2012 is almost over! So much has happened, but one of the things I am most proud of (besides that whole getting-married-moving-to-NYC-getting-an-editing-job-adopting-a-cat-daughter ordeal) is actually keeping my New Year’s Reading Resolution. My goal was to read 40 books — any 40 books — and I surpassed my goal. As of today, having finished Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of A Funny Story, I’ve read 52 books! That’s one book for every week of the year.
This is also 16,623 pages, as calculated by Goodreads, which isn’t the best estimate because a number of these were Kindle ebooks. I got a good mixture of stuff in there from “serious” literature reads like The Color Purple and The God of Small Things to absolute fluff like the Gossip Girl prequel (hahaha) and Confessions of A Shopaholic. Some were really short, like The Law and Here Is New York, which are technically essays but are published in book-form, so THERE. The only book I’d read before was Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, which is to say I’ve read it at least a dozen times so it shouldn’t count but I did include it anyway. You can see the full catalog of my 2012 readings here.
For 2013, my goal is to read more non-fiction books. 2012 was the first full calendar year of my life since I learned to read that I wasn’t in school, so I had no idea how much time I would be able to dedicate to reading, especially with all of those major life changes listed above. It turns out, a reader is a reader is a reader. I can read a lot, so this next round I’m going to try to break out of my English lit major mode and get in touch with my journalism side by reading more narrative/long-form nonfiction, including about subjects that don’t usually interest me as much.
Here’s a list of books I’m hoping to read this next year, but I’m setting my measurable goal to 20 nonfiction books. Some of these are ones on our bookshelf at home already, some I’ve been pining after for ages, and some were the helpful suggestions of my Facebook friends. (:
Nonfiction books I’m finally (hopefully) going to read:
- The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan (the ultimate in Comm. major-ness)
- Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman (because Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business was FANTASTIC)
- The Kingdom and The Power: Behind the Scenes at the New York Times – The Institution That Influences the World by Gay Talese (because I watched/enjoyed the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times and they kept mentioning this)
- Gray Lady Down: What the Fall and Decline of the New York Times Means for America by William McGowan (I am fascinated by media studies, can’t you tell?)
- The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media by Brooke Gladstone (’cause I saw it at The Strand and it’s a nonfiction graphic novel, and I thought that was cool)
- The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick (because it’s sitting on my Kindle and I need to get over the fact that it was more computer sciencey than media-y than I thought)
- A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines by Anthony Bourdain (I’m obsessed)
- Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross (a new obsession, ever since visiting the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle and soaking up every detail of the Nirvana exhibit)
- Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in The Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (because I read about it in The New New Journalism and it caught my attention)
- The Devil in the White City: Murder and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson (Sean’s + friends’ recommendation)
- In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin also by Erik Larson (Sean said this was good)
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (someone I interviewed once raved about it and I think learning about where our food comes from and how it affects us is really, really interesting)
- The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. von Hayek (continuing my libertarianism studies)
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in the Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (’cause John Green recommended it in a YouTube video and I am fascinated by India)
- The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee (because my med school best friend and all my other sciencey friends rave about it)
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (….)
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Lauran Hillenbrand (I liked the Seabiscuit movie? She wrote the book.)
This should all keep me very busy. I also try to keep up with my weekly Time magazine, and now I will be getting New York magazine each week, thanks to a Christmas gift subscription! I think my brain will be full of knowledge, that’s for sure.
If you have a favorite nonfiction book (long-form journalism, biography, memoir, a David Sedaris book I haven’t yet read), please suggest it in the comments! I’m open to all suggestions.
P.S. If you, too, are a reader, check out the lovely photographs at Underground New York Public Library, of fellow bibliophiles getting lost in a book while on the subway.