What I Read in 2016

I completed my Goodreads challenge of reading 45 books this year right under the wire and it inspired me to think about what I read this past year and to make some goals for next year. Quite honestly, I don’t feel like I had a great year in books. I read a lot of forgettable summer fiction, which has its place, but I don’t think I balanced it with enough memorable classics; nevertheless, I did read a few good ones.

Best Books:

Worst: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling (I’m with Haley; The more I think about this play, the more I hated it.)

Best Summer Read: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

Book I Am Most Guilty About Not Enjoying: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Here’s the rest.

I also totally lost reading steam around September and was doing a lot of crocheting and binge watching TV during nap times instead of reading. I want to get back into the habit and while I’m a believer in reading at Whim per Alan Jacobs, I’d like to make sure I pair it with reading aspirationally next year. With that, some goals:

Be more consistent with spiritual reading. I have an incredibly kind newborn who sleeps well at night, so I’ve been able to get up before the kids fairly often in the past month and drinking my coffee and reading a chapter of I Believe in Love has been so nice. I want to keep this up, even if the getting up early doesn’t continue.

Read (or re-read) classic coming-of-age-for-girls books. Now that we have a daughter, I want to refresh my memory of great books from my childhood and others I have not read but want Therese to read in the future. I’m hoping to read the rest of the Anne of Green Gables series as an easy middle-of-the-night Kindle read. I just finished Anne of Avonlea and found it delightful. I want to re-read Little Women and maybe the Little House series, which was one of my absolute favorites around first grade, but I haven’t revisited them since.

Renew the hefty winter read tradition. There’s nothing like cold weather and a big ol’ book. In 2014 and 2015, I decided January was “giant book” month. I read Kristin Lavransdatter and Middlemarch and I’d like to bring back the tradition. I haven’t nailed one down quite yet, but Demons by Dostoevsky has been sitting on my shelf unread for quite a while. I also want to read The Master of Hestviken by Sigrid Undset, so that is a contender.

Listen to more audiobooks. Adding an audiobook routine while crocheting would make me feel like I’m accomplishing two things at once, though I have no idea when I’m going to get both of my hands back. #newbornlife Justified or not, I would also feel less guilty about speeding through mediocre binge reads if it were on audio. Thankfully, our local library is incredible and has a well-stocked Overdrive selection of audiobooks.

Amazon Affiliate links galore.

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Spooky immortals in Slade House

A David Mitchell story made me go into labor.cover70374-medium

Well, sort of.

I was super overdue with Christopher – my mom had arrived the week before thinking surely baby would have come out by now – and we decided to Just Do It and had gone for a very long walk the day before. I was feeling very out of it and very over it the next day, so we made it a pizza and movie Friday. Having seen David Mitchell give a talk and a reading at Yale that week (one perk of being late), we were all in a Cloud Atlas mood and cued it up on HBOGo.

I went into labor early the next morning. Post-modern narrative conceits can be powerful, apparently.

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