A Feast of Books

 

When I was growing up, I read like I breathed. I remember reading an entire book (or close to it) during church one time (before my parents stopped letting me read during church, haha). I told one of my parents’ friends about it after the service and he did not believe me, but that’s who I was. I read all the time.

Then, college and the Internet hit, and I stopped having a lot of time to read. After that, I found my attention span had been greatly affected, and so I just chose not to read much.

However, a few years ago, I started really reading again, and I would say this year has been my greatest feast on books in a long time. Part of it is because I discovered audiobooks, but even so, I’ve actually read 24 physical books so far this year, and I’m almost done with another one with plans to read at least two more. My total right now is 40 books for the year, but it should at least get up to 45. My goal was 30 (20 physical books and 10 audiobooks). 

I think my favorite physical book I’ve read overall is probably Persuasion, by Jane Austen (a re-read), and my favorite audiobooks were the Harry Potter series (sorry to be a typical millennial). My favorite new book might be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was part of my quest to read classic literature that I missed growing up. I’ve made a list of 50 classic books that are almost all different authors, and I am working my way through them a little at a time. This year, from that list, I also read Brave New World (which was my overall least favorite book of the year – I would not have finished it if it hadn’t been the audio version), The Great Gatsby, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The book I’m reading now is Frankenstein, and that will be my last “new classic” for the year.

Next, I’m going to turn my focus to Christmas books. I started the Chronicles of Narnia audiobooks so that I can listen to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe during the Christmas season (I’ve read them before, so I thought I’d listen this time). I also read the first six Trixie Belden books, and the last one of those was a Christmas book. (I don’t know if anyone here read Trixie Belden, but my mom and sister love them, so I decided to finally give them a try – they are so fun!) I’ll finish out the year with Hercule Poirot’s Christmas and Andrew Klavan’s new book, When Christmas Comes. 

Bon appetit! 

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  1. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    I started listening to audio books in about 1995.  I decided that I would listen to all the books I should have read in high school, but didn’t.   So I listened to Austin, Dickens, Homer, etc.  There have been only two books I didn’t care for:  Moby Dick and Ulysses.  Why either of them is considered a classic is beyond me.  I couldn’t even finish listening to Ulysses.

    • #1
  2. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher
    @HankRhody

    I’ve been on the one book a week plan. At this rate I’ll be done before December hits.

    Though I’ll admit that an embarrassing proportion of those books qualify as pulp rather than classics. 

    • #2
  3. Julia1492 Member
    Julia1492
    @Julia1492

    I love your post! It’s always delightful finding another bookworm. :-)

    I do love Harry Potter. I honestly couldn’t get excited about Persuasion because it seemed like all they did was take walks, and much confusion could’ve been saved by them simply asking “Hey, we used to like each other. Do you still like me? You do? Sweet!” I realize this would’ve skipped all the drama that people like, but for me it just wasn’t as witty as P&P. However, many of my friends love Persuasion, so maybe I should try it again.

    I read Middlemarch this year and was very pleasantly surprised. I hadn’t any previous ideas of what it was about, only that some people call it the Great British Novel and it was rather long. I also read A Tale of Two Cities a year ago and man, it was astounding. It helped remove the block I’d had on Dickens since being forced to read David Copperfield when I was a teenager.

    Narnia is always such a great read. I read those over and over as a kid as well.

    I have a pretty ambitious book list for next year, and The Big One is going to be War and Peace. We’ll see if I can make it through. If you’re interested, feel free to find me on goodreads. You can try the same username as on here, Julia1492, or if that doesn’t work, my name, Julia Hanson; my profile pic is me in a red sweatshirt with my pup sitting in front of me. I love connecting to people who love to read and talk about what they’re reading. 

     

    • #3
  4. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    Julia1492 (View Comment):

    I love your post! It’s always delightful finding another bookworm. :-)

    I do love Harry Potter. I honestly couldn’t get excited about Persuasion because it seemed like all they did was take walks, and much confusion could’ve been saved by them simply asking “Hey, we used to like each other. Do you still like me? You do? Sweet!” I realize this would’ve skipped all the drama that people like, but for me it just wasn’t as witty as P&P. However, many of my friends love Persuasion, so maybe I should try it again.

    I read Middlemarch this year and was very pleasantly surprised. I hadn’t any previous ideas of what it was about, only that some people call it the Great British Novel and it was rather long. I also read A Tale of Two Cities a year ago and man, it was astounding. It helped remove the block I’d had on Dickens since being forced to read David Copperfield when I was a teenager.

    Narnia is always such a great read. I read those over and over as a kid as well.

    I have a pretty ambitious book list for next year, and The Big One is going to be War and Peace. We’ll see if I can make it through. If you’re interested, feel free to find me on goodreads. You can try the same username as on here, Julia1492, or if that doesn’t work, my name, Julia Hanson; my profile pic is me in a red sweatshirt with my pup sitting in front of me. I love connecting to people who love to read and talk about what they’re reading.

    My favorite Austen book is definitely Persuasion. I get what you mean about it not being witty and charming the way P&P is. But, I find Persuasion is Austen at most her mature writing, in terms of story and especially character work. Emma and P&P are like the silly, funny early years and Persuasion is like the later years where you’ve had time to think over all your regrets and the Britishism of living in quiet desperation. 

    • #4
  5. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    I’ve also been doing the read-one-book-a-week thing. It’s mostly worked out, except for a few busy weeks. I’ve read almost exclusively fantasy and sci-fi, which is always the case every year. 

    Audiobooks are super nice when I do re-reads of series. I spend a lot of time coding of debugging for work, so I usually have an audiobook going then. I’m like speeding through The Wheel of Time because of it. God knows I would have given up on the reread because of how ridiculously repetitive this series is. 

    @alliehahn and @julia1492 You both should participate in the book club fights, if you’re not aware of them. Question starts on Saturdays. 
    https://ricochet.com/1090806/ricochet-duelling-book-club-chapter-7/

    • #5
  6. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    I am back in the classroom for GSI duties so I am reading less non-academic stuff (which I don’t bring up) but I read a few fun kindle unlimited werewolf books for the Halloween time period. I am a big Murakami fan and I haven’t read Killing Commendatore and I guess he has a new anthology First Person Singular. I’d like to read those.

    I’m reading, just other things and when I’m not reading I’m trying to make it through some games.

    The last paper book I read was Time on the Cross (about slaver) and I really enjoyed that. I wish there were a kindle for that book since i’d like to keep more notes on it so I can reference it when I do some writing.

    • #6
  7. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

     My reading tends toward history.   The one thing I usually re-read at Christmastime is A Time for Trumpets by Charles MacDonald.  It is the story of the Battle of the Bulge … my Dad’s piece of WW2.   MacDonald is not just an historian but commanded a rifle company in that battle.

    • #7
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Allie Hahn: The book I’m reading now is Frankenstein, and that will be my last “new classic” for the year.

    My condolences.

    I was about to start reading The Count of Monte Cristo (having never read it before) but got sidetracked by Freddy and Fredericka (which I have read before, but I forgot how funny it was).

    • #8
  9. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    I try to read Moominvalley in November every November, but I haven’t started it yet this year. It’s such an amazing bit of Scandinavian existentialism. So wonderfully depressing.

    • #9
  10. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    My reading tends toward history. The one thing I usually re-read at Christmastime is A Time for Trumpets by Charles MacDonald. It is the story of the Battle of the Bulge … my Dad’s piece of WW2. MacDonald is not just an historian but commanded a rifle company in that battle.

    Thank you, @ekosj, for the book recommendation. My old outfit, B Company, 501st AIR of the 101st Airborne Infantry was there, but that is a book I hadn’t read. I just ordered the book.

    • #10
  11. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    My reading tends toward history. The one thing I usually re-read at Christmastime is A Time for Trumpets by Charles MacDonald. It is the story of the Battle of the Bulge … my Dad’s piece of WW2. MacDonald is not just an historian but commanded a rifle company in that battle.

    Thank you, @ ekosj, for the book recommendation. My old outfit, B Company, 501st AIR of the 101st Airborne Infantry was there, but that is a book I hadn’t read. I just ordered the book.

    You are most welcome.  The my Dad always spoke kindly of paratroopers.   He was an MP.   In the predawn hours on the morning of the attack they were just setting up to direct traffic on ‘Skyline Drive’ atop The Schnee Eiffel.   ‘Skyline Drive’ marked the porous front line in that part of the Ardennes.   They were lucky to get out alive … an outcome for which he credited the arrival of the airborne.

    • #11
  12. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: The book I’m reading now is Frankenstein, and that will be my last “new classic” for the year.

    My condolences.

    I was about to start reading The Count of Monte Cristo (having never read it before) but got sidetracked by Freddy and Fredericka (which I have read before, but I forgot how funny it was).

    I haven’t read The Count of Monte Cristo, but I’ve listened to it a couple of times.  It’s OK.

    • #12
  13. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: The book I’m reading now is Frankenstein, and that will be my last “new classic” for the year.

    My condolences.

    I was about to start reading The Count of Monte Cristo (having never read it before) but got sidetracked by Freddy and Fredericka (which I have read before, but I forgot how funny it was).

    I haven’t read The Count of Monte Cristo, but I’ve listened to it a couple of times. It’s OK.

    I have a BBC Radio dramatization of it on my “to listen” list, but I wanted to read it first.

    But other stuff gets in the way.

    • #13
  14. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: The book I’m reading now is Frankenstein, and that will be my last “new classic” for the year.

    My condolences.

    I was about to start reading The Count of Monte Cristo (having never read it before) but got sidetracked by Freddy and Fredericka (which I have read before, but I forgot how funny it was).

    I haven’t read The Count of Monte Cristo, but I’ve listened to it a couple of times. It’s OK.

    I have a BBC Radio dramatization of it on my “to listen” list, but I wanted to read it first.

    But other stuff gets in the way.

    I’m probably biased because I love Dumas’ books. But I found all of Dantes’ scheming and elaborate plans to be very fun. 

    • #14
  15. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Allie Hahn: My favorite new book might be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was part of my quest to read classic literature that I missed growing up.

    Can’t tell you how much I smiled reading that. “Classic literature.” You young people….

    • #15
  16. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    I’m reading Homer Hickam’s new book Don’t Blow Yourself Up which is excellent.

    • #16
  17. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I was the same as a child — into my 20s, in fact: I read constantly. That waxed and waned with the obligations of family and work, but I’ve managed to remain a regular reader. Still, I feel the tug of streaming services and social media, and know I don’t read nearly enough now. And then I look at the young tick-tock (whatever) obsessed school kids and wonder what their world will be like.

    I write industrial automation software, and my biggest clients have for many years been companies that make the machines that make books. I love books (and those may be the only inanimate objects about which I’ll use that verb).

    Thanks for the post. It’s good to be reminded that we can still take time and read.

    • #17
  18. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I started listening to audio books in about 1995. I decided that I would listen to all the books I should have read in high school, but didn’t. So I listened to Austin, Dickens, Homer, etc. There have been only two books I didn’t care for: Moby Dick and Ulysses. Why either of them is considered a classic is beyond me. I couldn’t even finish listening to Ulysses.

    Moby Dick is on my list, and one of my friends loves it, so we’ll see! If I can’t get into a book, I’m not going to make myself finish it, but audiobooks would help with that, too. 

    • #18
  19. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher (View Comment):

    I’ve been on the one book a week plan. At this rate I’ll be done before December hits.

    Though I’ll admit that an embarrassing proportion of those books qualify as pulp rather than classics.

    Lol, a lot of mine are short or are kids’ books, but it still counts! 

    • #19
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I was the same as a child — into my 20s, in fact: I read constantly. That waxed and waned with the obligations of family and work, but I’ve managed to remain a regular reader. Still, I feel the tug of streaming services and social media, and know I don’t read nearly enough now. And then I look at the young tick-tock (whatever) obsessed school kids and wonder what their world will be like.

    I write industrial automation software, and my biggest clients have for many years been companies that make the machines that make books. I love books (and those may be the only inanimate objects about which I’ll use that verb).

    Thanks for the post. It’s good to be reminded that we can still take time and read.

    Because of the omnipresence and ease of devices (and wasting time on them), you really have to be deliberate about it.

    Thankfully, my iPad is so old and slow that web-surfing with it is nearly impossible. But it’s still great for reading with the Kindle App or the iBooks App. So that’s mainly what I use it for. (Why yes, these old eyes do appreciate the ability to instantly go “large print” with one tap.)

    • #20
  21. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Julia1492 (View Comment):

    I love your post! It’s always delightful finding another bookworm. :-)

    I do love Harry Potter. I honestly couldn’t get excited about Persuasion because it seemed like all they did was take walks, and much confusion could’ve been saved by them simply asking “Hey, we used to like each other. Do you still like me? You do? Sweet!” I realize this would’ve skipped all the drama that people like, but for me it just wasn’t as witty as P&P. However, many of my friends love Persuasion, so maybe I should try it again.

    I read Middlemarch this year and was very pleasantly surprised. I hadn’t any previous ideas of what it was about, only that some people call it the Great British Novel and it was rather long. I also read A Tale of Two Cities a year ago and man, it was astounding. It helped remove the block I’d had on Dickens since being forced to read David Copperfield when I was a teenager.

    Narnia is always such a great read. I read those over and over as a kid as well.

    I have a pretty ambitious book list for next year, and The Big One is going to be War and Peace. We’ll see if I can make it through. If you’re interested, feel free to find me on goodreads. You can try the same username as on here, Julia1492, or if that doesn’t work, my name, Julia Hanson; my profile pic is me in a red sweatshirt with my pup sitting in front of me. I love connecting to people who love to read and talk about what they’re reading.

     

    I’ll definitely add you on Goodreads! War and Peace is on my list, but for sometime in the far future. 😂 Tale of Two Cities is the Dickens I picked for my list (I’ve tried to make them all different authors)! I forget if Middlemarch is on there, but I’ll keep it in mind because I’m about to tweak the list. Some of the books I have on it now I don’t think I really want to read. 😅

    P&P is my second favorite Austen, but all the emotions of Persuasion get me, I guess. But there’s definitely less action!

    • #21
  22. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    LC (View Comment):

    I’ve also been doing the read-one-book-a-week thing. It’s mostly worked out, except for a few busy weeks. I’ve read almost exclusively fantasy and sci-fi, which is always the case every year.

    Audiobooks are super nice when I do re-reads of series. I spend a lot of time coding of debugging for work, so I usually have an audiobook going then. I’m like speeding through The Wheel of Time because of it. God knows I would have given up on the reread because of how ridiculously repetitive this series is.

    @ alliehahn and @ julia1492 You both should participate in the book club fights, if you’re not aware of them. Question starts on Saturdays.
    https://ricochet.com/1090806/ricochet-duelling-book-club-chapter-7/

    I’ve found audiobooks great for re-reads, too! Otherwise I would never have time to read Harry Potter as many times as I would like. 😅

    I’ve done one of the book fights! I was looking for one recently but there wasn’t one currently running. Glad they’re back at it! 

    • #22
  23. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    My reading tends toward history. The one thing I usually re-read at Christmastime is A Time for Trumpets by Charles MacDonald. It is the story of the Battle of the Bulge … my Dad’s piece of WW2. MacDonald is not just an historian but commanded a rifle company in that battle.

    I love history books, too, especially biographies – last year I read a Samuel Adams biography that was one of my favorite books of the year. 

    • #23
  24. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    Allie Hahn (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    I’ve also been doing the read-one-book-a-week thing. It’s mostly worked out, except for a few busy weeks. I’ve read almost exclusively fantasy and sci-fi, which is always the case every year.

    Audiobooks are super nice when I do re-reads of series. I spend a lot of time coding of debugging for work, so I usually have an audiobook going then. I’m like speeding through The Wheel of Time because of it. God knows I would have given up on the reread because of how ridiculously repetitive this series is.

    @ alliehahn and @ julia1492 You both should participate in the book club fights, if you’re not aware of them. Question starts on Saturdays.
    https://ricochet.com/1090806/ricochet-duelling-book-club-chapter-7/

    I’ve found audiobooks great for re-reads, too! Otherwise I would never have time to read Harry Potter as many times as I would like. 😅

    I’ve done one of the book fights! I was looking for one recently but there wasn’t one currently running. Glad they’re back at it!

    I don’t think Andrew has missed a week since he started it? It’s very new though, only 7 weeks in. Usually with these fights (book or movie ones), all the comments happen on Saturdays and Sundays and then they’re silent throughout the week.

    • #24
  25. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    LC (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: The book I’m reading now is Frankenstein, and that will be my last “new classic” for the year.

    My condolences.

    I was about to start reading The Count of Monte Cristo (having never read it before) but got sidetracked by Freddy and Fredericka (which I have read before, but I forgot how funny it was).

    I haven’t read The Count of Monte Cristo, but I’ve listened to it a couple of times. It’s OK.

    I have a BBC Radio dramatization of it on my “to listen” list, but I wanted to read it first.

    But other stuff gets in the way.

    I’m probably biased because I love Dumas’ books. But I found all of Dantes’ scheming and elaborate plans to be very fun.

    I think that’s the Dumas book on my TBR list! 

    • #25
  26. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn: My favorite new book might be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was part of my quest to read classic literature that I missed growing up.

    Can’t tell you how much I smiled reading that. “Classic literature.” You young people….

    Haha, yeah, I pretty much count classic lit as books that have stood the test of time and were published prior to 1980. 😅

    • #26
  27. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I was the same as a child — into my 20s, in fact: I read constantly. That waxed and waned with the obligations of family and work, but I’ve managed to remain a regular reader. Still, I feel the tug of streaming services and social media, and know I don’t read nearly enough now. And then I look at the young tick-tock (whatever) obsessed school kids and wonder what their world will be like.

    I write industrial automation software, and my biggest clients have for many years been companies that make the machines that make books. I love books (and those may be the only inanimate objects about which I’ll use that verb).

    Thanks for the post. It’s good to be reminded that we can still take time and read.

    Because of the omnipresence and ease of devices (and wasting time on them), you really have to be deliberate about it.

    Thankfully, my iPad is so old and slow that web-surfing with it is nearly impossible. But it’s still great for reading with the Kindle App or the iBooks App. So that’s mainly what I use it for. (Why yes, these old eyes do appreciate the ability to instantly go “large print” with one tap.)

    I’m sure I’ll need that at some point – I have terrible eyesight as it is. 

    • #27
  28. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    LC (View Comment):

    Allie Hahn (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    I’ve also been doing the read-one-book-a-week thing. It’s mostly worked out, except for a few busy weeks. I’ve read almost exclusively fantasy and sci-fi, which is always the case every year.

    Audiobooks are super nice when I do re-reads of series. I spend a lot of time coding of debugging for work, so I usually have an audiobook going then. I’m like speeding through The Wheel of Time because of it. God knows I would have given up on the reread because of how ridiculously repetitive this series is.

    @ alliehahn and @ julia1492 You both should participate in the book club fights, if you’re not aware of them. Question starts on Saturdays.
    https://ricochet.com/1090806/ricochet-duelling-book-club-chapter-7/

    I’ve found audiobooks great for re-reads, too! Otherwise I would never have time to read Harry Potter as many times as I would like. 😅

    I’ve done one of the book fights! I was looking for one recently but there wasn’t one currently running. Glad they’re back at it!

    I don’t think Andrew has missed a week since he started it? It’s very new though, only 7 weeks in. Usually with these fights (book or movie ones), all the comments happen on Saturdays and Sundays and then they’re silent throughout the week.

    Good to know, thanks! 

    • #28
  29. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    I hope you don’t mind my referencing my book. GPS Declassified was published in 2013. I just got confirmation of a controversial section this week. For a long time, I was a lonely voice saying that the history accounts of a major figure about the origins of GPS were inaccurate. Now another person is doing important research which generally supports my position.

    • #29
  30. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Wait, who’s on Goodreads?

    I be here: https://www.goodreads.com/drew1365

    • #30
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