Reading Recap #7

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2019 was the Year of the Pig. For me, it was also the Year of the Book. I read sixty-one, a personal record, and found myself locked in a tie with my favorite bookworm, Nick B. I’m blessed and grateful to have the gift of time to pursue this lifelong passion. In addition to providing relaxation and escape, reading also influences my writing. I’m exposed to different styles and voices, and learn from writers who are more experienced, polished, and published. I posted my most recent titles below, but want to mention a question and answer found within one of the selections.

Robert “Robbie” de Villiers was just sixteen when he was diagnosed with leukemia. The year was 1944 and the survival rate was low. Robbie succumbed to the disease. In 1949, five years after Robbie’s passing, his family started a fundraising and education organization in their son’s name. This foundation, in existence for over seventy years, became the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In the book containing Robbie’s writing, he opens with a question, “Have you ever considered what the mere ability to read means?” His reply—”Our education, our success in life, may depend on the books we read.”

Here is my list:

Fiction

  • The Uncoupling-Cauvery Madhavan I met the author on Twitter. Her book takes a peek inside an Indian arranged marriage.
  • the next person you meet in heaven-Mitch Albom This is the sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven
  • Where the Heart Is-Billie Letts After being abandoned in a Walmart parking lot, a pregnant teen takes up residence in the store. 
  • Sourdough-Robin Sloan This quirky, techie, story has a unique main character—a sourdough starter. (Thanks, Nan, for suggesting the last two titles.)

Memoir

  • Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis This book could also fall under self-help.
  • Hello Nobody: Standing at the Door Alone—What To Do When Everything Changes – Janet Haney I met this local, self-published author at a book fair. Our journeys are eerily similar.
  • RAR. de Villiers- A Boy’s Philosophy: Writings of Robert A.R. de Villiers 1927-1944 A tribute addition from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Over The Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love – Jonathan Van Ness I’ve never watched the Netflix show, Queer Eye, so I was unfamiliar with the author. I always enjoy a glimpse into the life of another.
  • Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered -Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark This memoir tells the life story of the two authors, true crime fanatics and creators of the Podcast, My Favorite Murder. I highly recommend this selection to my favorite true crime fanatic, Laura Jean.

Self-Help

  • Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who And What You See Before You Die – David Kessler This quick read (160 pages) is full of stories from hospice workers, doctors, nurses, and social workers and the deathbed visions they witness and hear about in their work with the dying. It reminded me of a longtime favorite book, Final Gifts.
  • Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief – David Kessler Mr. Kessler co-authored, On Grief and Grieving, with Elizabeth Kubler Ross, M.D., best known for her Five Stages of Grief theory.
  • The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family From a Lifetime of Clutter – Margareta Magnusson. I’m working on an essay about clutter, so this selection served as research for me.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope some of the titles resonate with you. If you have any suggestions for me, I’m always looking for my next read. Happy New Year. I hope it’s full of growth, joy, good health, and books!

4 thoughts on “Reading Recap #7

  1. Happy New Year to you and your family. 61 books, that is somewhat amazing to me. I wonder if I have read that many in my life? (kidding) Looking forward to #2 from you soon.

    • Hi Judy. Happy New Year to you and Don. Thanks for reading the post. I’m writing again, but working on essays for the time being. Something smaller than a book, at least for now. I do have a book idea rolling around in my head. Someday……Take good care.

  2. Joan!

    I love your reading posts and I ALWAYS find new stuff. I read Girl, Stop Apologizing by Hollis; it was good but I felt a little battered by the end.Your entire memoir category sounds interesting. Under self help: I’ve always been fascinated by end-of-life issues and wrote my senior term paper in high on Death and Dying by Kubler-Ross. I’ll definitely read about the sixth stage.

    A lot of what I read is moderate escapist fodder, nothing too naughty and nothing too gruesome. I’ll be happy to email you the last few pages of my reading log if you’re interested in perusing it!

    Hugs, Nan

    • Hi Nan. Thanks for the comment. I, too, had some issues with the Hollis book, but try to refrain from sharing negative comments about the work of any author. I agree with your reading-as-escapism hobby. I believe everyone should read, whether it’s newspapers (getting harder to find), magazines, and/or books. It sure beats numbingly scrolling through social media sites, filling our brain with the shallow and often hateful tone of so many posts and tweets. Please email me your reading log. I’m certain to find my own future escape.

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