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My Unread Shelf - 2019 Shortlist

24 January 2019

I took inventory of my books. It was a crazy experience to realize that I had well over two hundred titles waiting for me and then to realize that it would take me years to read them all.

I did my version of KonMari, which involved seeing if I could remember why I wanted to read these books in the first place. I ended up boxing up something like 40 books that I no longer wanted. Now to actually get them out of my house. . . .

In an effort to make some progress I decided to force myself to read or let go of twenty-four additional books in 2019. Considering I read well over a hundred books last year, this doesn't feel like that big of a deal.

My 2019 shortlist is as follows and is accompanied by zero pictures. (You're lucky there are even links.):

  1. The Appeal by John Grisham
  2. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  4. Winter by Marissa Meyer
  5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  6. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  7. Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
  8. Not The I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
  9. Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom
  10. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
  11. At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
  12. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
  13. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  14. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
  15. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  16. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
  17. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
  18. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  19. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  20. We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
  21. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  22. Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews
  23. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
  24. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
In February I'm hosting a low pressure, buddy read via Instagram for White Oleander. If you've been meaning to read it and want a little extra push then shoot me a message! 

Enjoying for the Sake of Enjoyment

22 January 2019

Over the past few months I have been spending quite a lot of time drafting and deleting posts for this space of mine. Nothing feels like quite enough for this space. All of the "rules" are popping up each and every time I sit down to write. 

Is this post helpful? Can I break down this essay into various headings to help readers skim? What about this graphic? Would I pin this? Does the pin work correctly? Do I even care? Is another job something I'm looking for during a season where it feels as if I'm half-assing all of the various roles in my life?

Once upon a time I knew none of the rules. All I knew was that I had discovered a handful of writers out there who took it upon themselves to share a little something with the world. I was inspired. I sat down and wrote, just for the practice. I wrote to empty my head, so that maybe tonight I would actually be able to fall asleep. 

I stopped writing as much last year. Instead I read a lot and finally discovered Bookstagram. I've been having so much fun sharing my love of reading with other people who "get it," with people who also enjoy a good reading spreadsheet, but rules and thoughts about likes, followers, and end-goals have begun to creep back in. These "rules" and "goals" keep souring so many things that I love and I seem to have trouble just enjoying something for the sake of enjoyment. 

All this to say that this year, I'm trying really hard to just enjoy. I want to pay attention to when things stop feeling fun and then I want to not worry so much about taking a step back. I want to look at stats next to never, unless I'm hoping to get my hands on a particularly appealing book. I want stop stressing about hobbies and spend more time enjoying the things that I do.