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As we finish the first week of the new year, I would like to reflect on my last year’s reading. I read more than I have in years, and I noticed it helped me feel better than I have. Some highly regarded intellectuals like John Maxwell, as well as other sources, note the importance of regular reading and how a routine of even fifteen minutes a day can lead to finishing numerous books in a year. Last year I learned a lot as I kept my mind cycling through books rather than my ruminative thoughts. Here is a list the list of 61 works I read last year:

A * denotes a book read for a book club or list.

*Noah’s Compass – Anne Tyler

The Longest Ride – Nicholas Sparks

The Girls of Mischief Bay – Susan Mallery

*The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

*The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh

*The Dressmaker – Kate Alcott

*Defending Jacob – William Landy

Captivating – John and Stasi Eldredge

Princess – Jean Sasson

*Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen

*Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand

Supergirl – Michael Green

*The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George

Supergirl Vol. 1: The Girl of Steel – Jeph Loeb

The Wasted Vigil – Nadeem Aslam

I Kissed Dating Goodbye – Joshua Harris

What the Dog Saw – Malcolm Gladwell

The Depression Cure – Stephen S. Ilardi

This Is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper

*American Born Chinese – Gene Luen Yang

*Everything Everything – Nicola Yoon

*Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

*I Am Princess X – Cherrie Priest

Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbit

*Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

A Mad, Wicked Folly – Sharon Biggs Waller

The Leaving of Things – Jay Antani

Batman: The Killing Joke – Alan Moore

Waiting for You – Susane Colasanti

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids – Sarah Ockler

Gifts Differing – Isbel Briggs Myers

*Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris

*Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

Emmy & Oliver – Robin Benway

Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

*The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

*Dept. of Speculation – Jenny Offill

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

*Club Dead – Charlaine Harris

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

See Me – Nicholas Sparks

The Mistletoe Promise – Richard Paul Evans

Starry Night – Debbie Macomber

*Scoop – Evelyn Waugh

The Christmas Box – Richard Paul Evans

Timepiece – Richard Paul Evans

The Death of Superman – Dan Jurgens

 

Books I reread:

If I Stay – Gayle Forman

Much Ado About Nothing – William Shakespeare

The Choice – Nicholas Sparks

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

The House at Pooh Corner – A.A. Milne

 

I choose Eleanor & Park as my top read last year. It completely pulled me into the story and relationship between the characters as I found myself thinking about them between readings. I found myself exclaiming I wanted to cry when I finished; the reality and emotion in that book felt so tragically authentic. This book may become a routine read for Valentine’s Day or some occasion so I can enjoy it on some regular basis. I highly recommend it. Sadly, I saw it several times before deciding to give it a try. I picked it off the bookshelf at stores so many times thinking it caught my interest but not feeling completely compelled. Now I’m gifting it to friends who feel the same way because I want them to experience its greatness as well.

Last year I also read my first few comic books. I still hold no expertise when it comes to the comic world, but I have learned that not all comics hold equal appeal. The same character has stories by numerous authors. While the storyline may follow similarly in all of them, some simply aren’t as good. I suggest using some sort of research, whether Goodreads or other readers, to avoid reading the ho-hum comics.

Since Christmas and my birthday have just passed, I’ve got a nice stack of books ready to get me through the first part of the year. I’m excited to keep up the heavy reading (to keep my heavy spirits up)!

 

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