(For the past five years, I’ve used Reverb10 prompts to give myself a question to answer every day of December. It’s a great way to reflect on the year and set goals for the future. For 2015 I combined my love of tarot with the Reverb questions, matching my favorite questions to the 22 Major Arcana cards in the deck.)
JUDGEMENT. Favorite book. Favorite movie. Favorite song. Favorite TV show. Get all Oprah with it. Make list of favorite things.
This year I want to list the books I read. They are in rough order, with a judgement after.
Transatlantic by Column McCann – Meh. This is what paved the way for the end for my participation in Book Club.
Roots by Alex Haley – finished it this year, on paper after listening to it on car trips, so it counts. Loved it. Hope to never read it again. So hard to read about such injustice and pain.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenedies – picked this up on tape as I felt I should read it. Loved it. Bought the book. Will absolutely read it again.
Provonce 1970: M. F. K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste by Luke Barr. Read this on vacation. Fun fluff. A dishy creative non-fiction retelling of the relationship between great foodies.
Kafka by the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Yuck. Ok. Did not finish this. No more Book Club. Life is too short for boring books.
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. Listened to it on a car trip – read by the author. Hysterical.
The Dragonriders of Pern Trilogy: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey. I also re-read the prequel Dragonsdawn. Fabulous sci-fi with dragons. A nice counterpoint / palate cleanser in between all the literary books of the year.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. I picked this up at one of the camps on vacation and loved it so much I took it with me despite the extra weight. I devoured it. It’s wonderful – heartbreaking and enthralling. Oddly, I end up reading novels of India when I travel. I have zero desire to go to India. Also, this was the book my new hire was reading, which was a nice coincidence.
The Circle by Dave Eggers. Overrated. I know this is supposed to be dark humor. And it is. But the main character wasn’t a character. It was a fiction book written to make a non-fiction point. Didactic and contrived.
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. This one will stay with me. A re-read for sure. A dark twist on a fairy tale about three women and their nemesis – or was she their savior?
Independent People by Haldor Laxness. The most famous Icelandic novel. A book I read about, and then stumbled across immediately so I took it as a sign that I had to read it. I’ve started it at least five time. Finally read it all the way through this year. Literature. A slog. Worthwhile only if I actually go to Iceland.
The Wisdom of Your Dreams by Jeremy Taylor. Got me to start a serious dream journal and inspired an upcoming series of posts on the blog. Worth it, but only if you are woo-woo like me.
Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Makes us Happier by Robert A Emmons. A skim. But a nice skim. Practicing gratitude really can change you. Lead to some great discussions between my husband and I.
The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. BEST THING I READ ALL YEAR. I picked it up in a ‘free books’ box and was stunned. If they started a cult I’d join it. Completely transformed how I look at a few things in my life with simple, mind-blowing exercises. I’ll be posting about this in the future.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Interesting but not earth shattering, as I am an introvert and proud of it. A worthwhile read if you are an introvert or live with one.
Kindred by Octavia Butler. Disappointing. I hate saying that! Parable of the Sower is in my top 10 favorites of all time. I love the author’s work, and the concept of a modern-day African American woman time traveling to the South pre-Civil war, but the writing was not up to her standards and it was distracting.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. A let-down. Again, I love the author. The Secret History is another top 10. But this was too long, and too dark, and went places I didn’t quite believe.
19 books! Wow. And that doesn’t even include the ones I started and put down after a few pages like The Dud Avocado and The Earth Abides.