In an effort to stave off some of the malaise referenced in my last post, I made a conscious effort today to do absolutely nothing. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but I certainly didn’t do anything strenuous, and I only left the house to pick up Chinese food for the family for dinner. It was beautiful.
Part of my recuperative process was to spend some time this afternoon reading. Ian McEwan’s Atonement has been on my “to-read” list for the better part of a decade now, and I finally got around to starting it today. As I often do, I popped into my Goodreads account to add it to my list. I don’t know if this is a new feature or I just haven’t noticed it, but under My Books, there is a link called Stats, that slices your logged reading habits a number of interesting ways: by books read in a year, number of pages read in a year, and books read by year of publication (my re-reading of Dante’s Inferno really skewed that cluster).
Turns out I read 11 books in 2015, which averages out to a little less than one per month. I’ll take it, but I think that moving forward I’d like to get at least 12 in per year (for comparison’s sake, I had 12 in 2014 and 16 each year in 2013 and 2012 – that’s as far back as my stats go). I was a precocious reader, reading by or before my third birthday, and voraciously so – very few things in my entire life have brought me as much joy, entertainment, knowledge, or peace as reading. I am a regular patron of my local library, both for myself and for my kids, and while I don’t particularly like to spend money on books (because I’m
cheap frugal no seriously totally cheap and that’s what libraries are for), once a year I treat myself and load up my Kindle Paperwhite with about $100 worth of books to read on our annual family vacation. Perhaps a conscious, deliberate effort to read more needs to be a part of my personal restorative process moving forward into 2016.
In no particular order, these are the books I read in 2015:
- Building School 2.0, by Chris Lehmann and Zac Chase
- The Mis-Education of the Negro, by Carter G. Woodson
- Johnny Got his Gun, by Dalton Trumbo
- Experience & Education, by John Dewey
- What Great Principals Do Differently, by Todd Whitaker
- Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
- The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil, by Bill Sprouse
- So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson
- The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
- The Naughty Nineties: Football’s Coming Home?, by Martin King and Martin Knight
- Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
As for 2016, I’m starting strong with Atonement and Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez’s Invent to Learn. Also in the mix: a sci-fi classic that I had to put down when school started and I never got going again – Frank Herbert’s Dune.
Feel free to check out the neat infographic Goodreads put together of my year in review, and if you have a Goodreads account, I’d love to see what your year in reading looked like as well.