What are you reading this year?

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What’s on your reading list? I have yet to work out my whole to-be-read (TBR) list for this year. I did set my goal at 48 books, slightly fewer than last year’s 52. Yes, I know I didn’t make 52 last year, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not optimistic!

I’ve recently finished Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance, and Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon.

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I told you all that my husband bought me Hillbilly Elegy for Christmas. Since I finished it, I’ve read what seems like hundreds of reviews of it on Goodreads. While it’s kind of difficult to find reviews of the book that don’t include someone’s opinion on politics (and I am not going there), there are some interesting discussions. I rarely write book reviews, but read a lot of them. I can tell you that I enjoyed the book while I often hated the story. Mr. Vance has a story to tell, that of his life and his kin. His story explains many things, especially about a people group that is largely overlooked. It is, in many ways, sad and challenging. But it is also a story of triumph. I can’t really tell you much more than that without giving away the story, so read some reviews, read the book, and then come back and tell me what you think.

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I had had Steal Like an Artist on my shelf for a long time, just had never gotten around to reading it. It’s a fun little read that makes some great points. Mr. Kleon tells, quite concisely, some of the things you can do to help you find a path in your work, whether making art, music, or even writing. You can read it in less than a couple of hours, but there are some nuggets there that might want revisiting from time to time. For example, in Chapter 10, “Creativity is Subtraction,” he makes a good point for limitation as a means to creative freedom. This sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but he makes the case well.

You may have noticed I’ve put the Goodreads widget on the bottom of my right sidebar. It will show what I’m currently reading. I’ll try to remember to tell you about what I’ve finished. I’d also really like to know what you are reading, why you chose it, and what you think about it. Shall we do that once a week? Give me your thoughts and I’ll see about setting up a day a week when we can discuss books here.

Anne, at Modern Mrs. Darcy, has a great list of seven simple ways to read more this year. My favorite from that list is, “Read multiple books at once.” Since I already do that, I love getting vindication that it’s okay, and even good to do so. She talks a bit more about it here.

Next up in my pile is Etty: A Diary, 1941-43. I don’t think it’s going to be a fun read, but we can’t live on cheesecake. I will find something else to read alongside it so I don’t get too bogged down. I am also looking forward to reading A Man Called Ove, since I think I’m the only person left on the planet who hasn’t read it.

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So what are you reading right now? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to know! And let me know if you like the idea of a weekly reading round-up. It could well help us all find some great new books!

  • Wendy Tuma

    Lest you feel alone and adrift, I will confess that I too have not read A Man Called Ove. However, you are the second person to bring that book up to me, so perhaps it means I should. Hmm. Much of my reading as of late has been “brainless”, the kind that doesn’t require alot of thought. I need to dig into something a bit more meaty. Haven’t decided what quite yet, but I think I may head to the classics.

    • Lori East

      The classics are always wonderful, Wendy. I was an English major, so many of them are like old friends to me now. Was just thinking yesterday that I might like to revisit some.

      I’ve added Ove to my Kindle…Doesn’t mean I’ll read it right away, but now I have it. I keep hearing good things about it. I may have also ordered three other new books, hardcover…and feeling the itch to go to the bookstore. Sigh…

  • Susanna Cornett

    I confess that I rarely read Meaningful Books. Sometimes. I do read Meaningful Nonfiction at times. If I share what I read it will be mostly mystery novels and thrillers. I usually live on cheesecake. 🙂

    • Lori East

      Hey, I like cheesecake! And I know you DO read, so I’ll forgive you for not delving into the MBs. 😉

      I haven’t read a good thriller in a while…might have to hunt one down. I am SO particular, though, squeamish about some things, but not at all about others. I can handle blood and guts, but not rape or abuse…at ALL.

  • Chloe

    Yes please to cheesecake!! I started to read Etta after coming across it by accident but could not get past the first few pages of adolescent turmoil… It’s a long time since I gave up on a book altogether, but it just wasn’t ticking any of my boxes. I’ll be interested to know if you get further than me! Right now I am nearing the end of ‘Where My Heart Used to Beat’, by that famous author whose name eludes me at the moment… and it is one of those rare books whose company I will miss when I get there. I didn’t like it at first, didn’t like the style of writing or think that the subject would be my kind of thing at all – wartime romance – but it is excellent and I thoroughly recommend it. I recently read another of his ‘The Fatal Englishman’, it might be called, which was also not one I would have picked but also thoroughly readable. I’m also reading various stitching books as I’m on a journey of needlework exploration this year… the best of which is the one I’m in the middle of now: ‘strange material: storytelling through textiles’ by someone – guess what? – whose name I can’t remember. Leanne someone. Sigh. One day my mind will return… There you go! Xo

    • Lori East

      You mean Sebastian Faulks. I haven’t read any of his work at all yet, but he’s been on my radar for quite some time, actually since “The Fatal Englishhman” was first published. I think that was several years ago. Thanks for the little push…I’ll see about finding him.

      “Strange Material…” can’t say I’ve heard of it. Will have to look it up. It sounds intriguing.

      Your mind is there, I’m sure of it. You’re just focused on other things. Little folks have a way of making us do just that. Not to worry!

      Thank you for adding something to my list!

    • I love Strange Material. And Mandy Pattullo’s book. And . . . The list goes on and on.

      • Lori East

        There are SO many…I don’t think I can ever read all I want to, you know?