I have loved reading since I was a child, but in the five year period between graduate school (2011-2013) and 2018, I was reading far less frequently (finishing maybe 3-4 books/year). Last year I decided to be intentional about reading more by joining a book club on Meetup and logging the books I read on Goodreads.
Meetup is a free social platform for individuals to host gatherings for people with common interests or lifestyles. I found a book club called “Books and Beers” where 20 through 40 somethings gather once per month at a restaurant with craft beer to discuss our last read. It’s helped me to find a new community and gives me motivation to finish at least one book per month.
Goodreads is a free social platform that allows you to log and rate books you’ve read, add books to your to-read list and follow authors and other members.
My goal for 2019 is to read 30 books. At the time of this post, I’ve finished 19. My fall and winter habits include a lot of snuggling under blankets on the couch – I’m confident I’ll get through at least 11 more books before the end of the year. I try to unwind each night before bed with a book in bed – I’ll talk more about this in another post, but reading before bed has become a healthy sleep habit for me (except when the book is too good and I keep myself awake to keep reading!).
Here are the eleven books I read this summer, I’ve linked each to their Goodreads profile so you can see what others thought of them, too! The () behind each title indicate the genre and publication year. The titles with a cover image were my top 3 favorites from the summer – because they were compelling, well-written and made me think.
Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier (Non-fiction/psychology, 2018)
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Fiction/LGBT history, 2018)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (Classics/fiction, 1886)
Animal Farm by George Orwell (Classics/fiction, 1945)
Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America by James and Deborah Fallows. Full disclosure: I got about 2/3 of the way through this very long book and didn’t quite finish it. It was a good read, but the themes were very repetitive. (Non-fiction/travel, 2018)
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori and Rom Brafman (Psychology/business, 2008)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (Fantasy, 2013)
Strategem by Christina Hagmann (Thriller, 2019)
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv (Parenting/fiction, 2006)
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Fantasy, 2011)
The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu by Katja Pantzar (Psychology/happiness, 2018)