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.



4 comments:

Karen DeBaun said...

Paul...you inspired me to keep my own list of books read in 2014....and I'll do so again for 2015. Read 19 books total. At least now when people ask me what I've been reading...I'll have a list to refer to when my mind goes blank!

Nancy Holte said...

I knew you had read a book about a survivor and liked it so when I saw "Soul Survivor" come up for free on Kindle I bought it. It was okay, but not exactly worthy of raving about. Now I see the problem; "Lone Survivor," NOT "Soul Survivor." I could have saved all kinds of time!

smilingpaul said...

Karen-Good to hear. I love seeing what I've read and being able to pull it up for people who need suggestions.

Mom-Lone Survivor was awesome too...there's a movie in case you don't have time to read it. ;-)

The Lysser said...

Labor Day was a great read. I believe the author was former girlfriend of JD Salinger. My recommendations are: Unbroken, Pillars of the Earth, and All the Light We Cannot See.