In 2009 I started tracking what I read. I wanted to become more intentional about my reading. I am (was?), after all, an English literature major and I discovered that I had been reading less and less and wanted to kick start it.So, I set a New Year’s resolution (a rare thing for me) to read at least eight books a year.
I also discovered when talking with folks about reading sometimes I wouldn’t be sure if I’d read a book in the discussion. So decided I’d keep track of what I read. Plus I love lists so a spreadsheet was right in my wheel house.
In the first four years (2009 – 2012) I read between 11 and 14 books a year. In 2013 I started commuting on the bus and my reading blew up. Having over an hour a day to read, I read 28 books in 2013 and 33 this past year.
- Book count: 33
- Author count: 25
- Fiction: 21
- Non Fiction: 13 (sub sections have some overlap)
- History: 8
- War: 8
- Theology: 2
- Science: 2
- Biography: 1
- Photography: 1
- Average rating: 3.73
- Favorite: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout.
- Runner up: After This by Elizabeth Strout.
Reviewing my list I see that I’m kind of an easy grade. I’m picky about my reading and won’t pick up anything that I suspect will be bad; after all I’m doing this for fun not a job. Plus, I found a few fantastic authors – Alice McDermott and Elizabeth Strout – so that will trend the average up.
By the end of the year I realized I read mostly fiction and war history and wanted to mix it up so I made a conscious effort to get out of my comfort zone and read some science books. They were good but my passion is great fiction where you can get inside someone’s head and see life from another perspective for an extended period of time.
I wanted to include links to my book reports but the limited HTML table functionality in WordPress doesn’t allow that. I suggest you go here to see a list of what I’ve blogged.
|Jesus: The Human Face of God||Jay Parini||***||Non Fiction||Theology, History|
|The Shipping News||Annie Proulx||****||Fiction|
|An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943||Rick Atkinson||****||Non Fiction||History, WWII|
|How Right You Are, Jeeves||P.G. Wodehose||****||Fiction|
|Improve Your Photography: How Budding Photographers Can Get Pro Results||Jim Harmer||***||Non Fiction||Photography|
|From Here to Eternity||James Jones||***||Fiction||War, WWII|
|The Goldfinch||Donna Tartt||***||Fiction|
|The Bully Pulpit||Doris Kearns Goodwin||****||Biography|
|Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves||P.G. Wodehouse||****||Fiction||Humor|
|The Martian||Andy Weir||****||Fiction||Science Fiction|
|The Last Kind Words Saloon||Larry McMurtry||***||Fiction|
|Jeeves and the Tie That Binds||P.G. Wodehouse||****||Fiction|
|The Luminaries||Eleanor Catton||****||Fiction||Historical|
|Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The U.S. Marines Finest Hour in Vietnam||Gregg Jones||****||Non Fiction||History, Vietnam, War|
|The Secret Life of Bees||Sue Monk Kidd||****||Fiction|
|All the Light We Cannot See||Anthony Doerr||*****||Fiction||War,WWII|
|Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen||P.G. Wodehouse||***||Fiction||Humor|
|1776||David McCullough||****||Non Fiction||US History, Revolutionary War|
|The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street||Susan Jane Gilman||***||Fiction|
|Dispatches||Michael Herr||****||Non Fiction||Vietnam War|
|The Burgess Boys||Elizabeth Strout||*****||Fiction|
|The Book Thief||Markus Zusak||*****||Fiction||War|
|The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-1944||Rick Atkinson||****||Non Fiction||War, WWII|
|Amy and Isabelle||Elizabeth Strout||*****||Fiction|
|The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven||Sherman Alexie||***||Fiction|
|After This||Alice McDermott||****||Fiction|
|Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex||Mary Roach||**||Non Fiction||Science|
|The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, From One to Infinity||Steven Strogatz||****||Non Fiction||Math|
|A Different Kind of Christmas: Living and Giving ike Jesus – Devotionsi for the Season||Mike Slaughter||**||Non Fiction||Theology|
|Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void||Mary Roach||***||Non Fiction||Science|
|A Christmas Carol||Charles Dickens||****||Fiction||Christmas|
Now that I’m retired I most likely won’t hit 30 books this year- no commute time and I have many other interests to consume my time; but I still plan to average a book every 6 weeks to reach my original goal of eight.