How many books did you read and did you meet or beat your own personal goal?
I read 126 books this year. I beat 52 and 104 by a lot. I upped my goal by 10 at a time after 104, so I beat 120, but didn’t reach 130.
What story stayed with you a long time, left you wanting more or needing time to digest?
1984 by George Orwell. It’s such a part of our pop culture now. There were things that made me nervous about just because of the parallels to today. But it was the end that really stayed with me. It was sad and hopeless and creepy all at the same time.
What are some quotes that made you read them a second time?
“Once the Irish landed in America, the sympathetic feelings disappeared. Americans feared the destitute, emaciated emigrants, many so weakened from hunger and disease that they could not work. The Americans also feared the spread of typhus and other infectious diseases. They also worried that the newcomers would take jobs away from them and drag down wages.” (Black Potatoes by Susan Campbell Bartoletti)
“Mao, the dictator, had been the friend of the devils. He had wanted China in perpetual turmoil so that he could rule forever. He’d had a simple philosophy: peace and leisure bred unrest and resentment against leaders, while a sense of crisis strengthened his own leadership.” (China’s Son by Da Chen)
“It is not always necessary to grant things not asked for, for by doing so such things are often viewed as of little value or are taken for granted. However, when the need of something is sensed, that thing becomes valued in the eyes of the one who has recognized the need.” (Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan)
“Nazi flags had appeared on every office building and home, until it became dangerous not to have one. Until dissent became unpatriotic. Unit it became criminal to not stand and salute the fuhrer. And then worst part was that Germany hadn’t suddenly ‘become’ racist and evil. That rot had been there, under the surface, the whole time. Hitler’s hate-filled speeches had allowed the seeds of German bigotry to grow like weeds until the choked out anything else that might have flowered there.” (Allies by Alan Gratz)
Top 5 Books of the Year
We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Refugee by Alan Gratz
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Allies by Alan Gratz
(Yeah, that’s six… sue me)
Bottom 5 Books of the Year
Women Under the Knife by Ann Dally
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
Who Killed My Daughter? by Lois Duncan
Bruno’s Dream by Iris Murdoch
Drown by Junot Diaz
The Appointment by Herta Muller
(Again six… oh, well)
How many books are in your To Read pile right now?
752 (That’s 91 more than at the end of 2018 and 229 more than at the end of 2017 when I started keeping track… I don’t think I’m doing this whole read the books you already have thing quite right…)