Monday, February 15, 2016

A Record of What I've Read

I've started a list, well, actually two lists this year. One includes each book I read, with the date I finish it. The other records the ones I give up on. Thankfully the first is longer (11) than the second (5). At this point, anyway. 

I used to HAVE to read a book to the end. It was an unhealthy compulsion and one I've, thankfully, outgrown. There are too many good books out there to get bogged down finishing the poorly written ones.

I'm thinking a lot about reading because I knocked my Kindle off onto our hard ceramic tile floor and shattered part of the screen. It has a case, but the case was open because I was reading at the time. I can read the lower half, but not the upper portion, which basically renders my Kindle useless. And makes me quite sad.

But not for long. The timing of this accident was actually pretty good. Our annual conference is in two weeks, and the speaker who is coming from the U.S. has graciously agreed to bring my new Kindle. So I only have to get through the next two weeks.

And it's not like I'm without any books at all to read. It's just that 99.9% of them are in Sta. Rosa. And it will be at least another week before Ivan's ready for that two-hour drive. We do have to go out  there before conference, because I have to gather some books I'm taking to give away/exchange. Our theme for the ladies tea this year is books, and we're having a book exchange. But I'm taking some extras in case anyone forget to bring theirs.

I did have on hand Chaim Potok's "The Chosen" because it was next on the list to read out loud with Ivan. We're reading mostly non-fiction, but like to throw a novel into the mix every so often. We started that this weekend. I could also read Kindle books on my computer but I find my eyes hurt after a while when I do that.

It's also not like I have a lot of time for reading this week, since it's my goal to finish the fold-up totes I'm making for each lady who will be at conference (20). I've finished ten but that leaves ten to go. So most of my spare time will be spent at the sewing machine, not with a book.

My list of "books I gave up on in 2016" include the percentage of book I read before giving up. On my Kindle it doesn't show pages, but a percentage at the bottom. With three of the books I gave up at a measly 6% but I got up to 22% with one and 39% with the other. I really wanted them to improve, because the plot lines showed promise. But in the end I couldn't handle any more and admitted defeat.

Ivan and I had been in the middle of reading "The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction" by Adam McHugh and it is really, really good. I knew I wasn't a very good listener, but I didn't realize how truly horrible I was at it until I started this book. But then, that's the whole point of reading it: to learn how to become a better listener.

My queue of books to read is long, and I look forward to getting my new Kindle. My old was a 4th generation and the new one is 7th generation. The biggest difference I see is that the new one is touch screen, and without the keyboard at the bottom, they were able to make it shorter. Which meant I needed to get a new cover, too, and I'm pretty pumped about the pretty blue one I picked out. I'm also pretty pumped about being able to get a refurbished Kindle and save some moola.

Would love to hear what you're reading these days. Any especially good books? Here are my favorites from the past few months*:

Nobody's Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle
A great book about female relationships, and how we need girlfriends who are there for us, through thick and thin.

Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good by Steven Garber
Excellent! Cannot recommend this highly enough. Ivan and I read this together and it's one I want to read again, slowly the next time, with a notebook and pencil at the ready to take notes.

Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon
Love the Mitford books, and this was a stand-out as we see Dooley and Lacey finally tie the knot.

The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
When I saw this marked down, I snapped it up. I loved Konigsburg's "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" and this one was just as entertaining. The book weaves together the disparate stories of four kids who make up the 6th grade Academic Bowl team. Technically children's literature, I found it quite engrossing as an adult.

*Note: I finished all of these in 2015. Of the 11 I've read so far this year, they were okay but not necessarily outstanding. The one I absolutely loved I'll share about in a future post. 


Terra Hangen said...

Like you I write down the title and author of each book I read, and I began doing that in 2011. It helps me since I read a lot of books in series which can be confusing. I am reading Jan Karon too, I love her, and the Konigsburg book sounds good. I hope your Kindle arrives safe and sound, they are convenient aren't they? Best wishes on your book sharing meeting.

The Bug said...

I use Goodreads to track my books. I'm still in the "have to finish" it camp (well, there have been a few notable exceptions in the last year). I need to check out that Jan Karon book!

I don't usually read non-fiction, but for Lent this year I'm reading two books. One is a light & fluffy (if there's such a thing), Lenten book: Dust Bunnies in the Basket: Finding God in Lent & Easter, by Tim Schenck. The other one is Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, by Rachel Held Evans. Both of them are great so far!

sara said...

I keep track of my books on Good Reads. I love that I can see what others are reading and get recommendations. I just finished The Nightingale and it was excellent!