Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Year of Landlubber Beach-Reads

First, I should note that I haven't updated my blog in a few weeks because I'm a stubborn jackass.

I had written a long, rather academic review of Turney Duff's The Buy Side -- or, at least, I had written most of one.  I had saved the draft.  Then I lost the draft.  And instead of either rewriting it or just moving on, I've been sulking angrily and searching through folders for some trace of what I'd written.  It's dumb.  I'm dumb.  Time to move on.

Moving on!

I figured I would talk about my 2014 reading goals, since we're getting to the end here and I'm starting to look at patterns.  According to my Goodreads challenge tracker, I have 46 books finished and am one book ahead of the pace I need to be on to hit my ultimate goal of 50.  I have several books in progress, as usual, so I should probably surpass my original goal by a couple.

My original thought for this year was that I wanted to get back to reading some more serious books, like heavy non-fiction and history texts with footnotes and citations aplenty.  While I have definitely done my share of that reading (plus literary fiction) for review copies, I haven't really done it at all for pleasure reading.  Instead, my list of completed books is dominated by memoirs, memes, photography, and even children's books.  (I read the children's books when the desk gets slow at night.  It helps.  Beats reshelving.)

I think my brain decided that this was a vacation year.  Enough with politics, war, religion, disease, existentialist despair, and the rest of what I tend to read.  It was time for Rob Lowe's high school baseball stories and anthropomorphic Internet cats speaking through thought-bubbles and poetry.  Instead of reading Amity Shlaes or A. O. Wilson as I thought I would, I read a presidential history book written by the editor of Cracked.  (And I loved it, by the way.  Jon Meacham has never made me feel so good, is what I'm saying.)  And the book I had the greatest discussions about was a picture book about a fish in a hat.

And I'm good with all that.  I'm good with not having been an intellectual as of late.  I'm good with taking a breather from the world of intellectual snobbery.  I'm looking forward to maintaining a better balance going forward.  I'm thinking about lowering my initial goal to 25 books next year in order to encourage myself to tackle some books longer than Caldecott winners, though.

How about you?  What was your big reading trend this year?  Does it surprise you to see what you wound up reading?


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