Friday, January 09, 2015

2014 Reading Wrapup

(This post is has been delayed for two weeks because of that nasty, evil Norovirus that  attacked me with a vengeance.)

2014 was my first year in decades in which I didn't have to teach school, a year I could devote hours of every day to endless reading. But, did I? Nope! Therefore I have an abysmal yearly record of print books; however, I did finally adjust to audiobooks while tasking. Instead of reading more print books throughout my day, I attacked the house with a resolve to declutter, throw away, and reorganize. And in the process, I updated our living space, bathrooms, carpet, and transformed the former schoolroom into a reading room. My husband says calling it a library is a bit pretentious, as if we have one of those libraries. In fact, I probably decreased the size of our holdings by half at least. I could easily write a post about all the decluttering I did and the new little organizing adaptations I used, but that post will wait for another day, or just forever in the archives of my mind. So, most of my day time during 2014 was spent handling books (and other things) but not reading them. Yet that necessary activity paved the way for a cleaner slate for 2015. 

I did read every night (and all day during the beach trips) but never for hours; I just couldn't stay awake. Many of the books I read were simply to either finish a series I felt compelled to or with the ambition to read and remove from the shelves. PaperbackSwap has been my new best friend as I would finish the last page and list it available on their site. I even have three short PBS shelves of books ready to go when requested. And I've become devoted to Goodreads as my reading tracker. The only time I use the list-number-of-pages-read feature is when I'm in a very lengthy book and seeing that progress encourages me. Otherwise, I just use Goodreads to keep my to-read and have-read lists, plus that niftly create-a-shelf feature. One task on my 2015 list is to make sure all the books on my actual bookshelves are on my Goodreads shelves. I'm pretty OCD about that and get a thrill out of doing stuff like that. Weird, I know. 

So what plans do I have for 2015? Well, first of all, I plan to read off my shelves. Period. And I plan to be dedicated about reading the fluffers (most always fiction) I've fallen prey to so I can move them off my shelves. Second, I continue to plan to follow seasonal challenges. Doing so helps me be intentional about reading certain books but only planning for three months at a time, a bite I handle easier than for one whole year. Third, I have a few shelves of remaining Young Adult category books (I've always called these Juvenile) to chip away at before moving them on to a new home. So, YA books will still occupy some spaces on my seasonal lists. Fourth, one of my goals this year is to re-establish my intentional morning reading time (but not with the bedtime book!). On recent cold mornings, I've found myself snuggled down deep with the bedtime book. Even though I'm reading, I'm lacking the intentional focus of particular subjects that I need to nourish my mind and soul. Reading through the Bible is a yearly attempt at which I'm often successful; this year, however, I want to focus on a yet-to-be-decided smaller, shorter section, possibly writing it out. Big goals, yeah, and so far un-commenced, mostly because of that unspeakable hijack of health. This morning reading time in the past has included scripture and a spiritual-related book. I have several shelves of these to work through, but first I need to finish one that's been idle for a year, Notes to Self (Thorne). Included also in this goal is an intentional study of church history. Obviously I'm taking reluctant baby steps in getting started. Fifth, and the last I will list, I want to embark on some of the notable books Pat Conroy mentioned in My Reading Life which is one of the best books I've ever read. And I just realized I was so busy last year, I never even blogged about it. That must be rectified! I've been gathering those MRL books from PBS throughout the year and that embarkation must soon begin!

63 total books read

14773 pages of 44 books in print
 6014 pages of 17 audiobooks

Favorites marked with asterisks; YA = Young Adult

The Wednesday Wars (Schmidt) YA
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt (Hoffman)
**A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Smith) YA
In a Sunburned Country (Bryson) audio
America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great  (Carson) audio
Sundiata: Lion King of Mali  (Wisniewski) YA
Into the Deep Forest: With Henry David Thoreau  (Murphy) YA
Or Give Me Death: A Novel of Patrick Henry's Family  (Rinaldi) YA
Patrick: Son of Ireland  (Lawhead)
**Sarum: The Novel of England  (Rutherfurd)
National Security  (Cameron)
Kisscut (Slaughter)  
The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts  (Bond)
Due East (Sayers)  
Driftwood Summer (Henry) 
Where the River Runs (Henry) 
The Outsiders  (Hinton). 
**Toward Commitment: A Dialogue About Marriage  (Rehm)
Joy in the Morning  (Smith) YA
Not Without Hope (Schuyler) audio
A Faint Cold Fear  (Slaughter) 
State of Emergency (Cameron)
Act Of Terror  (Cameron)
Intervention  (Cook)
The Gabon Virus  (McCusker) YA
**Islands  (Siddons)
Escape from Camp 14  (Harden) audio
Longitude  (Sobel) audio
The Dry Grass of August  (Mayhew) 
Going Home To Glory  (Eisenhower) audio
Between The Tides  (Henry) 
Independent People  (Laxness)
The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel  (Wangerin)  audio  
Indelible   (Slaughter)  
The Faithful Spy   (Berenson)  
Iceland: Land of the Sagas  (Roberts)
The Summer Girls   (Monroe)  
Faithless   (Slaughter) 
The Time of Our Lives  (Brokaw) audio
Stones Into Schools (Mortenson) audio
The Summer Wind  (Monroe) 
Beyond Reach   (Slaughter)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story  (Berendt)
**The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee  (Mills)
**To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee) re-read
A Lesson Before Dying  (Linney) audio
**New York  (Rutherfurd) audio
The Little Way of Ruthie Leming  (Dreher)
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine  (Bendick) YA
Archimedes and the Door of Science  (Bendick) YA
Herodotus and the Road to History  (Bendick) YA
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail  (Strayed) audio
One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future  (Carson)
The Journal of Best Practices   (Finch) audio
In the Company of Others  (Karon)
Night  (Wiesel) audio
Twelve Years a Slave  (Northup)
**Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good  (Karon)
Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage  (Rowley) audio
The Attributes of God  (Tozer) audio
To Every Thing There Is a Season: A Cape Breton Christmas Story  (MacLeod)
An Irish Country Christmas  (Taylor, Alice)


Luann said...

I'm a homeschool mom considering a future career teaching in a private school. I remember you from years ago when we chatted on the WTM board and have read your blog with interest since you started it. I would really like to ask you a few questions about teaching. Is there any way to contact you?

Luann said...

Got it. Thank you. I'll e-mail you soon.