Yeah, yeah, yeah: Last year I read 137 books. What have I done lately?
In January 2013 I managed to read 14 books. If I keep up that pace I’ll be reading 168 books this year. So whatever I learned last year and poured into my booklet 137 Books in One Year, it works.
Reading what you love is still great advice. The books I loved last month I flew through. One was 766 pages, but I read it in a few days. If you love it, the length doesn’t matter (the opposite is also true: The 550-page The Book Thief took me about a week because I didn’t love it).
Finding good books is important. A lot of my favorites this month were suggestions from Adam Shields (who I interviewed in 137 Books in One Year). I also stuck to favorite authors (Anne Lamott, Madeleine L’Engle, John Scalzi, David Levithan) and favorite genres (space-focused sci-fi, post-apocalyptic sci-fi).
Libraries are awesome. Ten of 14 books came from the library. And eight of those I requested. Learn how to use your library to get the most out of it.
Here are my favorite reads from the past month:
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – A time traveling love story sounds nerdy, but it’s head- and heart-spinning. A celebration of love against all challenges, even time. It’s likely this will be my favorite book of 2013 (yes, a bold claim to make on February 4, but I’ll bet it easily makes the top 5, if not the top spot).
- The Passage by Justin Cronin – A post- (and pre-) apocalyptic vampire novel that’s told in incredible detail (adding up to an overwhelming 766 pages). It was thrilling and suspenseful, addicting like a Stephen King novel (though not quite as bloody). It took a little bit to get used to the intricate prose, which often gave way more detail than necessary, but it also jumped around and kept the plot moving.
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi – This one takes the premise of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, inserts old people as the soldiers and runs with it. A fun idea and thoroughly enjoyable.
- Redshirts by John Scalzi – An entire novel based on what happens when the expendable “Redshirts” of the original Star Trek TV series figure out how expendable they are. The set up alone is worth a mention here. The follow through isn’t bad.
- Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott – This trippy Jesus follower breaks down prayer in a way that only she could. Short, sweet and a nice kick in the pants. Plus, it avoids some of her neurosis that can get a little old.
- Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle -Finally, I gave a re-read to one of my favorite books. Such a great exploration of faith and child-like wonder and how an artist creates and what it means to be a person of faith creating stuff (of course she’s a little more eloquent than that).
Be sure to grab your copy of 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading. (Insider tip: It’ll be free Feb. 5-7!)
Here’s the full list for January 2013:
- Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
- Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle
- The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
- Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
- Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
- Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle
- Feed by M.T. Anderson
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- The Passage by Justin Cronin
- Redshirts by John Scalzi
- First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci
- Every You, Every Me by David Levithan
What have your read lately?