For 2020, I decided to push myself a bit more on my reading goals. In the previous few years, I set a goal of 60 books to read each year and I’ve been able to meet or exceed that pretty easily. So this year, I set a goal of 72 books to read by the end of the year. My current progress has me at 58 books completed so far and I’m tracking at 7 books ahead of my goal for the year.
I am pretty pleased with that, especially considering how many podcasts that I still listen to. I feel that I have hit a pretty good balance between podcasts and audiobooks throughout my days at work. I enjoy mixing between the two because I think it helps to keep me mentally challenged and engaged while getting stuff done at the office. The podcasts typically are where I am learning new things while the books tend to tilt more towards entertaining my brain. Although sometimes, they do just the opposite and the podcasts entertain while the books teach.
I went back through what I have read so far in 2020 and there have been a few highlights that I wanted to, well, highlight. First is Dead Wake by Erik Larson. It is a non-fiction book that tells the story of the sinking of the Lusitania and how it drew America into World War 1. This book was very interesting with many parts reading more like fast-paced fiction rather than historical non-fiction. History is a big interest of mine and this book really hit that target for me. Also in non-fiction, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson really stands out among the books that I have read this year. I normally shy away from books that are not in my wheelhouse, but this felt timely and necessary to me. The author, Carol Anderson, did a tremendous job of covering so much of the history behind why America is divided racially. It is an unflinching, difficult read and I am better for having read it.
The majority of what I read is fiction, specially fantasy, science fiction and comics. I often say that read what I like, not to impress other people. As a result, the books that I read might not be award winners or culturally enriching. At 47 years old, I don’t care about impressing anyone with what I read and frankly, I never have. With that being said, I am proud of the books on the ‘read’ list so far this year, even if they are not everyone else’s idea of a good book. In looking back, here are a few of my favorites.
Firstly, Of Sea and Shadow by Will Wight, has been my favorite fantasy this year. It was different than a typical sword and sorcery fantasy but it was so very interesting. It has a lot of interesting concepts, featuring high-seas adventure and a whole new type of magic system that I just loved. I hightly recommend it and I am going to start the first book in its parallel trilogy soon. That’s right, there are two trilogies written concurrently, telling the story from different points of view. I’m definitely here for all of it.
My favorite science fiction has been The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi. It is the first in a trilogy by Mr. Scalzi, and this was pretty much a lock to be a favorite of mine because I love pretty much everything from the author. I also really enjoyed Legionnaire by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole. This is the first from the Galaxy’s Edge series and it looks to be a strong, action-packed series for me to get further into.
That’s it for me for now. I am really looking forward to finishing the year strong with my reading. I expect that we as a family will finish the last of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which we are reading together before bedtime, and then we will need to try something new together. I am very excited about that along with my own reading journey.