For the first post in #AMonthofFaves, bloggers are taking a look at their reading year and discussing all things bookish – how many books they read, genre breakdowns, books that moved them, books they hated – admittedly, I kept much better track of the books I read, and participated in more challenges and reading discussions, before I had kids. This year has been particularly difficult in terms of reading since our relocation to Toledo and everything that has happened since (including a very recent ER trip for my husband due to an undiagnosed allergy). I’ve done an awful job even of updating my “reading” widget on the sidebar.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading – frankly, reading and exercise are the two things that sustain me through good times and bad. So, my reading year. I gravitated toward large books – books I could lose myself in for days, or even weeks, at a time. I began the year reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, a book I was so moved by I actually did blog about it! This book broke my heart time and time again but the conclusion was so exquisite – so perfectly perfect and satisfying, that it was really hard to follow up with another book! I chose the second book in the Outlander trilogy – Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, and while I wasn’t sure at the beginning if it was going to be as strong as the first book, I didn’t need to worry. It was wonderful to spend time with Claire and Jamie as a married couple, and even though the second installment wasn’t quite as action packed as the first book, it was still remarkably engaging. It’s now a tradition for me to spend part of my January with Claire and Jamie and I’m looking forward to the third book in early 2016.
After Dragonfly in Amber Sam began interviewing with his current employer, and my reading was somewhat hit or miss for a long time as I prepared my kids for the relocation. I read Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please on my tablet and really enjoyed learning more about her – she is fierce and mighty – and I read a couple of mindless murder mysteries as well. Since I’ve been in Toledo, I’ve immersed myself in the first two books of Gregory Isle’s trilogy about the long history of racial violence in the deep south, Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree, breaking them up with Meg Wolitzer’s The Ten Year Nap. Isle’s novels have fully engrossed me, and, on top of my utterly predictable obsession with the music from the new play “Hamilton,” have reignited my old love of American history.
Over the course of my life, I’ve found that some of the books I remember the most clearly are the ones I read during periods of illness and recovery, and this continues to hold true. I read Natchez Burning while I was quite ill mid-fall with bronchitis, and every detail of the book remains so clear to me. I wonder if it’s because I read more slowly or intentionally? Or do I limit other distractions? I’m not sure, but it would be great to have the same kind of experience with the books I read while entirely well.
At any rate, this pretty well summarizes my bookish year! I didn’t read a lot, but I read great books, and reading remains one of the constants in my life – I am so grateful for it. And I’m moderately hopeful for a bit more reading in 2016, so if you have any suggestions for me, be sure to let me know!