My Reading List in 2013

This past year, for the first time since middle school, I kept track of the books I read. And I am SO happy I did! It made me read more critically and it helped me make better recommendations to friends. I'm definitely doing it again this year, a year in which I suspect I will be reading a lot as I prepare to deliver and nurse again (I found I read a ton while nursing last time). I also learned that I was correct in my assessment that I read two books per week, on average, as my 2013 total was an even 100. I didn't read as much serious non-fiction as I suspected, but that's because of both terrible morning sickness that made it easier to get lost in a story and because of all the writing and promotion I did for my own book, which was released in September. People ask me how/why I read so much and the simplest and truest answer is that reading still shows me new people and places and ideas-- and it's basically my favorite activity in the whole world. I can't imagine that changing and I love sharing it with my boys. I suppose if you count board/children's books, I have read hundreds of books this year, ha ha. Look forward to modeling good reading for the family (on hard copy paper and in e-form) for years and years to come...

Of the 100, here were my Top 10 from 2013, all of which I have already, and will again, recommend. Listed here in the order in which I read them; some of them surprised me in making the cut but they are the ones that stayed with me long after finishing.

1. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

3. The Innocents by Francesca Segal

4. The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

5. Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster

6. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiScalfani

7. The English Girl by Daniel Silva

8. The Good House by Ann Leary

9. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

10. Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Honorable Mentions: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan; Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker; andThe Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler.

And I already have my first entry in for 2014! One change I plan to make to the list this year is that I didn't find it particularly useful or meaningful to report/record the way in which I read the book (iPad vs. Hard/softcover), so I plan to drop that this year.

Happy Reading in the New Year, everyone. :)


Blogging and Reading in 2013!

Like my friend and writing buddy Rebecca Sullivan (whose blog June Carol Clair I love)--and inspired by another by writer friend, Nina Badzin--this year I'm going with an unconventional New Year's resolution. I'm going to keep track of all the books I read in 2013 on my blog and include, like Nina, "pithy" reviews. Reading in 2013

I always say that I read a lot (I estimate on average 1-2 books per week), but I haven't kept track of what I've read since middle school when I went a little crazy participating in my school's Accelerated Reader program (one year I read about 1500 points worth and by eighth grade I was writing tests since I'd read so many of the books already...). So I'm excited to share the books that I read for fun (a mix of mysteries, fiction, and some YA) and for work (non-fiction about beauty, kids' activities, competition, and mainstream sociology and non-fiction)!

For each book I plan to say how I read it (on my iPad, Kindle, or in paper form) with a short description, link, and any other pertinent details. For example, here are two books I recently read:

1) Circle of Silence by Carol Tanzman (paperback version)- I enjoyed Tanzman's dancergirl (which I reviewed here) so I couldn't wait to read her latest. The main characters are new, but some of dancergirl's main characters make small appearances, tying the high school trilogy together. In the wake of Newtown was even more disturbing, but teens will appreciate the suspense, romance, and independent teen lives portrayed.

2) Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham (advance reviewer copy) [Note that the author spells her name the "right" way, ha!]- Another YA book with a plot that anyone who has ever loved NKOTB, N Sync, or One Direction will relate to-- and anyone who has ever had friends who change in high school. A fun summer read with movie-like qualities (which makes sense given the author also writes screenplays!).

Can't wait to read and write with you in 2013!