Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Judging a book by its lover

As many of you have probably noticed, I read...a lot. It's one of the few things that I never stop doing, at almost any time. I read almost every night (including when I come home drunk or jetlagged, exhausted or emotional) and I come back to it time and time again without fail.

In fact that only times I take breaks from reading are when I literally don't have time (and I make time all the time...I give up sleep to make time) or when I've read myself dry and need a break. This doesn't happen very often - maybe once a year, for a month. Maybe.

Anyway, over the time I have lived in Helsinki, I've been asked in a few different ways about what I read and what I'm currently reading, what I would recommend to people and how I choose my books. So this post is going to be about what I read over 2012. Or more specifically, what I've read since moving to Helsinki.

The stats: I've read 25 books since moving to Helsinki (until the end of 2012). I did take a month break somewhere in the middle of that, because I just needed to do something else for awhile (I can't recall what I ended up doing instead, it's possible this is when I started traveling heavily again or picked up my running routine). Here is a list of what I read (in no particular order):
  1. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  2. A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
  3. A Crimson Warning by Tasha Alexander
  4. Dangerous to Know by Tasha Alexander
  5. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  6. The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall
  7. The Gathering by Anne Enright
  8. The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  9. Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin
  10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  11. The Taker by Alma Katsu
  12. Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
  13. Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson
  14. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
  15. The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman
  16. Resurrection by Tucker Malarkey
  17. The Resurrectionist by James Bradley
  18. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
  19. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
  20. The Secrets of the Sea by Nicholas Shakespeare
  21. A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
  22. The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
  23. A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
  24. The Seduction of Water by Carol Goodman
  25. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Yes, some of these are ridiculous beach reads while others are decent literary reads. Variety is the spice of life, right?

If you were to ask me what the worst pick of the litter was, I'd definitely have to go with "The Secrets of the Sea." Sorry Nicholas Shakespeare, but that was seriously one of the most painful books I've dragged myself through in a long time. I thought several times about just letting it go and not finishing it, but I'm not a quitter, so, well, it was finished. Agonizingly. And it now on the shelf to be traded, whenever it is I return to it.

Though I have named "The Enchantress of Florence" as my pick of 2012, I will say that each of these books was special in some way or another. They were the right book for the right time, otherwise I wouldn't have finished them (including the terrible aforementioned one). Like lovers they were, courting me at just the right moments. Finishing them is always a melancholy event.

And so you have some insight into what I read. My goals for reading in 2013? To be a bit more hearty in my reading.

Yes I know some of you rolled your eyes just then, since it's clear I have no problems reading through enough bulk. 

But that's just the thing - they were all the right books for the right moments but I'd like to continually challenge myself. Not everything needs to be a pleasant beach read at the right moment.

So I'm picking up more things that I've always meant to read - "The Alchemist," Joyce Carol Oates, Malcolm Gladwell, etc. Things with a little more...weight.

We'll see how this changes things up. There are still many more books on my shelf for the times when I need fluff, so I'm not too worried.

Happy reading in 2013, readers. ^_~

1 comment:

  1. Don't feel sorry. Well done for finishing it. NS