I’m trying to add more reading to my life. I love books, I adore my Kindle, and I find reading one of the best ways to unwind. My reading list is always growing, but I’m not always good at making time to read. It’s so easy to get sucked into social media or binge-watch a TV series (I’m part way through Parenthood at the moment), but I never feel half as good spending 45 minutes on my laptop as I do after half an hour snuggled up with a good book.
I don’t have a ‘number’ goal of how many books I want to read this year, I just want to keep up a steady reading habit. I thought I would keep track of what I’ve read here in a mini-book-report format. And I’d love any book recommendations!
So here’s what I read in January. I must admit, I read five of these books in five days when we spent five nights at the beach. Holiday reading is the best.
Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
I read this over Christmas and it was a perfect easy-reading holiday pick. The way Reichl writes about the food made me hungry most of the time, and while I predicted bits and pieces of the plot, I really enjoyed how the story unfolded.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
As part of my 27 before 28 list, I want to read 10 books off this list*. I picked this book as my next read with no real idea what it was about and, to tell the truth, my decision was based purely on a passing conversation about the name ‘Algernon’ with friends (it means ‘with moustaches’ – isn’t that hilarious?!). It’s sci-fi, which I don’t typically read, but oh, it was good. Moving and clever and though-provoking and I read the entire thing in a 24 hour period.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My sister-in-law sent this over for us and it’s the first real, printed-on-paper book I’ve read in ages. It took me awhile to get into it, but then I could certainly see why it was so well-received. Gritty and so well-written and heart breaking and very British.
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
I’m not sure what I was expecting with this one, but I was slightly let down. I read it after heading a podcast interview with Barrymore, who came across really well – witty and articulate and thoughtful. My expectations were probably a little too high then when I started the book, but it was a quick and easyish read.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (reread)
It had been quite awhile since I’d last read The Happiness Project, but I enjoyed it again all the same, a definitefavourite. It always makes me reflect on my own life and the things that both bring me happiness and those that try to take it away, and perhaps with all the added ‘opmh’ of it being a new year, it inspired me again to shape 2016 in the best possible ways.
Also, I love how vocal Rubin is about the joys of ‘rereading’. I never used to ‘reread’ books, in some strange effort to grow the total number of books I’d read, rather than enjoy all over again the ones I love. Now I am a proud re-reader, even if Will does tease me about always seeming to read the same book!
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
I’m a huge fan of Gawande’s ‘The Checklist Manifesto’ and had heard good things about Being Mortal. He has such a smart and accessible way of writing! Perhaps I shouldn’t have read this on our relaxing beach holiday – it is heavy and, at times, sad, and because it touches on issues so relevant to us all it was hard to keep some emotional distance. But like all good books it made me think deeply about life, and death, and it’s definitely worth the read.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Another pick from the Rory Gilmore list. I’m glad I read it and at times I enjoyed it (actually perhaps enjoy isn’t the right word – I marvelled at it? I’ve never read anything so long with so few paragraph breaks!), but I know nothing of Colombia’s history so the entire metaphor went right over my head. It was epic, however, and I was often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of activity and description in the story.