Monday, January 13, 2014

Reading, Writing . . . and Publishing?

A guy I know reads 100 books a year. He is the president of a huge company and flies almost more than I do. So, at the beginning of last year I made it a goal to read 100 books. I didn't think it'd be that hard. I work about four trips per month and each time I go to work it involves six hours of flying back and forth, not to mention the hours and hours I sit around waiting for my trip to start, or the long layovers where I'm laying by the ocean. So, 100 books should have been a piece of cake, right? Wrong.

How many books did I read in 2013? Drum roll please............seventeen. Eighteen if you count the one I started in late December and finished in early January. Seventeen freaking books. Not great, but more than a lot of people. Here's the comprehensive list and then I'll tell you which one I liked the most:

1. Kill Shot - Vince Flynn
2. Dear John - Nicholas Sparks
3. East of Denver - Gregory Hill
4. Protect & Defend - Vince Flynn
5. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
6. Out of Mormonism - Judy Robertson
7. The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
8. Where We Belong - Emily Giffin
9. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
10. The Light Between Oceans - ML Stedman
11. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Nathaniel Philbrick
12. A Sport & A Pastime - James Salter
13. Wild - Cheryl Strayed
14. The Hunters - James Salter
15. The History of Love - Nicole Krauss
16. The Panther - Nelson Demille
17. The Longest Ride - Nicholas Sparks

You may be asking yourself, "Why are there so many 'guy books' and so many 'chick books'?" That's easy, I'm a lover . . . and a fighter. But which book was my favorite? Without a doubt, The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman. This debut novel about a lighthouse keeper living on Janus Rock, an island west of Australia, after WWI is by far one of my favorite novels. The premise of the story is that while on a leave from the island, the lighthouse keeper falls in love with a woman. After unsuccessfully trying to have a baby, one day a rowboat washes up onshore. In it, is a dead man and a living three-month-old baby. While they should really report it, they ultimately decide to keep the infant for themselves, which of course is where the story begins.

My goal for 2014 is not necessarily to read 100 books, or even 50 books . . . but to increase the quality of books I read, especially in the non-fiction genre.

And maybe finally get my novel published. One can dream.