Let's jump in: in 2022, I read 55 books.
This was seven more than my goal, and more books read in a year since 2013! I prioritized reading this year--turns out, I don't have a lot of hobbies, but I know I love to read--so it feels good to see it pay off.
How did I do it?
- A couple were Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels; those are quick reads.
- I could do nothing but listen to audiobooks when I had (and recovered from) covid.
- I participated in an online book club, which inspired a daily-ish habit of 30 minutes of physical book time to transition from work life (I work from home most days) to home life.
- Not a new trick, but still a reading life-saver: e-books on my phone. Why choose the infinite scroll when you have a wealth of free reading available through your local library's e-book library? I keep my wishlist updated with all my want-to-reads, so whenever I finish a book, I just tap through to see what's available for me to check out next. See how much of this year was e-book? Whoa.
Fiction Bronze: Speaking of the Ascendance series, The Runaway King, by Jennifer Nielsen, is a top 3! Nielsen is a pro at the unreliable narrator game, and you only love her--and narrator Jaron--all the more for it. If you're looking for straightforward YA, which is to say, just swashbuckling adventure and good friendships, you're in the right place.
I'm not sure if this is true for every generation, but the half-century before my birth (with some overlap of my early childhood) is a blank spot on my otherwise decently-filled mental timeline. Too new to be taught as history and common knowledge to those older than me...it's a problem. It's been an ongoing process to remedy this, but here's how I did so this year:
- Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, by Kristin Kobes Du Mez (1945 and onward) (I've reviewed this book on Goodreads.)
- The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, by Jeff Guinn (1955-1978)
- The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America, by James T. Patterson (1965)
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (1988 and onward, with flashbacks)
- No Future without Forgiveness, a memoir of how South Africa moved forward, by Desmond Tutu (1994-1996, with flashbacks)
A New Way to Think About...
- Design | Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, by Ingrid Fetell Lee.
- Events | The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, by Priya Parker.
- Innovation | Big Little Breakthroughs: How Small, Everyday Innovations Drive Oversized Results, by Josh Linker. (I've reviewed this book on Goodreads.)
- Surroundings | The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain, by Annie Murphy Paul
- Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience, by Brene Brown. A reference book for understanding emotions.
- I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Yong. I still hate biology, but Yong made this niche topic fun and fascinating!
- Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain, by David Eagleman. It's a useless subtitle; prepare to be wowed by how the brain works and the creative ways we're making it work for us (especially when it comes to addressing visual and hearing impairments).
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck. You've heard of fixed vs. growth mindsets--this is the research that started it all.
- The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why, by Richard E. Nisbett. If your curiosity was whetted by my cultural differences post last year, this is the way to learn more (though it is a bit dry).
State of the Church
- Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America, by Stephen Bullivant. The best exploration I've read so far of the deconstruction headline.
- The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, by Beth Allison Barr.
- Unity through Repentance: The Journey to Wittenberg 2017, by Thomas and Amy Cogdell. (I've reviewed this book on Goodreads.)