Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Insatiable Appetite for Reading

Doesn't it figure that the year I loosen my reading expectations, lower my book reading goal on Goodreads, and quit my book club, is the year that I develop an insatiable appetite for reading.

Last week I had to increase my reading goal on Goodreads from 30 books to 40 books for the year. I was seven books ahead of schedule and it is only the end of March.

I recently finished Stephen King's book On Writing. His top piece of advise to writers is "read a lot and write a lot". I am well on my way this year, although I did feel a bit sheepish when Stephen said he is a slow reader, finishing only 80-90 books per year. If he is slow, I am almost comatose. We won't talk about how many words he writes a day.

I usually have a tangible book, and an e-book going at the same time. The great thing about e-books is that I can be reading it on my iPad and then when I have to wait somewhere, like the grocery story line or the doctor's office, I can continue to read the book on my iPhone. I recently have taken the plunge into audio books. I love listening to a book while I am at the gym, it is a great motivator. I want to keep listening to the story.

I have also found that if small talk isn't your God given gift, being a reader helps you to find a topic to discuss. If you read enough you are bound to find common ground. On our recent cruise with some of my husband's co-workers and their spouses, I found this very helpful (small talk not being my God given gift). I was reading Brave Girl Eating on my iPad on the plane. The book is written by the mother of a high school age daughter with anorexia, a well written book since the mother is a professor of journalism. That book was discussed many times over the course of our cruise, it is amazing to me how many people know somebody with an eating disorder.

I found Brave Girl Eating on BookBub.com (another recent addiction), it is all e-books, either on Amazon or iBooks. They send out a daily emails with the specials of the day, e-books ranging from free to $2.99. You choose the categories of books you are interested in when you sign up for the emails.

One of my favorite daily activities on the cruise was to wander the among the lounge chairs on the upper decks looking at the covers of books people were reading (this is one downfall of e-books), I am a sucker for a good book cover. I discovered a few good ones in my wanderings, one being The Widow by Fiona Barton. It was interesting to see how many people were reading the same book or the same author, I saw a lot of Jojo Moyes.

I didn't finish all the books I brought on the trip, but I did finish two and started two others.

The best moment came when we were at the Miami Airport on our way home, we had a couple of hours before our flight. I had had my share of sitting for the week, so I left my husband in charge of the carry-ons and wandered off towards the bookstore I had spotted on the way to our gate. I went in not with the intention of buying, only to capture interesting book covers with my iPhone. When I returned to our waiting area, my friend Stacy was back from her own wanderings. We discovered that we had each taken photos of book covers for future reading ideas. We compared photos.
Stacy's captures:

My captures:

These five have been added to my very long to-read list.

First Quarter Reads:

Tangible Books:
On Writing - Stephen King - 5 stars
Imagined London - Anna Quindlen - 3 stars
A Detroit Anthology - Anna Clark - 4 stars
Thunderstruck - Erik Larson - 2 stars
Wanderlust - Rebecca Solnit - 3 stars
The Creative Habit - Twyla Tharp - 5 stars
All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr - 5 stars
The Storied Life of A.J. Fiery - Gabrielle Zevin - 5 stars
The Paris Wife - Paula McLain - 4 stars

Brave Girl Eating - Harriet Brown - 4 stars
The Longing for Home - Frederick Buechner - 4 stars

Audio Books:
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris - 5 stars

Not a bad start for the year. I would love to hear what you are reading right now.


  1. I'm right there with you on the voracious reader bit. I read pretty quickly, thus polishing off at least 2-3 books a week unless it's a giant tome. My 3rd grade granddaughter is a voracious reader and her teachers are always telling her to slow down because she finishes so far ahead of everybody else. That's my girl! I have, however, become devoted to my e-reader, which I never thought I would. But books are like old friends to me and I can't bear to part with them. If I buy an actual book I have to find space for it - and that is a problem!

  2. It's always interesting to see what people are reading! I'm reading a Guillaume Musso book right now in French, though some of them have been translated into English. His style is quite fascinating and there's always a point when you can't put the book down!

  3. Just started "In a Different Key: The Story of Autism" by John Donvan, Caren Zucker. So far I find it fascinating. Also reread, and choose as my bookclub pick for the month of May, The Leisure Seeker
    by Michael Zadoorian which I read a couple of years ago and really liked.

    1. Oh, and I have read "Every Fifteen Minutes" and liked it very much. I have listened to an interview with Sue Klebald and would like to read the book. Have not read the books that you photographed.

  4. I too am in a reading mode. I just finished "The Fifth Gospel" which was a very interesting read and am now reading "Flight of Dreams" a fictional historic novel of the last flight of the Hindenburg. Always interesting to see what others are reading.

  5. I loved reading this report Sarah...we share so many reasons for why we like to read. I also got more aggresive with my reading this year...because I figured out last year that I was way behind...putting th joy of reading to last of my daily list...this year it is first. The Stephen King book got to me also...good writers have to be good readers and I had the same reaction to his comment that he is a slow reader...Help me, help me..L
    Looking over your reading list I see I have to add a few more to my "want to read list"...thanks for the fun post.

  6. I have always enjoyed reading. It made me smile thinking of you wandering around the ship seeing what others are reading. Sounds like you got a few good ideas for your next reads!

  7. I, too, loved The Storied Life of A J Fikry! Have you read The Orphan Train? It is wonderful. Another good one is What Alice Forgot. I am reading my 15th book of the year thus far. I went through a 3 year period when I could not read. Reader's Block ~for an avid reader is beyond painful. I probably read a total of about 8-10 books during that 3 yr. span. So HAPPY to be back to reading again. I hope I never go through that again! Happy reading!

  8. Not a bad start at all, Sarah!
    Good for you!!!

  9. I used to read read read - largely because my mom had a book addiction and I got her hand-me-downs. She would read 3 or more books a week, donating literally thousands to various libraries over her last years alone. I often wonder how she would have taken to electronic books, perhaps a mixed emotion because of the pleasure she took in exploring book covers and that certain intimacy you get when finishing someone's sentence or act with the mere turn of the page.

  10. I love reading too. But I hate a book I don't like!

  11. Thank you for the book suggestions. I have wondered if Stephen King's book On Writing was good or not. I will put that one on my list. I haven't read anything this year yet that is worth recommending. Right now I am in between books. I have many 'samples' on my Kindle and am trying to decide which to purchase at the moment. :)

  12. I was in a reading mania for months . . .
    Lately I have been in "reader frost."
    Although this evening as I was deciding that I needed to catch up on blog posts and comments,
    I looked at the books on my night stand and felt the "thaw" happening.
    I reached for The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah . . .
    I think I am in the mood . . .
    (Finishing tax prep comes first though . . .)
    Happy Easter Sarah . . .

  13. My life has gone a different course from reading over the last 10 years but I have some spiritual books that I've been enjoying. A book about St John of the cross I loved and now am beginning his collected works.

  14. My life has gone a different course from reading over the last 10 years but I have some spiritual books that I've been enjoying. A book about St John of the cross I loved and now am beginning his collected works.


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)