I’ve had a bit more time on my hands recently and have filled it with plenty of new stories. I wrote last year about what I read in 2019 and though I read a lot of stories written by female authors, I challenged myself to not only read more this year (my Goodreads challenge for 2020 was to read 24 books) but to read from more diverse sources. At the beginning of June 2020, I had read 32 books.
While I did branch out slightly, in terms of the types of books I’m reading (online serials, audiobooks, graphic novels, physical and e-books), I could definitely continue to do better at diversifying what I’m reading and who I’m reading. The same challenge remains from last year.
Since I’ve reached the half-way point of the year, I have been doing some reflection on what I’ve enjoyed reading so far.
I’ve done some rereads: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (a classic), The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (one of my favorite authors), Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (a humorous break from more serious reads), and The Stranger by Albert Camus (what I wouldn’t give to be fluent enough to read this in French). I am reminded of my belief that certain books should be read at certain times in your life for them to be powerful and others can be read at any time for them to be impactful beyond words.
I read some books that are highly praised by friends and reviewers: Normal People by Sally Rooney (a worthwhile, yet highly uncomfortably real read), The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (a bit outdated, but still interesting), and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (an author I am very excited to read more from). I’ve also added just as many recommendations to my list as I have read this year.
My most recent reads have been a bit all over the place: Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey (a murder mystery in a magical school), We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (a timely read and very accessible), and Spring Girls by Karen Katchur (a bit meh).
And then finally, the books I’m currently reading: Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom (a collection that reminds me of my sociology roots) and The Martian by Andy Weir (genuinely making me laugh out loud). As I “flip” back and forth between a story about a man with gallows humor stuck on Mars and a collection of essays about what it means to be a Black woman in America, I find myself enjoying the ability to seek out stories from different perspectives.
So as I continue to borrow books electronically from my local library and continue to support local bookshops, I have a feeling these next six months will be filled with even more stories – who knows? maybe I’ll read twice my goal for the year!