In 2017, I set my usual goal of 52 books, one a week. I'm nearly there already and it's only October, so I think I'll make it. But I thought it might be fun to look at what I've read this year.
Not all of my reading is self-selected. I participate in two book clubs. But I chose those books clubs precisely because I wanted to be led to books I might not have found otherwise (and because talking books with other readers is one of life's greatest pleasures).
Goodreads says I've read 48 books in 2017. That's a little off. Three books got counted twice in different editions. One is a book of writing prompts, which I did look through and use some of…but did I "read" it? Not exactly. So, let's call it 44 books. Not bad, especially when you consider the busy-ness of my life (day job, writing life, two kids, husband, rescue dog, occasional social life).
I had a few things in mind for my reading this year:
Read more people that I know. I have a lot of writer friends. That happens when you're a writer :-) I haven't read enough of their work. Twenty of these books were written by people I'm acquainted with either online or in real life (Twenty-one, if I count my own book). I've got some truly talented friends and colleagues out there.
I also wanted to read more women. Despite being one myself, I found that I haven't been reading as many women authors as you might expect. Twenty-one of these books were written by women.
I wanted to read more people of color. Eight of these authors (that I know of) meet that criteria.
So, why does any of that matter?
I believe that we are what we read, just as we are what we eat. I read to get to know other lives, to deepen my understanding of the world and learn about things I know little about. Reading is an escape and a solace, but it's also an opportunity to stretch and grow and expand yourself.
So, here's the list:
How about all of you out there? What have you been reading this year? Why? Did you choose it or just kind of end up there?