As usual, I made a book goal for myself this year. For the last few years it’s been 30; in 2011 I read exactly 30 and in 2012 I did 32. I decided to step it up this year and shoot for 36. It might happen, I finished my twelfth just a few days into May so I’m pretty close to on track. If you consider I have five or six book half read, I’m maybe even ahead of the game.
As a book-loving data head, I track all my books on Goodreads. It’s also great for tracking books you want to read and don’t want to forget about. I went back and looked at the first third of the year for the books I rated as four or five star. I won’t bother passing on the ones I didn’t think were at least above average.
1) Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman. Fascinating look into life in a women’s prison. A bit of a victim mentality from the author (when she very knowingly committed some serious crimes), but the peak into a world I know nothing about was captivating, depressing, and fascinating. Quick read and a memoir by a good writer, which doesn’t always happen.
2) Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. I guess I have a theme going this year – another memoir recounting a less than ideal time in the author’s life. Again, she is a good writer which makes all the difference in a memoir. I’ve always been intrigued by the Pacific Crest Trail so while I didn’t find Cheryl all that likable, I found the story quite interesting.
3) Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan. I have loved Ian McEwan for a long time, even before Atonement (which I actually found pretty boring). I read this on a weekend trip to New York, quick read but excellent writing and story. London + the sixties + an intelligence agency. 4) Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. I have no idea how this book found it’s way into my library queue, but I loved it. Great Gatsby-esque fun love story set in twenties New York.
5) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Easy to read modern suspense and well written. Keeps you guessing. I’m not a huge suspense or mystery reader, but somehow Gillian Flynn manages to make her books one part chick lit, three parts suspense and I fall for it.
Anyone have any good book suggestions?