Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2018 in Books

Last January I decided to keep up with what books I finished through out the year. I didn't get a goal of how many to read, I just want to see how many I'd finish.  Sometimes, life just works out.  Turns out that I read 50 books last year.  I finished the last one on New Year's Eve.  I purposely didn't count along the way so I was thrilled when I counted up 50 at the end of the year.  I love nice round numbers.

Last year I gave 'our family' (mainly just me) an Audible subscription so many of the books I listened to.   I love listening to audiobooks while I'm driving or working. Audiobooks is how I read most of the fiction that I read.  For nonfiction I like to annotate and flag and underline and that's much harder with an audiobook (or digital book).  This year I purchased all the Harry Potter books on audio and re-read them all. They are my favorite audiobook, hands down.  Jim Dale does a masterful and entertaining job reading the books.  

I also joined a book club last year called Next Big Idea Book Club.  All the books are nonfiction and are curated by some of my favorite non-fiction authors: Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant and Daniel Pink.  Each quarter I get 2 non-fiction books plus a lot of extra resources like discussion guides, author interviews, facebook groups, and summaries.  

I will be honest, there are at least 3 books that spring to mind that I started this year and didn't finish.  All 3 are non-fiction.  They just didn't interest me so I put them down, simple as that. And honestly, there are some that I should have stopped reading but I kept going anyway.  Give yourself permission to stop reading stuff that's not interesting.  Life's too short.  

Here are my top 4 books from last year - 2 fiction and 2 non-fiction...

Fiction - Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds.  I read a few books by Jason Reynolds this year. Looking back on my list I think I left a few off. His track series is amazing.  But Long Way Down haunted me. It's written in verse about a young man who gets on an elevator intending to seek violent revenge when he gets off.  On the way down, he's "meets" people he loves who experienced violence.  

Fiction - Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes. I had the pleasure to meet Mrs. Rhodes at the Texas Library Association Conference and she is definitely a jewel! Ghost Boys tells the story of a young African American boy killed by a white police officer and that police officer's daughter as well as Emmitt Till who was lynched in 1955 for offending a white woman.  

Nonfiction - The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle.  Wow! This book is insightful. My copy is highlighted and flagged within an inch of it's life.  It's all about how leaders create and maintain a positive culture around them.  

Nonfiction - Training Camp by Jon Gordon. I wrote about Jon yesterday.  Training Camp is a fable about a football player struggling to make a professional team, the adversity he faces and how he overcomes.  The subtitle is how the best get better. We read this one with the boys and it's teachings have really stuck with me! 

Here's my complete list of books I finished last year. What's the best book you read last year?


No comments :