It’s like a brain dump post, but only books. I realize how that might be a weird/creepy/misleading post title but I’m leaving it.
This year has been … well, about as crazy as I assumed it’d be. Reading has always been an important part of the equation for Centering Jamie. I love it, and I approach it from a former English and Writing student. Reading a book to me is about dissecting the themes and critiquing the writing. I am actually incapable of Chick Lit. And 50 Shades of Grey. (And I’m okay with that, I know my limits.)
I finally feel like my Goodreads shelf is up to date, and I must say I’m pretty impressed with the amount of books I’ve managed to read this year. So far: 22. And I’m reading 5 right now (some more vigorously than others.) Listening to audio books is a HUGE factor in being able to accomplish that. I listen when I run, walk around work from building to building, drive (sometimes), shop (when I’m alone), get ready for work and do laundry. It’s my favorite multitasking ever.
Side note: On goodreads? Let’s be buds!
So far, my favorite books this year, ones I’d recommend to anyone are:
1. Gone Girl. For me it utterly rocked my face off. It surprised me, disturbed me, kept me thinking about it for weeks after and made me want more. Can’t wait to reread it. (I listened to it, and it was the best audio book I’ve listened to yet.)
2. A Grown Up Kind of Pretty. I didn’t have high expectations for this one, and it surprised me a lot. Great book, sort of lighter than GG (how could it not be!) but entertaining, deep and real.
I also like “Thinker” books too, ones that are sort of educational and challenge me to think. Under that category, I’ve enjoyed… Think, Bringing Up Bebe, and Rachel Maddow’s book Drift. I think I actually need to listen to it again, but it was so information heavy and compelling. My takeaway: I don’t know anything about the military (and most of us don’t), and it’s spending. That’s a big, big problem. Also, I still hate war forever amen. The audio book was excellent, Rachel Maddow read it and she rocks, so there’s that!
I also listened to Divergent and Insurgent, the first two in the YA dystopian literature phenomena. They were good, but not great, for me. Like, I’m not anxiously awaiting the third book.
And, let’s end with the Game of Thrones series, aka, TIME SUCK. I started the first book in … June? May? I’ve been more or less reading them ever since. It’s infuriating, honestly. These books are SO dense, and so, so long. And the chunk of time I have to read amounts to like 20 min every night, tops. Making headway in a 900 page book of science fiction is hard. But here’s the sucky part: They’re good. Like, really, really good. A few weeks ago I was like “screw it, moving on” and picked up another book. It was terrible by comparison. So there’s that addictive part of them too.
My advice here: If you haven’t read them, watch the HBO series. And if you really, really want to read them, go on a month-long vacation alone. Or just be prepared to dedicate a lot of energy to the adventure, forsaking all other books. I got the 3rd book on audible and it’s more manageable, so that’s another way to get into them and not have to ignore family members and jobs, etc. (Have I mentioned I am really into audio books?)
My biggest Un-Recommendation is Age of Miracles. It was terrible and that’s the absolute nicest way to describe it.