I read 22 books last year.
Well, my actual number is a little higher (there were some I didn’t record. I’m a meager self-quantifier), but my Goodreads list is pretty damn close. Apparently my “goal” for 2014 was 36 books (which I didn’t meet and only vaguely remember setting), and after a little sleuthing, I determined that I blew 2013 out of the water (9 books according to Goodreads).
So, all in all, 2014 was an excellent year for literature in my world.
All that said, I won’t be setting a specific number goal for 2015 (well….. I might… but…) for me, reading isn’t about the numbers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a voracious reader and love to brag about what a smarty I am, but I tend to read slowly. I’m not looking to finish with the most books under my belt. I read to find inspiration, to draw insights, and to savor big ideas. Sometimes I even take notes. I try to read mindfully and that’s my real Goodreads goal for 2015.
So, in an attempt to be mindful about my 2015, I’ve been reading 2014 and 2015 book lists (yeah, reading about reading) and I’ve come up with a list of books that I think will make my 2015 inspirational, insightful, and pretty damn awesome. I’d feel a little remiss if I didn’t share the list with you guys, so here it is — enjoy!
I’m actually most excited to get started on some fun, inspiring, and insightful nonfiction. These are my 5 picks for 2015.
- My First Summer in the Sierra (John Muir) – It’s an old one, but I’ve got cabin fever and am itching to do some more long hikes and bike rides. Muir will have to tide me over until the Spring! From the cover, “Picturesque descriptions and sketches by one of America’s most important and influential naturalists describes the author’s 1869 stay in California’s Yosemite River Valley and the Sierra Mountains. Muir’s engaging journal describes majestic vistas, flora and fauna, as well as the region’s other breathtaking natural wonders. 21 black-and-white illustrations.”
- The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help (Amanda Fucking Palmer) – If you haven’t already WATCH Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk on The Art of Asking. From the cover, “Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet. THE ART OF ASKING will inspire readers to rethink their own ideas about asking, giving, art, and love.”
- Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (Todd Henry) – I’ve been listening to an amazing podcast (The One You Feed – check it out!), and listened to a highly enjoyable interview with Todd Henry. His work helping creatives increase productivity and make their best work sounds inspired. I’m more than a little curious to see what this book has to offer.
- The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (Walter Isaacson) – This one is on countless lists so I’ve decided to give it a try. From the cover: “The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens.”
- Alan Turing: The Enigma (Andrew Hodges) – A movie based on Turing’s life was released in 2014. While I haven’t seen the film, I am curious about Turning and his work, so I added this one to my list. From the cover, “It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades–all before his suicide at age forty-one.”
I turn to fiction when I’m having a bad day. There is nothing like hiding one’s nose in a novel to cure the blues. This time last year I was obsessed with The Hunger Games Trilogy (loved it!) this year I’m looking forward to reading these guys:
- Still Life with Woodpecker (Tom Robbins) – This summer I had the honor of meeting my all-time favorite writer, Tom Robbins, at Bumbershoot. Despite my work with celebrities, it was one of the few times I was rendered utterly, and truly, fan-girl-speechless. As he signed my copy of Still Life, I think I managed to get out, “You’re my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE AUTHOR… I’ve been reading you since high school….” before I froze with my mouth open. He was super cool about it, though (would you expect anything less?). Anyway, for those unfamiliar with Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker is his most popular work, and it’s (surprisingly) one I haven’t read yet.
- All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel (Anthony Doerr) – From the cover, “Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.”
- We Were Liars (E. Lockhart) – The buzz on this one is excellent. From the cover, “A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
- Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty) – Yet another with great word of mouth. From the cover, “Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.”
- Winds of Winter (George R.R. Martin) – WoW made my list despite it having not actually having a set date for publication. It’s here because I’m EAGERLY anticipating it’s release and rumor has that might happen in 2015. If so, I will promptly drop everything and pick it up.