2013 is here and that means that the book a week challenge is over and complete. 52 books in 52 weeks!
It was tough to do but not nearly as difficult as it sounds. When I read about doing this a year ago, I thought it was crazy. But then I started to think about it more and I realized it’s really not that hard.
Starting off in January, I was doing great. I was actually ahead a couple weeks at one point and I had a good schedule going – I read for a while at night and I read Saturday and Sunday mornings. Then spring came around and all of a sudden it wasn’t dark when I left work and there was so much to do outside that reading really fell to the wayside. Spring is when the first slump occurred. I really struggled through a couple books at this point and had to try to get back on schedule.
Things seemed to level out for a while and the balance was restored but then the baby news came and started to dominate our lives (in a good way). Did you know that babies can keep you from reading? Even when they aren’t there yet!
In the last few months I thought I’d be a few books short but in the end, I got through all 52.
The initial response most people have to hearing about reading a book a week is, “what was your favorite book?” That’s a hard question to answer because there were so many different books that its hard to really compare one book to the another. So instead, lets take a look at some of the books that stood out in my mind. But first, in case you were curious…Of the 52 books I read, 33 were fiction and 19 were non-fiction. The longest book I read was 624 pages and the average book was 283 pages!
Let’s run em down
The Talented Mr. Ripley was awesome. I was literally sad when the book ended. When was the last time you read a book and said, “wait, there has to be more. I don’t want it to end!” well, there is more. In fact there are a few more books in the series!
Speaking of good a series, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series (The Snowman, The Leopard and The Devil’s Star are just three books from the series that I read this past year) is fantastic. It will settle your craving for another Girl With The Dragon Tattoo book. They have the same dark, cold Scandinavian vibe. Also read Headhunters! Same author. Different story line. Great book.
Were we talking about book series’? well then, check out the Hap and Leonard books by Joe R. Landsdale. I read the first, Savage Season, and I think it’ll be worth seeing what happens to these two guys (I’d describe the two characters for you, but you would either laugh or never read the books…intrigued?).
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking was so refreshing to read. Finally a pro-introvert book. Just because you’re louder doesn’t mean you’re better….or even right, in fact you’re probably wrong.
Astronauts and Heretics is by far the funniest book I read all year. Its a collection of short stories, not all of them are funny…but I literally LOL’d reading a couple of them. ha…lol.
Unbroken was the biggest surprise. War hero bio’s typically aren’t my thing, but the story is literally amazing and it was written well enough to keep you turning the pages. If this is your ‘thing” read Lone Survivor It’s another amazing story but it can be a little political at times.
The Picture of Dorian Gray was the biggest disappointment (and the cause of my worst reading slump). It’s so dry and dull that I wish I didn’t read it…except that the ending, and I’m talking about the last paragraph was great. Getting there however was not.
Speaking of endings, Casino Royale has the best, absolute best ending of a book I can recall. “The bitch is dead”
Outliers was good. Purple Cow (and anything by Seth Godin) was good. The Art of Non-Conformity was fun, especially if you like travel. Six Pixels of Separation was probably good when it was originally published but its a little dated now. The Thank You Economy was good and will make you angry the next time a business doesn’t go out of their way for you, like they should! (it did for me )
If you like bikes (bicycles that is, and that probably eliminates everyone reading this), try reading the two books I read. Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike is an inspiration to get out and ride your bike just because its fun. It’s All About the Bike is more for someone with a serious bike addiction (ahem). It has a lot of great history and amazing info on all sorts of bike components.
The Day of the Jackal is a classic and should be required reading.
Snow Crash is like The Matrix before anyone even knew what The Matrix was. Amazingly ahead of its time and it still holds up today.
American Gods was one of the strangest (in a good way) books that I read. It’s like a modern take on Norse Mythology. If I were to read it again, it might make more sense (especially because I read The Children of Odin:The Book of Northern Myths as well) but even not knowing that much about Norse Mythology, it was a good book.
So what’s next?
There are a few books I intentionally shied away from this year that I’d like to read, because they are both very large. 1Q84 (over 1100 pages!) and…Moby Dick (I know, I’m rolling my eyes along with you but its over 500 pages) both have been on my list all year.
I also really like Jo Nesbo. There are a few books of his I haven’t read yet, so I’ll more than likely finish the series. Aside from dark crime fiction, he also happens to write childrens stories of all things and being as though my wife is currently with child, why not read Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder!?
Other than that, I want to finish all of the James Bond books by Ian Fleming (three down so far) and the rest of the books in the Talented Mr. Ripley series.
If you’re interested, I keep an updated list of what I want to read on Amazon. You can check it out here. I also keep track of the books I’m currently reading and have completed on Goodreads.com. Click here to check out my profile. And lastly, you can stay up to date with my digital bookshelf here.