Back in January, I made a few goals for the new year. These goals included learning to bake a mighty fine loaf of bread (there were a lot of failures, but one massive Thanksgiving dinner success in the challah from this book), cooking 100 different meals (which I started recording at the beginning of the year, but ended up totally forgetting about after a couple of months), and reading 26 books.
Guys, I finished my 26th book of the year this week! With 2 weeks to spare!
I realize reading 26 books in one year may sound like a grand goal to some of you, and like a measly goal to others. I remember our pastor casually mentioning that he read something like 130 books last year. But for me, setting a somewhat achievable goal of 26 ensured I read something other than the required texts for grad school, or the stack of magazines that grows next to our couch. If I could read for fun all day long, I would do so quite happily. Unfortunately, it is harder to cook 100 different meals while reading a book than it is to cook 100 different meals while watching Parks and Rec in its entirety for the 4th time (something else I accomplished this year). So while I am feeling pretty proud of myself for reading my little heart out, please know that I also watched a heck of a lot of television this year, because while I may feel like I have little time to get everything done, there’s always time for one more episode of Gilmore Girls.
I also became a podcast listener this year (read: I became really cool), and am working my way through Gilmore Guys (a podcast where two guys talk about every episode of Gilmore Girls) and The West Wing Weekly (a podcast where two guys talk about every episode of The West Wing). Goodness, this is embarrassing. I promise that I occasionally do things unrelated to television.
For those of you that enjoy lists of reading recommendations, here are all of the books, good and bad, that I read this year. An asterisk next to the title means I liked it and would recommend it. I read some really good ones this year. And some really lame ones that I hoped would get better by the end. They didn’t. A lot of this year’s reads were nutrition related (hey, grad school and real life interests colliding!), so I’ve broken them down into two categories: Nutrition and Everything Else.
Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being by Marc David (required reading for school, as well as an interesting read for those who struggle with eating disorders or listening to their bodies)
*The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David A. Kessler
*Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
*Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham (I’d recommend this one if you, like me, are in love with Lauren Graham, enjoyed Parenthood, or wanted to know more about Gilmore Girls)
*Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
*The Mothers by Brit Bennett
*The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes
*All the Winters After by Sere Prince Halverson
When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
*Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
*The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
*The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy by Rainn Wilson (I enjoyed the chapters where he talked about The Office, but the rest of it wasn’t quite my jam.)
*A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
*All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
*When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
*Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human by John Mark Comer
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
I’ve got two more books on the docket for this year, if I can manage to squeeze them in: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (I’ve attempted to read this at least twice before, but always had to return it to the library before I could get very far), and Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes from and Why We Need to Get It Back by Ann Vileisis.
Happy reading! What books have you enjoyed this year?