Wednesday, January 07, 2015

To Read or Not to Read

I clearly suck at this whole blogging thing. I used to write something two or three times per month. Then I got married and it went to once a month. Then we had a kid and it went to once every other month. I don’t know what happened last year but I can tell you this, I promise to write more than twice a year ... or I’m going to give up altogether. You’ll have to check back to see how that goes.

Like last year, I thought I’d publish a list of all the books I read and my recommendation on what you should and shouldn’t read this year. I read 18 books this year, which was one more than 2013. Here’s the list:

1. Extreme Measures - Vince Flynn
2. Labor Day - Joyce Maynard
3. Lone Survivor - Marcus Luttrell
4. The Aviator’s Wife - Melanie Benjamin
5. Be Real, Because Fake is Exhausting - Rick Bezet
6. The Quest - Nelson Demille
7. Your Divine Fingerprint - Keith Craft
8. Forever, Interrupted - Taylor Jenkins Reid
9. 12 years a Slave - Solomon Northrup
10. First Love - James Patterson
12. Killing Jesus - Bill O’Reilly
13. PS, I Love You - Cecelia Ahern
14. Always Looking Up - Michael J Fox
15. If I Stay - Gayle Foreman
16. American Sniper - Chris Kyle
17. Portrait of a Spy - Daniel Silvia
18. The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe
19. Writing Fiction - Gotham Writer’s Workshop

You might have noticed a pattern in the list. I alternated between fiction and non-fiction books this year which definitely forced me to read more non-fiction than I was used to. I’m happy to say I feel a little smarter because of it.

If I had to recommend one of both, Labor Day was probably my favorite novel of the year. The movie, however, didn’t live up to the writing. My favorite non-fiction was American Sniper. I have high hopes that the film will live up to the book.

For 2015, I saw this list and think I might try to follow it:

1. A book you own but haven’t read.
2. A book that was made into a movie.
3. A book you pick solely because of the cover.
4. A book your friend loves.
5. A book published this year.
6. A book by an author you’ve never read before.
7. A book by an author you love.
8. A book at the bottom of your “to be read” pile.
9. A book with a color in the title.
10. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.
11. A book you started but never finished.
12. A book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe.
13. A book with a female heroin.
14. A book set in the summer.
15. A book of poems.
16. A book you learned about because of this challenge.
17. A book that will make you smarter.
18. A book with a blue cover.
19. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t.
20. A book “everyone” but you has read.
21. A book with a great first line.
22. A book with pictures.
23. A book from the library.
24. A book you loved, read it again.
25. A book that is more than 10 years old.
26.  A book based on a true story.

As far as books I don’t recommend, well, I’ll let Jimmy do the talking.