Tuesday, November 3, 2015

15,000 Pages with 1,479 to go

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On January 1 of this year I made my usual list of resolutions. They're written down in my journal, and keeping it real, I can't recite them all off the top of my head.

I know one was to improve my knitting skills. Working on that.

One was to read the Bible through - Genesis to Revelation,  I'm a bit behind, but think I'll make it, in in spite of the fact that I do not love reading Leviticus about body fluids and such, or Ezekiel, Jeremiah, etc. (I've read it, start to finish, a few times, but like to repeat it every few years.) The whole 'scripture is living and sharper than a two-edged sword' thing...
Another item was to do a better job of staying in touch with family and friends. I'm doing better. Not fabulous, but better.

Get strong, more flexible - a work in progress.

And one of the last ones was to read 15,000 pages this year. I didn't set a number of books, but rather pages.

My Bible is 1,873 pages and, adding that to what I've read so far this year, it left 13,127 more pages to choose as I please.

I know there is a segment out there - because I am one of them - who likes to hear what others are reading. I thought I'd share what I've read so far this  year (no comments, just a listing):
Wild, Cheryl Strayed
Own Your Life, Sally Clarkson
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce
Delicious, Ruth Reich
The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
War Brides, Helen Bryan
Still Alice, Lisa Genova
Tender at the Bone, Ruth Reichl
Not Becoming My Mother, Ruth Reichl
The Little Guide to the Well-Read Life, Steven Leveen
The Diary, Eileen Goudge
The Year of Reading Dangerously, Andy Miller
Book Lust, Nancy Pearl
Deconstructing Penguins, Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Time Machine, H G Wells
The Bookclub Companion, Diana Loevy
Reading Group Handbook, Rachel W. Jacobsen
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, Nina Sankovitch
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh
The Reader, Bernhard Schlink
Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud
In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan
Food Rules, Michael Pollan
Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
Home, Marilynne Robinson
Lila, Marilynne Robinson
All Wound Up, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce (read again for bookclub)
Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Taylor Brown
Leaving Church, Barbara Taylor Brown
Orphan Train, Christina Baker Klline (a re-read for bookclub)
Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
The Best Yes, Lysa Terquerst
Come Rain or Come Shine, Jan Karon
Knitting Yarns, Ann Hood

I've been keeping a reading journal since 1990, the year when I read Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Lincoln by Gore Vidal, Roots by Alex Hailey, Centennial by James Michener, Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreath, Jr., the Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty. That was the year our kids were 14, 7 and 5, so I'm amazed I got that much read! I've kept that journal every year since then, except for 1998 to 2001. I have no idea what was going on then, but I hate that I can't look back and see what I was reading, for the list often tells what was going on in my life.

This year, so far, has been about my brother dying unexpectedly, realizing my mother had moderate dementia and needed to be moved to a nursing home, having a long-term friendship end unexpectedly, hitting a wall physically and emotionally so that I needed to learn to take better care of myself, starting a neighborhood book club, thinking about my own personal faith and how it works out in my life, learning to prioritize and say gentle no's and best yeses, and working on my knitting skills. These are all reflected in what I've read this year.

I also set a goal, a number of years ago, to read every single Newberry Award winner. The Newberry was first given out in 1922, to one single young adult book. I've made my way through about 25% of them, and add at least a handful of them to my reading list every year. Slowly I'm realizing that goal.

If you'd like to start a journal (quote I don't know the source of: 'the best time to plant an oak tree is 30 years ago, the second best is today!'applies here), here are some tips. Mine is in a small 3 ring notebook, with several pages of lined notebook paper for each year. Nothing fancy or complicated.

So, counting the pages I've read (which are written down in my reading journal), and including finishing Revelation likely close to midnight on December 31, I've made it through 11,648 and have 1,479 pages to spare. That's about four or five typical novels.

Does anyone have anything wonderful to recommend? I don't like dark, evil and also not hot tub yuck stuff. Other than that, I'm pretty wide open to genre. My favorites are historical fiction, biography and non-fiction that tells me how the other half lives. I appreciate any suggestions! If they're  more enjoyable or riveting than Leviticus or Ezekiel, I'm good with that.

Blessings,
Bev

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