It seems my reading rhythm requires a writing reflection on January 6. Second annual. Or is this the first annual if it’s the second time I’ve done it? Or is it even a numbered annual if it happened on the same date accidentally? In any case, I counted 86 books last year. Here’s some breakdown:
29 read aloud
59 eye books
61 female authors
25 male authors
75 unique authors.
I attempted to record a little more data about my reading this year, but it turned out that I didn’t really care about keeping track of when I started and when I finished reading a book. Talking myself into recording details on a spreadsheet was rather ambitious anyhow and by mid-year I had settled agreeably back to simply writing a title down when I finished.
I think I quit more books this year than I ever have before. And I finished several I really didn’t care that much about and could just have easily aborted. I used no standard criteria for either of these solutions.
Speaking of criteria. I have long wondered about my criteria for including a book on my reading list. I kept track of page numbers for much of my early 2014 reading and in the process I decided that didn’t have anything to do with how I judge a book worthy of my list. I did read some books to the boys that didn’t make it to the list. It wasn’t that they were fundamentally different than the books that did make it to the list.
It basically comes down to the fact that it’s my list and so I make the rules. Maybe my rules are a bit evolutionary, but whatever. The books on the list are there because I read them.
As the year came to a close I found myself feeling like it’d been a year without any highlights. And then I looked back and saw these:
Diana Wynne Jones – what a story master. I’m not much of a rereader, but I reread Witch Week just to see “how did she do that?!”
Still Writing – Dani Shapiro : This easily landed itself on my favorite writing books list. And it inspired me to read Shapiro’s backlist to see how she uses her content in both fiction and nonfiction writing.
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage – Ann Patchett: I hadn’t read her before and thoroughly appreciated this collection of essays. Exploring her bookstore is on my Nashville To Do list.
Redefining Realness – Janet Mock: I’m so glad to have read her story. I can’t begin to understand her complex and difficult journey as a trans woman, but in reading, I hope – a step toward greater awareness and care.
Surprised By Scripture – NT Wright: Yep. I want more of this story.
Hannah Coulter – Wendell Berry: A highlight because I really have never finished a Wendell Berry book until this. Kind of slow and quiet (True. I HAD just finished Game of Thrones) and I liked it. I’m recently interested in stories set in Place – and I’ll probably return to read more of this Port William community.
Barbara Crooker and Marie Howe – These were my poets this year.
Anne Lamott: I re-read Traveling Mercies in September and I’m glad I did.
The Princess and the Goblin – George MacDonald: A regular re-read for me and always an intriguing favorite.
I read a lot of kids historical fiction this year and connected a lot more pieces of history than ever before. This is good.