Growing up, I was a pretty avid reader. I was almost always working my way through a book and usually maxed out my limit on how many titles I could take out of the library at one time. With work, kids, life, etc., over the years my reading slowed down but still remained steady.
Then the pandemic hit. Suddenly, I found myself having difficulty concentrating. Between daily news updates about the pandemic and the overwhelming quantity of news about our country’s political situation, I couldn’t sit still and read for any extended period. I think I only read 4 books in 2020.
In 2021, life returned to some form of normalcy and my reading improved. By my count, I completed 8 books that year.
At the start of this year, I set myself a New Year’s resolution to try to get back to a regular reading schedule with a goal of completing at least one book per month.
How did I do? Last night I just finished my 16th book this year! Very exciting.
I mainly read fiction but have a few nonfiction books in there. Here are my top 5 favorites of the year (in no particular order):
Billy Summers by Stephen King – I read everything by Stephen King. I definitely have some that I like more than others. This one was well-paced and very enjoyable. I read it while locked in my den recovering from COVID and it was an enjoyable companion.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir – I’m not a huge sci-fi guy but my son recommended this so highly that I had to give it a shot. The author had also written The Martian a few years ago which became the movie by the same name with Matt Damon. The book was exciting, inventive and explained the science and physics in a way that made it understandable to lay people like myself. It was a very enjoyable read and I walked away feeling smarter.
Deep State by Chris Hauty – I read a review of this one in a magazine so gave it a shot. It was a political thriller filled with a likeable main character and LOTS of unexpected twists and turns. I enjoyed it so much that I read the other three books in this series. Hard to put down.
Sparring Partners by John Grisham – Next to Stephen King, Grisham is my other “go to” author. I have read nearly everything he has written. There is more of a sameness in the books he writes than Stephen King but his books are always well-plotted and interesting. Being a lawyer myself, I relate to most of his main characters.
The It Girl by Ruth Ware – This is not the kind of book I would normally have picked for myself but my wife recommended it so I gave it a shot. It is a murder mystery set at Oxford University which then jumps 15 years or so forward. The author is a Brit so it took me a little while to get accustomed to some of the terms and slang she uses but there were plenty of twists to keep me interested through the entire book.
Of course it is December 12th and I’m wondering if I have one more book in me for the year. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know.