I’ve resisted the urge all day to clap my hands and giggle like a five-year old on this rare snow day from work – the fact that I’m home alone and have no one to join me in a snowball fight certainly helps.
Instead I’m using the opportunity to catch up on my reading list, a pleasure I’m finding is increasingly more difficult to make time for lately. With 12 more books (not including 37 Shakespeare plays) to read by September, I made sure to start the year off strong.
Earlier this month, I finished “A Clash of Kings,” book two in George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, and I’m now simultaneously reading “The Better Angels of Our Nature” and “Henry Clay Frick: An Intimate Portrait.”
The first is the current selection for Mark Zuckerberg’s book club of sorts, which I decided to check out on a whim. It’s slightly tedious at 802 pages, but a nevertheless enlightening look at how violence has actually declined over the course of human history, despite popular belief.
The second – which must weight at least five pounds! – is a biography of Frick I picked up on my recent trip to his New York City house-turned-museum.
In case you’re snowed in too and looking for something to do, I thought it would be fun share 10 of the books I’m looking forward to reading this year, and maybe pick up some suggestions along the way! The list below is a mix of new or upcoming releases and books that I’ve been had on the proverbial shelf for a while, as well as a good bit of fiction to balance out all the non-fiction I plan to tackle this year.
- The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life, Andy Miller – As a bibliophile, it feels like my duty to read any story about “a literary odyssey” where one discovers the “transforming powers of great (and downright terrible) literature.”
- The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, Christopher Scotton – Just because.. I’ve heard so much about it and it looks to be good. But I’m almost skeptical because of that, which I hate to admit. Has anyone else read it yet?
- Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell – I don’t read much young adult literature anymore, but I can also go for a well-written book that captures the angst and drama of being a teenager in love because God knows, I had my own share of infatuations. Plus, people have been absolutely freaking out in the reviews, so I might give this one a shot.
- A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab – There also seems to be a fair amount of excitement about this book, coming out on February 25. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to escape to a literary world of magic, and by all accounts, this book will let me do just that. Plus, the cover is cool.
- Bon Appetempt: A Coming of Age Story (with Recipes!), Amelia Morris – Food. Career. Growing Up. Enough said.
- Is He Popenjoy?, Anthony Trollope – Unfortunately, I had never heard of Trollope until recently when The Paris Review highlighted this book in their staff picks series. The writer and the book sound promising and I always love a good story about 19th Century British scandals.
- Savage Park: A Meditation on Play, Space, and Risk for Americans Who Are Nervous, Distracted, and Afraid to Die, Amy Fusselman - I can’t get enough of these social science books lately. The title alone was enough to hook me.
- All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr – Mostly, I want to read this because I liked his thoughts on writing and building a story (I also quoted him here, in my post about the role of talent in good writing.) But, he’s also racked up a ton of literary awards, so I imagine I can’t go wrong here.
- Men Explain Things To Me, Rebecca Solnit – At first glance this looked like just a wry feminist essay, which I guess was okay with me. It is that (her essay of the same name received wide acclaim) and much more, including a look at gender issues through a variety of lenses.
- The Opposite of Loneliness, Marina Keegan – I’ve been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it. It’s a collection of essays by a former Yale student, who died in a car crash just a few days after she graduated.
What are you all reading? I’m always collecting recommendations.