A Year in Books: Five Oh!

completed-1Fifty. A number of particular significance these days, as 2016 marks my 50th year on the planet. I’m not sure why I am so excited about this milestone, but I am. And I am kicking it off with another milestone—my first successful completion of the Annual Goodreads Reading Challenge with 50 books read in 2015!

Fifty books, 12,133 pages, that included nine books of poetry, five novels by Alice Hoffman, six set in France, and seven that weren’t fiction at all. My favorites included:

A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
Rising Strong, Brené Brown
The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver

See the full list here >

2015Books

Here are a few things I learned along the way:

  • It’s great to read about people and places in your current circle of awareness; reading The Lacuna after seeing the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens this summer was great!
  • Reading unrelated books about the same time period is fascinating; I rounded out the year with several books about France during World War II. Different characters and different storylines, both fictional and not, created an interesting perspective.
  • Following the breadcrumbs of Recommended Reading links is a great tool for finding the next book to read. It’s how I found All the Light We Cannot See, my second favorite book of the year!
  • If you are not enjoying a book, just put it down. It’s OK. I wasted weeks reading my two least favorite books of the year—Breathing Lessons and The God of Small Things—and let’s be honest—there are so many books and such little time. Move on!

Speaking of moving on…I’ve already started a new To Read pile for 2016. Here is the Top of the Stack:

  1. Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future, Margaret J. Wheatley
  2. Stop the Pain, Dale Carlson
  3. Letter from Italy, 1944, Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely
  4. The Japanese Lover, Isabel Allende
  5. The Marriage of Opposites, Alice Hoffman
  6. Engaging Your Power, Mary Ann Robbat

Let’s get reading, shall we? What’s on your list?

©2015, Jen Payne. IMAGE: The new novel, Winslow Homer

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