Not enough books!

I haven’t read enough books this year! I know this because I read this post by an author who said she had read a whopping 81 books as well as finishing her second novel and having a baby. I was impressed but also pretty sure that I hadn’t read anywhere near that many, so I must have been either very lazy or very busy. Let’s go with very busy…

This set me to the task of trying to work out how many books I HAVE actually read this year and I can tell you truthfully that it’s closer to two dozen than 81. I was feeling a bit like an under-achiever until I worked out that this is two books a month, which is not too shabby and also doesn’t take into account the many books that I started but didn’t finish because they were boring, too long-winded or just didn’t grab my attention for some reason. It also doesn’t include books I’ve read but forgotten about already, but in my view, if you can’t remember the plot line of a book then it probably isn’t worth counting.

I realise that it’s not important how many books you’ve read, but how much enjoyment they’ve given you. So instead of impressing you with my amazing reading prowess, I thought I would just pass on a few recommendations about books I actually finished and enjoyed as well.

Top of my list would be The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood. This book tells the story of a 100 year old Lithuanian woman who meets an 11 year old boy obsessed with the Guinness Book of Records. I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did as I’m not always keen on books about old people, but this really is a charming book. It’s message is that it’s never too late to strive for something.

Other books I enjoyed were:

Before we visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. This is a cross generational and cross cultural book about mothers and daughters facing obstacles and making wise and sometimes foolish choices.

Station Eleven by Hilary St John Mandel. This is a science fiction book that I made my book group read despite their reservations. This post- apocalyptic novel tells the story of a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. I really enjoyed this book and so did my book group!

Extinctions by Josephine Wilson. Another book about old people! What’s going on here?  I read this book mainly because it won the Miles Franklin Literary Award and also because it was written by a West Australian which is where I’m from. And although it’s about old people, it’s also above love, secrets and coming to terms with your past. It also features the work of some iconic designers and it made me happy to think that I actually knew who these people were.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. This is a book for people who like reading books about people who like reading books. It’s not especially profound and is based on a very unlikely premise, but it’s also as comforting as a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winters day.

I could go on and on, but I’m really interested in your recommendations for books I should read in 2018. I already have a TBR list but I’m happy to add more books. There’s never enough time to read all the books on my list so a few extra won’t hurt.

4 Comments

  1. Since I started recording my reading in 2013, I find that I also read around 25 books a year and I think that is OK. Here are some stats from this year: Of the 25, 22 were fiction, 2 memoir and 1 non-fiction (you can see my preferences); 5 were by US authors, 11 UK, 7 Australian, 1 Canadian, 1 Dutch (translated). Fourteen were female authors and 11 male. I started rating my books this year and my favourites were: Remarkable Creatures (Tracy Chevalier) recommended by my daughter and I really like this writer’s interpretation of actual historical events; We are all Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler) a somewhat biographical story about a chimp raised as a member of the family; No matter what (Sally Donovan) nf title about adopting; All the light we cannot see (Anthony Doerr) set in wartime France – just loved this and lastly, Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell) recommended by my son although he wasn’t sure I would like it – a complex and difficult novel (really a set of interconnected short stories) but really worth the effort.

    1. I also loved “All the light we cannot see” and “ We are all completely besides ourselves” but didn’t include them because I think I read them the year before last (2016). I must try keeping better records! I’m planning to read more short stories this year and will give “Remarkable Creatures” a whirl on your recommendation. I’m glad to hear that 25 books is a more realistic number. Quality not quantity is what counts and as I mentioned, my abondment rate is high, but often through sheer laziness.

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