Tuesday, January 8, 2019

What's on Your 2018 Reading List?

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. 
P.J. O'Rourke

Years ago I kept a reading journal where I recorded every book I read. A few years later, I added a tagline. Years after that, I joined Goodreads and let them keep track. Gave me an opportunity to see what everybody else was reading and their rankings.

I often compare my rankings to my friends and choose from their recommendations. But sometimes I love a book and my reading friends hate it. Or vice versa. What's wrong with them?

Based on a five-star system, I don't give away too many five stars. Sometimes I want to give a one,  yet I give a two. Or a two, I'll give a three. Just because I know how hard it is to write a book. Kind of like having been a waiter, I'll give mine a little more tip than most. Especially if they are good.

An avid reader since forever, I love all the places books take me. All the new things I learn. I always have several books going. The pattern something like this:

Daily Meditation
Poetry (3 new poems a day)
Essay or Short Story collection (one a day if I can fit it in)
Novel for night reading. Sometimes a non-fiction
Audible book for riding in the car 

At the end of 2018, I wanted a clean slate for the new year. As I finished each book, I didn't begin another. Agony. Sheer agony as my reading mind tried to comprehend another episode of Buy My Old POS Car or Take this Wheel Nut and Put it Here with my captivated husband.

On December 31, I read the last meditation in The Journey to The Heart and shelved it. On January 1, I began 365 Tao, my new daily med for 2019. I eyed my Books To Be Read shelf with glee. 

I'm rather fickle, though. How is it I can look at the shelf crammed with 30+ unread books and none of them appeal to me? Surely they allured me when I purchased or borrowed them. What I wanted to read on December 31 was completely different than what I chose on January 1.

Please note there is another of unread behind those you see.
Thus far, I 've added:

Do I Make Myself Clear --Why Writing Well Matters by Harold Evans
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt  (finished)
Hotel Silence by Auour Ava Olafsottir
Becoming by Michelle Obama

Still need a poetry book. Any suggestions? The Rilke I ordered won't be here until mid-February.

I only signed up to read 35 books this year in the Goodreads challenge. In past years I've challenged myself to 50 and usually complete more. But I find myself getting itchy to get to that 50. I become obsessed about a number rather than reading for joy. (What does that say about me?)

This year, 35 sounds good. That will happen naturally. Without the race, I might tackle some of those thicker books stuck on my stuffed shelf. Make more room.

Please join me on Goodreads. My handle is Julie Sucha Anderson.

Tell me. What's on your bookshelf for 2019?

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23 comments:

  1. I am reading slow this year so far, been reading a lot of mystery/detective for quite a while. I need to work on some of my stuff more, but put off today what one can also do tomorrow.

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  2. January is a good time to read. Especially when the sun goes away and the cold moves in. I should try more mystery/detective. Seems it would offer a good escape.

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  3. Just found you on both goodreads and twitter! I set a lower goodreads goal for 2019, too - only 40. I'll get there, but don't want to stress about it. Started 2019 with the new RBG biography, as a read/listen combo... it will take a while. Beyond that, I'm hoping to read 30-40% nonfiction, complete the Back to the Classics challenge, and read some great literary fiction.

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    1. JoAnn, I looked at your Back to the Classic challenge. Scared me. Ha! So glad to have connected with you on Goodreads. Now, if I could only figure out how to add my Twitter connection to my blog. Hmmmm..

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  4. I just finished "Becoming" and loved it. I was sorry when it ended. And now I'm reading "The Book of Joy" by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. It's very good. :-)

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    1. I am enjoying Becoming as well. I will look at the The Book of Joy. Sounds like something I would enjoy. I see there is a day book also. Will mark that for next year.

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  5. Heading over to Goodreads to find you. I'm listening to Becoming and think it's wonderful. I'm so happy Michelle is reading it herself.

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    1. I found you, too. Looks like we have many books in common. Looking forward to being friends. I'm enjoying Becoming.

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  6. I'm glad I found you blog. The first quote made me laugh aloud.
    Books recommended on blogs are written on small pieces of paper, and when I find them all, I'll have a reading list. Going to Goodreads now...

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    1. Will head over to Goodreads to accept. Thanks for coming by and will check out your blog as well. Pieces of paper with names of books? I'm surrounded by sticky notes everywhere in my house. Only way I can keep track.

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  7. I cancelled my Goodreads account as I didn't have the time to update what I had been reading or get involved with a group. At best I manage to read the book chosen by our book group leader at the library. I'm a compulsive buyer of second hand books. In theory there are stacks of unread books on my book shelf. Hope to do better this year....You can see a selection of books I've read on my blog. Maggie O'Farrell's memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am, Seventeen Brushes With Death I do recommend.

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    1. I hope you'll sign up again. Would love to see what you're reading. I need an infusion of England's literature.

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  8. I’m tackling “Portrait of a Lady” by Henry James. Started it on a bad weather day, as I often do with classics.

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  9. I am reading everything Edna Ferber ever wrote. And I'm anxious to read Transcription by Kate Atkinson, The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum and I just found out Fiona Barton has a new book out.

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    1. Edna Ferber is someone I need to explore. Transcription if on my Goodreads list as well. I will look up the others you have listed.

      Stay warm up there.

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  10. Something happened about five years ago to make my reading rate slow right down. I'm embarrassed to even admit this, but the blame is on Words With Friends. It's not that I've read nothing since I started playing it at night in bed instead of picking up a book, but I now average only about 10 books a year. It's awful, and I keep thinking that I must just ditch the game and get back to something much more mind-expanding. Your devotion to reading (especially poetry! Every day!) is admirable, and it's what helps make you the writer you are. Am I lazy? An addict? Both of those things, I think. The feeling I'm left with after reading your post is sadness, actually. That I have wasted so much time when I could have been in other worlds. Agh. But on the other hand, I think you've given me some resolve.

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    1. I appreciate your pain regarding Word with Friends. I spend way too much time playing Word Wipe. I, in fact, can't believe how much time I spend playing Word Wipe. But in the words of a wise writing coach I know, it only means while we are doing that we are preparing. Preparing for what comes next. So don't fear your WWF. This is what you need to do right now to get wherever your writing takes you next. Meantime, if you want to play Scrabble, let me know. I gave up WWF for the real deal.

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  11. Hi Julie, this post has rung so many bells inside my head! I used to be an avid reader but had slowed right down and in 2017 I read only two books during the whole year. I have a whole bookcase full of TBRs. At the beginning of last year I read a wonderful book, The Muse by Jessie Burton, which restarted my reading mojo and I set myself a target of twelve books for 2018. I only read one at a time and they are all old-fashioned, paper books. In fact I read twenty-three books last year, but I kept this year's target at twelve again because I am going to tackle the "fat" ones, 500 or so pages. I am beginning with Susan Howatch's Starbridge novels about the Church of England, the first three set in the 1930s and 1940s and the next three in the 1960s, and I am happy to report that I have finished two already. Poetry is something I frequently dip in and out of and I adore David Whyte. Happy New Year! x

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    1. David Whyte is a favorite of mine. I read Consolations as a daily read. Loved it. It has been years since I've read a Susan Howatch book. I'm not familiar with the ones you list. I will check them out. Just what my TBR shelf needs. More!

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  12. Ah a kindred soul. I do recommend books on my other book blog and was invited to join young adult author Barrie Summy's for bringing "diversity. That met I'm a smorgasbord reader jumping from genre to genre. My favorite are memoir, biography, history and historical fiction (if accurately reassured and written. Right no I'm doing Peter Geye. If a writer is really good. I read all of them. Like Minnesota authror John Sanford...:)

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Let me know what you think. Every word you write, I appreciate.

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