As a blog writer, I sometimes get an idea in my head, and then I must write that idea out before another one shows up. Okay, I do have a list of potential posts to write, but they all must wait until this one is completed.
And sometimes the post that must be written just isn’t that sexy. Still it is first in the queue.
This is one of those posts. I really just want to tell all of you that I read a lot this year. 30 books to be exact. Since having sons and finishing grad school–which was basically 15 years ago–I have barely managed to read a half-a-dozen titles a year. I don’t count sewing/quilting how-to-books which I read pretty much non-stop.
What is the difference? Well, travel is a big reason I am reading more. I look forward to getting on a plane and reading for hours and hours. But the bulk of all those books while traveling–I always felt I needed to have a quilt, a nonfiction, a novel, and maybe an art book–was, well, heavy. And then I got Kindle, and I began traveling with a bookstore, a library, or at the very least my home night stand.
I used to read during almost all waking moments when I was a pre-teen. I have a clear memory of the bus driver yelling. He yelled my name until the entire bus was laughing at the girl with glasses who couldn’t hear because she was reading.
There really is nothing like a good book.
I’m also reading more because I got a headset and an iPhone. I use the iPhone for taking pictures and for listening to Audible. I know I told all of you that I knit while on the treadmill, and this is true. But beyond that and a few other simple tasks such as doing laundry while l am talking on the phone, I really don’t multi-task. Maybe this makes me a simpleton, but I feel better when I am singularly focused. If I get my way, which is not often in this house full of guys, I also like to work silence. As I write this the Kansas City Chiefs play-off game and drumming are blaring in the background.
Having said that, there a few things the I can do while also listening to Audible–quilting and ironing are the best. And because I do these things frequently, I have managed to listen to several very good books this year.
A small, but real, disadvantage to reading on the Kindle and listening on Audible is that you do not get to enjoy the book covers in the same way. As a shout to book covers I am inserting them here.
My favorite listens for 2015 are–
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Jones by Rebecca Skloot–this is a fantastic read of history, science and one family’s struggle to understand their place in the middle of it all.
- 10% Happier by Dan Harris–I like books about personal quests for meaning, and this was a good one.
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes–This is a great listen. It is a sweet love story–caregiver falls for quadriplegic–and I liked it a lot.
- Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo–This is a also a great listen. The reader is really good, and the story is a light look at what it might happen if a New York Foodie took a road trip with a Buddhist monk. This is the first in a trilogy, and I happliy listened to all three.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl–This isn’t an easy listen, but it is excellent brain food. The author is a concentration camp survivor and this is the story of how he came to understand that experience.My favorite Kindle reads for 2015 are–
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr–I was very resistant to this book. I just couldn’t imagine how the plot would work. Well, read it and see. It is beautiful.
- My Struggle: Book 1 by Karl Ove Knausgaard–this is a memoir about a novelist trying to write a novel. This sounds a bit dumb or contrived, but it isn’t, it is brilliant.
- Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish–I read this while on the road and each day I looked forward to night when I could read the next chapter. It is the love tory of a illegal Chinese immigrant and an Iraqi War vet. It will break your heart, and make you appreciate all that you have.
- Some Luck by Jane Smiley–I have always enjoyed Jane Smiley’s work so I was excited to start this trilogy. I am not sure it would be for everyone, but I truly enjoyed this hundred year story of an Iowa farm family.
- Purity by Jonathan Franzen–While my favorite will always be The Corrections, this latest Franzen novel contains the same good craziness.I needed to write this post not only to share with you what I have read, but to also solicit your advice. What should be next in my reading and listening queue? I’d love to hear about your favorite reads of 2015.