Friday, January 13, 2017

7 Books I Want to Read in 2017~ & Reading More (Without a Superiority Complex)



Every year at this time, my brain shuts down and I become a miserable wreck, worried that nothing appeals to me, and that I will resign myself to reading nothing except Shakespeare in the coming year. I start to worry that I should be spending more time doing other things.... x,y, or z. And then I remembered the old saying that you should ask a busy person if you need something done. Sometimes I can speed through two easy reads in a day, or at most, a weekend. And I know that just like last year that when I have a moment ... what will I do? I will pick up a book and read it, like I always do.

I hope this doesn't sound like advice, but sharing advice between friends in my experience is normal part of life and friendship. It is more my attempt to articulate to myself how others achieve their goals. How do full-time parents do a masters? How do full-time working parents find time for anything besides kids and earning money?

But even when we start to read *more*, (and this is an aside) isn't it so easy to feel like we are above people because we read "this, not that"? I feel that struggle palpably.  But parenting is the best cure for thinking I'm above people. If I'm talking down to them (or anyone!) I've got the wrong mindset at the outset. Reading also *should* take us down a few notches. The wider our world becomes, the more self-aware we become about how shielded, protected, and/or superior we can be in our ignorance.;)  Formal education- whenever the swooping in to help comes, even if it is college- might be the answer in this case. I'm not sure. I personally love to have the ability to pick what I want to read, and I think it makes me want to read more. However, I am saying that after being forced to read required reading throughout high school and college. I think it depends on the family (and the philosophy;). I know I'll be referencing this reading challenge quite a bit.

I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou this past year- a book that many colleges require for graduation. I would read all classics and multicultural if I could. #fangirl Overall, though, I've had to tone down (or should I say broaden?) my genres to the ones I know I'll love and will tear through like, I don't know something like...


dis;)  lol

 I'm hoping for books that are not fluffy, but feel-good in a not-dumb kind of way. I love foodie books, modern novels, multicultural fiction/memoir, spiritual memoir, classics, and just anything that falls in to the really well-written category.

And so that being said, here are the books I'm deliberately putting on my wishlist and hoping to read in 2017.  Of course, I'm really excited about what will be coming out this year. But these are the ones I've put on backlog and I've been hoping to read ASAP. I have recently discovered kirkusreviews.com (via the recommendation of a friend/cousin on fb) and it is the best place ever to find book recommendations.... next to goodreads and whatever is on sale on kindle! ;-)
Ok, now I'm excited....

Fiction:

-Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

This classic just keeps popping on my radar! It sounds like an appealing literary foray, and for some reason it is coming back and making the rounds. I have to admit, I'm curious! I want to join in on that conversation. ;) classics

-Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Although it wasn't my favorite book I'd read all year, I enjoyed her debut, Where'd You Go, Bernadette and I'm interested in this, from what I've heard about it so far.  Semple has a self-aware style that really appeals to me. She doesn't sugar-coat anything, and she is really honest about Seattle culture at large. When it comes to pop culture (current day culture), I like being in the know for up-and-coming authors, and this is one way I'm keeping my dipped toe in that water. modern fiction

-Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Again, this keeps popping up and I admit, I'm interested. I've heard it is just really well written and has a lot of wisdom to offer. I think the themes of Southern lostness and life will resonate.  Wallace Stegner has been on my TBR for over a year, but I have yet to read anything he has written. I hope to remedy that with this book. modern fiction

Nonfiction:

-Roots and Sky by Christie Purifoy

I love a good spiritual memoir, and this one seems like something I would totally love! Several of my favorite authors have endorsed this book, which is what led me down this trail and to this book.  I'm trying to add more in this genre, and I hope this fits with my taste ok. spiritual memoir

-Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

I'm super interested in this foodie memoir. I never expect that anything will surpass my very favorite book in this genre though:  Cooking for Mr. Latte-- read, read, read it! ((It is so good and NY Times food critic Amanda Hesser will have you hooked on foodie. I hope)) Lunch in Paris will scratch my itch to find another amazing memoir in this genre. Oh... and get me out of my own little world! Which is always good! ;) foodie memoir

-Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

I heard of a couple of people I know who were reading this, then I read a review of it in First Things (we get the print magazine), and from there on, I was very interested to read it.  I grew up in the South among a mix of Northerners and those of (higher class) English descent. I married into a family that does indeed have its roots in the Scots-Irish people of the Knoxville "hills."  I know first-hand a little bit about the hill culture, and/but I hope this book illuminates my Southern heritage and especially, the one I married into ;) spiritual/cultural memoir

Other: (for-fun rereads)

-The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Ok, this is fiction, too. But I'm putting it in its own category, because it's a special one! ;) I put out a call on Facebook for help with finding books to read in the New Year. A friend mentioned this as being her favorite book of all time. I remember loving it so hard when I was reading it in high school, so I'm hoping to reread it sometime this year. ;-) classics/modern fiction

Books I'm Strongly Considering (But Still on the Fence About)
-The Hypnotists’ Love Story by Liane Moriarty 
-My Brilliant Friend by  Elena Ferrante 
-Outlander by Diana Gabaldon all modern fiction
-The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell nonfiction

Do you have any strong feelings about the above four books? I have heard mixed reviews, so I haven't gone completely sold.  I have joined the Reading Challenge over at Goodreads for the year, and I've signed up for 60 books. We'll see how it goes! I'm hoping to up the ante on my Summer reading and hopefully that will push me over the top! ;-)

What are *you* reading this year?

Psssst: No, I'm not selling anything. But, here's a question. Do you want to read more? I jotted down some quick, non-bossy tips for those of you looking for inspiration in all the right places....

-Read on road trips
~and if you don't *go* on road trips, do it! they are so much fun.
-Read when you have time at night
~after the kiddos go to bed, instead of binge-watching episodes of netflix, read!
-Read at the kids' nap time
~if you don't need a nap yourself, read!
-Read when you have babysitters or grandparent help
~we hired a babysitter to come during ballet so that I can take the girls and guess what I do during their lesson? read! Also, I must admit that we have the best parents because both sides have offered to take our kids for the weekend and what should you do? read!
-Finally, read when boredom strikes 
~ all of those little moments and snatches of time add up... read! do it! ;)
(yes, even standing in line at the grocery store!) or just when you have a need to sit down for a few minutes (yes, even sitting in the bathroom or waiting in car line for school pick-up!;)

I actually do not read everyday, otherwise I think I would be able to read a bunch more than I do. I feel the need to take breaks between books, and I am so inspired by others in the blogosphere who never seem to need to take breaks. I don't know how they do it, truly.

For inspiration check out: 9 Tips For Squeezing More Reading Time Out of Your Day @ Goodreads

I think the best advice is to pick books you know you will devour. If your goal is to read more, pay attention-- not-- to what genres others tell you that you should read, but what you really, really like yourself. Write down the genres that keep popping up in your list of TBR and pay attention, because you are more likely to read more of the same, on down the road!
For similar posts, check out my list of 7 books I want to read, from last January.

4 comments:

Susan C. said...

Rebecca became one of my favourites the instant I read it. It may not be as sophisticated as My Cousin Rachel, but the plot is more compelling. Having said that, it is much more clever than it seems on the surface (can you tell I'm an English major?!). I know that sounds cryptic, but I'm trying to to give the plot away :)

Tacy said...

I'm excited about reading it!
Have you read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings? So many wonderful discussions surrounding that book. ;)

Cristina said...

I love Rebecca. I read it as an assignment in school where we had to read one of our parents' favorite books �� I've also got Hillbilly Elegy on my list after reading that same article. Such an interesting perspective ��

Tacy said...

Yay for First Things magazine!

And I'm excited about Rebecca. I enjoyed your booklist this year!
;-)