on to lead a raid on Harper’s Ferry. The main character – Onion – was interesting, but I wasn’t sure I understood his motivations for doing all the things that he did, and staying or not staying at particular times. It gave me just the tiniest glimmer of what those two occurrences were like, and makes me want to know more about both Bleeding Kansas and the Harper’s Ferry raid (and maybe do a day trip to Harpers Ferry).
This is the book that I read with the girls at bedtime if I’m the one doing the bedtime routine. Last year we read Anne of Green Gables, and over the course of this year, managed to sneak this one in at the very end. As of the current writing, we have one chapter left, and I don’t know if we’ll make it. Theoretically I could go in and read it myself and it would count, but it feels like cheating. In any case, we’ll finish it soon, and then we’ll start on book three – Anne of the Island – which is my favorite, and I feel like the most romantic of all the books. I wonder if the girls will feel the same way?
This is probably the first parenting book that I’m listening to with specific attention to how I might want to raise my own child – one that I am actively expecting. One of my biggest fears so far has been that my sleep is going to be ruined forever, so hearing about a method called “Le Pause” that French parents do and that helps babies to sleep through the night from early on has been fascinating. Again, I’m not finished (close to 2/3 done?) and may actually finish in early January, but I’m counting it here. But it’s gotten me more actively interested in doing some research and reading in preparation for baby’s arrival. So I guess that’s good.
IN PROGRESS/IMMEDIATELY NEXT:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Book club book! I have a feeling I won’t be getting the audiobook for this in time for my book club meeting, but luckily I’ve got a graphic novel adaptation that might suffice? We’ll see.
From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
Back when my RSS Reader still picked up the Jezebel feed (it seems to have fallen off/broken in the last year for whatever reason), many years ago, one of my favorite occasional series posts were those that shared the “Ask a Mortician” videos from Caitlin Doughty, not because I’m obsessed with death, but because she talks about it in such an interesting way. And then she got a book deal! So this is coming up.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
This is one my mom read, and enjoyed, and it’s gotten lots of attention this past year. Also, it appears to be fairly short based on the fact that it was only 4 files to download in Overdrive, so I look forward to having this one help me advance my reading in 2018!
And that’s it! I’m pretty proud of myself for actually achieving my goal this year (or nearly achieving it). I can’t decide if I’m going to increase my reading goal number with the idea that being home with a baby will give me more time to read/listen to audio books, or if that’s just folly. Eh. Why not be ambitious. How was your reading this year? Did you get to read more or fewer books than you had expected? Did you feel good about the variety of books you read (I did!), or did you stick to one type? Think you’ll read more or less next year?