Am Reading

This year, I’ve made a conscious effort to get back to reading books. Conscious as in “I’m going to read instead of doing dishes while Daniel plays with Legos on the weekend.” I made a separate shelf for 2014 on Goodreads so that I could remember all the books I read this year.

I’ve read 25 books so far. It isn’t the most impressive number and it is definitely a far cry from the year in which I read 100 while also in grad school and working full time (pre-Daniel obviously!), but it’s not too shabby; it’s a start.

The truth is that I’ve probably read more like 30-35 books this year, but they aren’t books I list on Goodreads. They are too revealing, too personal. So they primarily live on my phone. Others are books I return to over and over again like Far From the Tree, books that belong to prior years but in which I find new truths each time.

Goodreads and my list of books read becomes yet another way in which I curate myself and the image I hope to project. My 2014 books hopefully reveal me to have broad interests. A fan of high-brow AND low-brow. Quirky. Or maybe it reveals me to be overly random or worse, pretentious – far too much non-fiction – when the truth is that fiction sucks me in and makes me unable to stop reading until I’ve finished the book. Fiction is much less cost-effective than a denser nonfiction.

Everything has become a data point into who we are.

I’m close to finishing two books I’m reading simultaneously – one a historical fiction and actual physical book; the other a book of essays on empathy I downloaded on a whim (and don’t especially love). I am reading, and I love it.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?


  1. This year has been a “slow” year in the number of books that I’ve read, but that is because each of the books I have been reading is huge! I’ve re-read the entire Outlander series (I keep a page on my blog of all the books I read each year) and it has kept me busy. I’m half way through with the last (8th) book and then will have to find something else to read the rest of this year. I don’t know what to do!

    Good for you for getting back to reading!

  2. I’ve been trying so hard to read 2 books in the last little while. Unfortunately they sit mostly unread on my night table or my phone. I miss reading for pleasure – I used to read a book a week, at least!

  3. I’ve picked up my reading pace this year too – mostly due to audio books while I walk. I’ve ranked three books as five stars this year — The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, The Lowland, and 12 Years a Slave.

  4. I’ve read a lot this year, largely audio books while commuting but other stuff too. My favorite has been either Redshirts by John Scalzi or Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal. I’m also really liking All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior but I’m in the middle.

  5. I have a book group that reads ONE book a month … hard to believe I need motivation for that! We finished American Rust, Americanah, and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour just recently. But I thoroughly enjoyed The Lowland. She’s coming to teach here!

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