My Year of Reading

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On this, the final day of 2019, as is my custom, I am looking back on my reading. I appear to have read 214 books, a mix of fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. According to the stats at Goodreads the shortest work was Eric Zawadzki’s Eternal and the longest, at 1008 pages, was The Books of Earthsea. The most popular work I read was Tara Westover’s Educated with the least being the just-released audiobook The Half-Life of Madame Curie. I apparently was a harsh critic with an average rating of 3.7 for the works read in 2019.

American Spy.jpgAmerican Spy.jpg

Like always, I read new authors and really liked Lauren Wilkinson’s American Spy much more than the overly hyped Normal People by Sally Rooney. Perhaps my favorite of the new works is Madeline Miller’s Circe. I also finally got around to 2011’s darling Swamplandia which I found more depressing than satisfying. A more pleasant surprise was David Benioff’s City of Thieves.

I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Circe author Madeline Miller at NCTE in November.I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Circe author Madeline Miller at NCTE in November.

I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Circe author Madeline Miller at NCTE in November.

I tried to keep up with my friends’ work including Laura Anne Gilman’s Gabriel’s Road in her Devil’s West series and David Mack’s terribly underrated Iron Codex in his Dark Arts trilogy. Speaking of series, I read a ton of Star Trek books, mostly by pals, and can’t seem to keep up, entertaining as they are.

In nonfiction, I greatly enjoyed Jill Lepore’s These Truths as well as J. Michael Straczynski’s harrowing Becoming Superman.

The last book of the year is Cham Potok’s The Chosen, a new work to me but one I will be teaching in the fourth quarter. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

The graphic novels are how I’ve been reading most comics these days and a few times a year I make an effort to find non-superheroic fare to sample. Here, I enjoyed Gaby Dunn’s Bury the Lede and Jason Lutes’ Berlin. And I loved George Takei’s graphic memoir They Called us Enemy.

They Called us Enemy.jpgThey Called us Enemy.jpg

I can barely keep up with the Washington Post or the magazines (Time, Entertainment Weekly, Smithsonian, Vanity Fair) but make a valiant effort every day.

What will 2020 hold? The To Be Read shelves at home, on my Kindle and Want to Read list are bursting so we’ll see. Right now, I am listening to N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, which Deb enjoyed and recommended. I haven’t delved into serious SF in a while and it took a little adjusting, but I am enjoying this. So, for dog walking and driving, listening to The Broken Earth trilogy will fill the beginning of the year. On the Kindle it will likely be The Testaments.

So many books, so little time…

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