Resolution: Read

January 5, 2012 § 5 Comments

I’ve been trying to think of what my New Year’s resolution will be this year. A few years ago I decided I’d eat salad each time it was offered, since I despised the taste of salad (and have my whole life. In fact, I wrote a paper on why people shouldn’t eat lettuce as a freshman in a high school creative writing class). It took two more years of that resolution to get me to the point I am now—eating salads by choice. And the resolution paid off in big ways. Now that I’m gluten intolerant, I oftentimes have to choose salads  when I go out to eat. I did not see that one coming when I made the resolution a few years ago.

After some thought, I decided my goal this year will be to read one non-school, nonfiction book each semester. I accomplished it last semester, as Steve and I joined a book club with our new friends and neighbors. We’ll see how this semester goes. Here is a picture of most of the books I’ll be reading for two of my classes this semester (a few more are still in the mail). I’m waiting for my reading list for the third.

This past year I really enjoyed reading non-academic books. A few friends of ours in SoCal started a reading group, and it was really fun to read and discuss books together. We tended to choose classic books read in high school. When I read books on my own, I wanted to discuss them with Steve, which was pointless because he wasn’t reading them. As an external processor, book clubs are extremely helpful for me. Perhaps this is why I enjoy school so much; we have to all read the same thing and discuss it in class. :)

Here are the non-academic books I read in 2011:

  • Of Mice and Men  by John Steinbeck (SoCal book club)
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (SoCal book club)
  • Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad (SoCal book club)
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (SoCal book club. I don’t recommend it.)
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (recommended by my mom and grandma. Very good)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Tough read, but interesting if you can get past the first 100 pages or so. I’d really like to see the movie, but not sure if I can stomach it.)
  • Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell (Great book on the Church)
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Excellent. But I think the movie would ruin it for me.)
  • Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott (Not my favorite. She seems to be trying too hard to be different)
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave (Great, heart-wrenching)
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (SLC book club. Mixed reviews from our group)

And, if you count audio books: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire

We’ll see how I do on my goal this year. My book club is supposed to be reading Catch-22, but the enthusiasm hasn’t caught on yet…


§ 5 Responses to Resolution: Read

  • emgusk says:

    I am “in” three book clubs, in that I receive the emails they send out telling us what books we’re reading that month. Then I put myself on hold for those books at the library. I definitely don’t read all of them and I’m always a few months behind, but it’s a good way to always have a reading list. And library due dates are excellent ways to make sure I finish reading them in 3-9 weeks!

    Recently I really liked Swamplandia! and Tina Fey’s autobiography, Bossypants. I’m about to finish Cutting for Stone, which is excellent, but at about 650 pages I do not recommend it while you’re earning a PhD. Save it for a vacation.


    • That’s a great idea, Emily. And a great way to generate a reading list so one always has plenty of choices and guidance. I’ve been wanting to read Tina Fey’s book, as I heard it’s great. But I also heard the audio book is read by her, which might definitely be worth it. :)

  • Darla Davis says:

    Went through all three Stieg Larsson books, and have them so just let me know if you’d like me to send you the second and third. Saw the movie(just the US version so far) and I’d say if you made it through the book you’ll be ok with the movie, especially since the rougher parts are over quicker. But maybe that just means I’m a slow reader. Or I internalize the books more than the movies. Not sure. Usually I have 2 or 3 books on the nightstand that I’m working through, but this past year it was only one. Atlas Shrugged. Loved it! OK, loved most of it. It was really interesting and now I’d really like to find some kind of commentary that compares the world views it presented(and how it represented them) with a solid biblical perspective. Almost like I wish C.S Lewis could read it and then point by point discuss it. Anyway, I would definitely recommend it to put on your list for some day. I may snag a book or two from your list to work on this year. Thanks ahead of time!

    • Thanks for the head’s up on the movie, Darla. I really do want to see it, especially after I saw a preview for it the other day and it was very similar to how I imagined it would look. And thanks for the suggestion of Atlas Shrugged. I’ll check it out. If not this semester, than hopefully over the summer :)

  • […] I did not accomplish my goal of reading one fiction, non-school book this semester. I think I need to pick a super short book that is easy to read, and just read a page […]

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