One of my bookshelves

One of my bookshelves

Books I read in 2011
Books I read in 2012
Books I read in 2013
Books I read in 2014
Books I read in 2015
Books I read in 2016
Books I read in 2017

In 2010 a fellow blogger inspired me to keep track of the books and short stories I read.

When I initially began this project, my intent was to try to fit more books into my busy life and to gain a little encouragement by seeing my lists grow. It was more successful than I expected it would be, and I have been reading many more books than I expected to be able to. My second goal was to help gain a better breadth of genres, so I will continue to try to improve that aspect. Please drop a recommendation into the comments if you know of a book that should be read!

Full disclosure:
Most of the time I read audio books on my iPhone. I love you, audible.com! Though I value holding a book above all other forms of reading, it isn’t practical in my life. Nor is it appealing (or practical) to hold a nasty computer screen in my lap (as in a Kindle). The point is, I rarely have time to kick it with a book. Always the multitasker, I read stories (and listen to NPR, BBC, and Link TV) while washing dishes, working in the garden, jammed in standing-room-only on the bus, mowing the lawn, going for a run, folding clothes. An unexpected bonus is that I now look forward to folding the laundry and washing dishes! Another bonus is that I am able to enjoy the impressive voice talents of many narrators. It adds an important dimension to books that I haven’t experienced before.

  1. The Circle of Ceridwen, Book One by Octavia Randolph. The story is told well; Randolph’s craft is clear. The language and situations are somewhat mild. I feel like I never got into anyone’s soul, or looked into the eyes of evil or fury. Not that I like violence, but I want to feel more. I was developing a growing respect for Yrling and Sidroc and felt that their qualities outshone anyone else in the book, so I was dismayed when Ceridwen easily brushed them off and fell all head over heels for an angry self-righteous immature lord.
  2. 1491 by Charles C. Mann. What were the Americas like in 1491 – right before you-know-who came and wreaked his havoc? A book to help you understand more about yourself by explaining, based on what we know, how much we don’t know about ourselves. I like the style of this one, which does not plod methodically chronologically, and does not resemble an educational textbook despite being distinctly educational. Mann chooses a point he wants to make, and then tells whatever he needs to tell to get you to understand. He’ll go backwards and then forwards in time, talk about 2009 even though the book is called 1491. He tells you what specialists have said, what the common understanding was until the 50s, why that changed, and what his own personal opinion is now that he wrote this book. Then, next point, and bounce through time again. He revealed so much misunderstanding that has now been clarified, that I realize everything I thought I knew about the American continents was flawed, if not absolutely incorrect. As an American Indian, it’s refreshing to hear my ancestors talked about with intelligence, realism, and no patronization.
  3. The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. Published in 1896, Wells pokes at some contemporary tender spots: genetic modification, designer babies, animal cruelty, mental health disorder. I see that there have been a couple movies. I haven’t seen them. The book is disturbing but believable, mostly because the mad scientist, Dr. Moreau, is portrayed as almost reasonable, except when you remember exactly what it is he is doing, which is surgically altering animals to create humans. And the protagonist is believable too, going through what I would probably go through: terror, tolerance, appreciation, suspicion, and then terror again. I like it because Wells wasn’t judgy. He just lays it out there: here is this wild world, and here are the details. What is the definition of human? What means toward perfection are acceptable? It’s up to you to make a conclusion.
  4. The Music Lesson by Victor L. Wooten. {in progress}