A Reflection on Reading, 2018 – Daniel Boone Regional Library

A Reflection on Reading, 2018

book being read near window

It has been another stellar year of reading. I love looking back at what I have read and analyzing the various books and the tangents that I went on for the year.

I overshot my goal of 100 by just a little — I managed to read 170. I was all prepared to be really impressed with myself but when I took a closer look it just means that I read shorter books than last year. For example, the shortest book I read was a book that my daughter brought back to me from her visit to Atlantis Books in Greece called “Unpacking My Library” by Walter Benjamin. It was a slight 23 pages long. And the longest book I read was “Mencken: The American Iconoclast” by Marion Elizabeth Rogers at 662 pages, which is still about 300-400 pages shorter than my longest books for previous years.

Our library took part in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge for 2018 and so, of course, I couldn’t resist. I even took the challenge a step farther in reading only books by women in the hopes that I might get a little closer reading at least half of my total books for the year by women. How did I do with that goal? I read 110 books by women!!! That is my first time ever breaking (or really even getting near to) this goal of reading 50% by women authors. And how has that affected me overall? I have to admit that I have much less patience for old white men now. I hope to keep this trend of reading more women up in the coming year and I’m already planning out my Read Harder Challenge for 2019.

The Little Prince book cover

Dear Fahrenheit 451 book cover

I still managed to read broadly through time with many books from before I was born such as “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf, and “Excellent Women” by Barbara Pym. But a large portion (58) of the books I read were published this year. There were only a handful of books that I felt compelled to actually own including, “Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too” by Jomny Sun, “Educated” by Tara Westover, “In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills” by Jennifer Haupt, “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Anne Fowler, and “Dear Fahrenheit 451” by Annie Spence.

Leadership book coverLooking over the topics in my reading list, it’s obvious that I have continued to be worried about politics and the state of the country, as well as racial issues. I have tried to understand the present by learning more about the past with books like “Leadership in Turbulent Times” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and “Impeachment: An American History” by Jeffrey A. Engel. I have also tried to figure out my part of the racial imbalance in our country with books like “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo and “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” by Carol Anderson. And then I have tried to figure out what’s next and what can be done with books like “How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals” by Sy Montgomery, “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think” by Hans Rosling and “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels” by Jon Meacham.How to be a Good Creature book cover

I have made a list of my FAVORITE books read for the year if you would like to take a peek. I don’t know where next year’s reading will take me but I know it will take me through a lot of excellent books, and I’m excited to go there! You can join me at the library for the 2019 Read Harder Challenge and we can journey together.

2 thoughts on “A Reflection on Reading, 2018”

  1. Great reading list! My favorites, this year, are also Educated by Tara Westover, Leadership in Turbulent Times and, of course, Becoming by Michelle Obama!! These were among novels by Alexander McCall Smith, John Grisham, Donna Leon, etc. etc. etc.

    1. I just saw this comment (it’s been a very busy year already.) I just finished reading Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” a couple of weeks ago and it will be on my list of favorites read this year. I have been meaning to read Alexander McCall Smith and still haven’t gotten to them but maybe I can fit them in soon!

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