Books I’m reading the week of August 14…

As always, I have several books going at once. From my post earlier this week, you know I am reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. My other nonfiction books are How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler, which I am reading with a group of home educating friends, Openness Unhindered by Rosaria Butterfield for Sunday School class, and Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon as my daily devotional this year (I try to read through Spurgeon at least every other year. His words of love and devotion to Christ never get old and are always comforting and challenging).
In fiction, I am slowly working through Deborah Crombie’s mystery series featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. I finished Necessary as Blood, the 13th book in the series last week and the other day I picked up the latest Isabel Dalhousie book, A Distant View of Everything, by Alexander McCall Smith. I thoroughly enjoy these books as I feel that Isabel and I would get along well. I have the same tendency to think about everything and anything although I’m not as good as getting myself embroiled in other people’s problems the way she does. I’m thankful for that.
What are you reading this week?  I’d love to hear about the books you are loving right now.

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Books in 2013

This was not my most successful reading year.  I read a total of 49 books and by tomorrow night, it will be 50.  Working at the library has definitely improved my fiction reading since I receive many good recommendations from fellow librarians as well as see lists of many award winners.  In fact, one of the best books I read in 2013 was on the short list for the Man Booker Prize of 2012, which I might never have read if it hadn’t been on that list.

However, although I read a lot of fiction, some of which was delightful, I definitely did not read enough non-fiction, a lack I mean to remedy in 2014.

In 2013:

I read several classics that I have always meant to read:  Moby Dick, The Good Earth, and Heart of Darkness

I discovered the delights of listening to audiobooks while in the car and listened to several books, including The Help, The End of the Affair, and the first several No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books.  In fact, listening to Moby Dick on audio is how I was finally able to finish this classic by Herman Melville.  I plan to listen to several more classics in 2014.  Listening to good prose on audio allows me to slow down and really savor the language.  I have discovered that an excellent narrator makes all of the difference.

I read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and plan to read the sequel in 2014.  Reading Wolf Hall reminded me of how much I enjoy historical fiction, especially when it is set in Medieval/Renaissance era England.  I plan to read some more this coming year.

I read three books set in Asia and enjoyed learning about countries about which I previously knew very little.  I plan to find more books on China/Japan to learn more about these ancient cultures.

I read many old Mary Stewart books from the 70’s and plan to read her books on Merlin sometime in the near future.  I’ve always enjoyed books about the Arthurian legends.

I read several Young Adult novels which were good reads but my favorite was The Fault in Our Stars, a moving albeit very sad love story.

Overall I read 40 fiction books and only nine non-fiction books, listened to eight audio books, and re-read three books.

My goal in 2014 is to read a book a week, on average, and to read at least 20 non-fiction books this year.

Tomorrow I will write about my favorite fiction and non-fiction books from 2013.