Monday, December 25, 2023

What I Read In 2023

Before the clock strikes midnight on 12/31 closing out the year, I’m going to have finished reading 26 books this year.  I’m pretty sure that’s a personal best.  At least in my adult memory.  Better than 2 per month.

So what am I reading?  Primarily, thrillers.  Definitely my genre of choice.  There are familiar names on my reading list like Stephen King, John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Dennis Lehane, Jodi Picoult (my first book by her) and Anthony McCarten.  Interestingly, there are works of fiction from other famous names like Tom Hanks and Stacey Abrams.  A handful of biography/non-fiction works including Unscipted by James Stewart and Rachel Abrams, Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson, Being Henry by Henry Winkler and Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (a recommendation from my daughter).  And of course, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zein which was on many people’s reading lists this year.

Seeing how long my list was for the year, along with the inclusion of so many new authors that I’m reading for the first time, I spent some time thinking about why.  Where I’m landing is that the recommendation engines have gotten better.  Every time I finish a book, I have some app or website recommending new books that they think I’ll like.  And I’m actually liking them!  The last few books I’ve read have been political thrillers and I think I’m starting to skew the algorithm in that direction.  While I’ve enjoyed them, they are not my favorite so I think I’m going to have to choose something different for my next few reads to rebalance the recommendations going forward.

Another reason I think I’ve read so many books is because of Libby.  For those unfamiliar, this is the app by the public library system which I’ve used to borrow many of my selections this year.  But here’s the catch – for super popular titles, Libby only lends them to you for 5 days.  So for those titles in particular, I’m powering through them to finish before they must be digitally returned.  If not for this dynamic, I might consume them at a more leisurely pace.

And lastly, I’ve gotten some great recommendations from friends.  So let me know if you’ve read something really great this year and I’ll put it on my list for 2024.  As mentioned, I lean toward thrillers but I’m open to suggestions if you have found a really great read. 

Thanks for your input.


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