Reading
Books

My Year in Books

I’m still technically participating in the Goodreads reading challenge this year, but I’ve become a little less focused on targets and goals and more on just enjoying my reading. I’ll share what I’ve read and try to give you recommendations, although we all have different tastes so it’s not easy. This is not meant to be a book review.

I’ve read 20 books so far this year, which I feel happy about. That’s almost three books a month, which puts me on target for my goal of 36.

I attempted to list them in my order of preference, but it was tough as I started with my usual 1-5 stars ratings and then ranked them. I have so many in the 4 star category, making it challenging to choose one book over another. Check it out and see what you think.

I’ve read two of what I consider to be 5 star books. One was from my book club and the other was one I chose. I highly recommend both, but I also recognize that my taste in books tends towards the scary, kind of creepy stuff. Have you read either of these?

I focused a lot on some of my favorite authors and again, I’m trying to go through my old inventory. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not buying new books!! My favorite authors are putting out new ones and for some, like Jonathan Kellerman, I’d gotten behind. I think I’m all caught up now.

I don’t know how I missed the Stephen King trilogy that began with Mr Mercedes (which I read last year). I asked for the two follow up books for Christmas and when I got them, I read them almost right away. I probably mentioned last year that Mr Mercedes didn’t seem like a Stephen King book; more of a detective story. The second book (End of Watch) is along those lines as well. But the third one (Finders Keepers)? That’s definitely Stephen King!!

I read another King book – Different Seasons. Actually, it was four short stories. It’s not at all new, but I had decided I wanted to read the story that the movie Shawshank Redemption was based on. Three of the short stories in this book were made into movies.

I’m not usually a fan of non-fiction, but Between Two Kingdoms reads like a novel. It’s fascinating when you realize this is about a real person’s experience, and while I’ve never had cancer myself, I could relate to a lot of what she wrote about, having gone through so much with my mom.

Yellow Bird was a book club choice and while I didn’t like it, others did. It’s another non-fiction book about what goes on in Native American reservations. What I didn’t like about it was the way it was written, jumping back and forth in time and between characters, and it focused on Yellow Bird, a woman who wasn’t even directly involved in the various incidents. I didn’t see it, but it sounds like this story was on one of the network’s true story shows (e.g., Dateline). But it didn’t include anything about Yellow Bird.

Have you read any Elin Hilderbrand books? I picked the first one in the Paradise series (there are three books in the series) for my book club a few years ago before I realized it was a series. I read the second one in 2019 and now the final one this year. I wasn’t thrilled with the third one; it was just OK. It seems like everything could have been wrapped up in the first two books. Is it just a gimmick to sell more books? (rhetorical question)

While I may be struggling to find blogging time, I am doing pretty well with my reading. I read before bed, with the hope that it will make me sleepy. Some nights it does, other nights it doesn’t and I get a lot read!!

In the last part of the year, I’m reading three Kindle books that I got free with my Amazon Prime membership. Brand new authors, so we’ll see how that goes. But who can pass up free books? I’ve already started one and it’s not what I expected but I’m intrigued.

Happy Reading!!

19 Comments

  • Debbie Harris

    Hi there, I’ve not read any of these books but I do enjoy Stephen King when I’m in the mood. I seem to be reading so much lately, maybe because we’re locked down and can’t go anywhere and I use reading to escape.

    I hope you don’t mind that I’ve linked to your post in our first #whatsonyourbookshelf challenge which we launched yesterday.

    • Retired Introvert

      Reading is definitely my escape too. I don’t mind at all that you’ve linked to my post!! I’m honored. Thanks so much!!

  • JoAnn L Adamson

    I enjoy getting input on some good reads. I’m a slow reader as I have many other irons in the fire it seems. This last two months with having to stay “down” due to a broken ankle opened up my time for reading. A good friend and avid reader brought me three books that I found intriguing and all were good reads. They were “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah, (very good); “One by One” by Ruth Ware (an intriguing mystery); and “The Last Thing He Told Me”, by Laura Dave (different, but good). The first and last books were on the NYTimes Best Fiction recommendations for 2020.

    • Retired Introvert

      My book club considered reading “The Four Winds” this month because we’ve read Kristin Hannah books before. Maybe we’ll get to it at some point. I do like Ruth Ware, so I will check out “One by One”. Thanks, JoAnn, for the ideas!!

  • Patricia Doyle

    I’m an avid book reader. I’m not into scary stuff at all though. I like escapsim, with closure. So modern chic-lit romance that ends happy or mysteries are my go to. I’m a fan of series and like to read a bunch in a row. I am in one book club that pushes me into some other things which I usually do enjoy. Our book club just finsied “When we Believed in Mermaids” which was really intriguing and we had a great conversation about it. Then a friend passed me The Good Sister (Sally Hepworth) – a library book she just read that had 7 days left on it. I fiinished it in 2 days and actually want to re-read parts before I refurn it to the library – I want to see if I missed clues to the big twist towards the end! I still like real books in the hand, so have not gotten into the free Amazon Prime reads…maybe I should rethink that!

    • Retired Introvert

      I also read to escape and I do enjoy some chic-lit from time to time. I’m not into fantasy. My book club read “When We Believed in Mermaids” last year. I’ll have to check out “The Good Sister”. I read more and prefer “real” books but I find it tough to pass on a free book. Some in my book club like audio books but I haven’t gotten into that. I think I probably absorb more when I read vs. listening.

  • Marty

    I’m really impressed by how much you’ve read. I’ve been reading the same book now for over a month, and I just can’t seem to finish it even though I like it very much. Good on you for really finishing so many.

    • Retired Introvert

      I feel pretty good about it but I could definitely read more. I rarely read during the day anymore and I used to try to read every day about an hour before dinner. Now I play games on my iPad!!

  • Mona R McGinnis

    Like Donna, I appreciate being introduced to good reads from others. I’ve read 11 books this year. The series by Linden MacIntyre was a standout – The Long Stretch, The Bishop’s Man & Why Men Lie. Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LaDuff, was a good read. I’m currently reading The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddartha Mukherjee, a history of cancer and its treatment. It reads like a text book, not good bedtime reading.

    • Retired Introvert

      I definitely prefer fiction and would not enjoy anything that reads like a textbook!! My reading is for entertainment, however, I do occasionally read a book when I want to learn something specific. Thanks Mona.

  • Donna Connolly

    Although I consider myself a fairly avid reader (I’m currently in 3 book clubs), I haven’t yet read any of the books on your list. That’s what I love about sharing books with others — it helps to push me out of my typical reading comfort zone.
    Beginning August 20, three other bloggers and myself will host a monthly ‘What’s On Your Bookshelf?.’ I hope that you’ll join us!

    • Retired Introvert

      Three book clubs? Wow. My book club definitely introduces me to books I wouldn’t otherwise read. I’d love to join “What’s On Your Bookshelf”. I’ll watch for it. Thanks Donna.

    • Retired Introvert

      Oh, I think I’d like to read that Stephen King book. I know I’ve seen it before but have never bought it. Maybe now I will. Thanks, Janis.

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