I used to read anything and everything. I always had a book going. Then, I went to college, and I had to read so much for classes that I didn’t really want to read also for fun. Then I graduated and… along came the internet. And Twitter. And Facebook. And I started having babies. And slowly but surely, the number of books I read sank to about… zero. Perhaps I would get through one or two every year, but more often than not I’d abandon all the books I started, and I would easily go months without picking up a book at all.
In 2016, I made a new year’s resolution to read 12 books that year, one a month. It was the push I needed and didn’t realize. About halfway through the year, I was at 11 books already so I changed it to 24 books in the year, two per month. And I did it. And it was amazing. I read some books I’d always meant to read, and I read some new ones. I really enjoyed getting back to reading.
I think 2 books a month is a really good goal for me (personally), so I decided to keep that for 2017. I fell short by 4 books, but I also sold a house and moved during 2017 and honestly I was so busy with that, that reading definitely fell by the wayside. So far in 2018, I’m on track to meet my 24 books goal, so hopefully this year goes better.
For me, focusing on fiction has helped brought me back to the love of reading. During those years of babies and toddlers, I tended to spend my time reading a how-to book about parenting or childbirth or something else along those lines. And while those books have a lot to offer, I don’t usually find them particularly inspiring. I wanted to return to the days when I would sit with my nose in a book for hours, completely engrossed in the world being painted on the pages.
A friend added me to a Facebook group all about the love of books, and that has truly been the spark I needed. A friend and I started a monthly book club this year too, which has been amazing and so encouraging to me. Also, Savannah is getting to the age that she can handle more complicated stories and we have loved diving into some of these favorites together.
I still need to work on being able to sit and let myself focus for long periods of time on a book. I’ve spent so many years reading short bursts (Facebook, twitter, instant messaging) with just the occasional blog post here and there, or a news article that I may or may not finish. My attention span has suffered, so I need to retrain myself. I am getting there. :-)
So all that being said, here are some of my recent favorites. I’m currently about 1/3 of the way through our June book club selection, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. So far, I’m enjoying it. (True confession: I am listening to it on audio book, but I think it still counts. ;-) ) I’m going to skip adding descriptions for each book (or this post will never be finished), but if you have any questions just leave a comment and I’m happy to share my thoughts!
Fiction I’ve enjoyed recently
Shiloh, by Helena Sorensen
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
The Ivy Tree, by Mary Stewart
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
Flight Patterns, by Karen White
Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections With Your Kids, by Sarah Mackenzie
The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey, by Rinker Buck
The Year Without a Purchase: One Family’s Quest to Stop Shopping and Start Connecting, by Scott Dannemiller
Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Books Savannah and I have enjoyed together
Green Ember, by S.D. Smith
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood
Half Magic, by Edward Eager
Owls in the Family, by Farley Mowat
A Year of Miss Agnes, by Kirkpatrick Hill