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Content: My 2019 Reading List

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New Year’s Resolutions are tricky.

The new year is a very tempting time to wipe the slate clean and try to change things. I usually try to resist the majority of those temptations, because I take a very all-or-nothing approach to most of my endeavors. If I’m changing some stuff about my life because the calendar rolled over, you better believe I’m changing my whole life. I may have learned over the course of several years that such a mentality isn’t realistic. So if I make “new year’s resolutions” of sorts, I try to keep them minimal and subtle.

One thing I have noticed this year, however, is that I’m drawn to the projected reading lists that my friends are posting on social media. They have good goals, and good ideas, and the world of literature can be overwhelming sometimes when you’re trying to decide what to read, and . . . well . . . I have a confession to make.

I’m not much of a reader anymore. Like, at all.

There, I said it. Blasphemy for a writer. Actually, though, it’s impossible to be an effective writer if you aren’t constantly sampling what’s been successful. I’ve made the excuse, in the past, that given the choice of how to spend my free time, I’d rather spend it writing than reading. That’s not necessarily healthy, first, and second, I’m not sure it’s so true anymore. Over the past few months, I’ve tried to be more intentional about how to spend my free time, making it more directed toward self-care and less directed toward scrolling-absentmindedly-through-my-phone-and-playing-pointless-games.

Prioritizing reading would be a good way to accomplish both goals. Also, I’ve noticed that it really is something I miss in my life.

So, readers, with you as my witness, I hereby present my very modest goal of eight books I’d like to read in 2019 (in no particular order of interest or planned chronology):

  1. Middlesex— Jeffrey Eugenides. We read about half of this novel in a creative writing class I took in college. I really enjoyed it, but I stopped reading after it was no longer mandatory, because I was trying to get into grad school. Anyway, I would like to go back, reread it, and finish it this time. Plus, it’s a Pulitzer Prize winner. You really can’t go wrong.
  2. Turtles All the Way Down— John Green. No, I actually haven’t read any of John Green’s other books. This one, however, caught my eye for two reasons. First, as a reminder, turtles are my end-all-be-all favorite animal. I have collections (yes, plural) on display in my apartment, be it framed art, stuffed animals, trinkets, etc. Thus, I’ve always been a fan of the phrase “turtles all the way down.” Second, I’m aggressively supportive of any media that honestly portrays mental illness, in a real and accurate way, and pushes forward toward normalizing it. I’ve heard this book does a great job. I bought this as an audiobook last year. Audiobooks are great for certain mindless lab tasks, long walks, airplanes, and baths.
  3. The Book Thief— Markus Zusak. I can’t believe I still haven’t read this, and that’s getting remedied soon. This was gifted to me by Slytherin #1 (the college friend who helped inspire Casters’ Court), because it’s one of his favorite books of all time. I feel guilty for not having read it every time I see it on my shelf. No longer.
  4. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared– Jonas Jonasson. This one was a gift from my best friend’s sister and one of her highest-praised books of all time. It looks like a wonderful read.
  5. The Philosopher’s Flight— Tom Miller. This is another gift I received from a friend who’s good at picking books. The premise sounds very inventive, and I’m excited to dive in!
  6. A Wrinkle in Time— Madeleine L’Engle. This is another one that made the list because I’m ashamed I haven’t read yet. Another close friend read the series in college and highly recommended it. I own this one in both print and audiobook, so I really have no excuses.
  7. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms— N.K. Jemisin. This is a very new discovery in my life. A friend from high school recently gushed about this author on Facebook, and I had to check her out.
  8. TBD. I have to leave some wiggle room, right? Several of the books listed above are the first book in a series, and I may want to keep reading. Or, something thrilling may come along later this year that I want to check out. I’ll let you know when I’ve decided on how to fill this slot.

I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions concerning my list, and also about your reading goals/lists/ideas for 2019! Happy reading, all!

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