Out with the old, in with the new reading list

Miracles upon miracles, I actually finished all eight books I set out for myself to read this fall! *Cue the applause*

I’m pretty happy to actually complete a reading goal, given the challenges my job and roller derby commitment poses to the amount of free time I have to read. Eight definitely isn’t a personal best by any means, but it’s not bad considering I dealt with the beginning of another school year, a major election and various other side projects at work, on top of competing in four to five roller derby bouts since September. I like to think my vacation to Hilton Head during the last week of October played a part in getting some reading done, but to be honest, I didn’t read as much as I would have liked.

I guess the greatest part of this achievement is just completing a goal I set for myself. It’s a sign that my work/life balance is slowly returning to a state similar to normal, as well as a sign that I’m dedicating more time to myself these days. Reading helps put my soul to rights, keeps my mind and curiosity stimulated and provides a critical window into the world around me, preventing me from drowning in the cares of the here and now.

My favorite book this season was definitely A Visit from the Goon Squad, this year’s Pulitzer winner from Jennifer Egan. Three Cups of Tea, Possession, The Devil in the White City and Olive Kitteridge were also a joy. Definitely not a wasted season of reading.

I actually finished a few days early, giving me a chance to get a head start on my winter reading list, which has now been finalized:

  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World — Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Under the Dome — Stephen King (Big Books Project)
  • The Geography of Bliss — Eric Weiner
  • Fight Club — Chuck Palahniuk
  • To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee (re-read, Favorites Project)
  • Lord of Misrule — Jaimy Gordon
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel — Emmuska Orczy
  • Prep — Curtis Sittenfeld

You can see the books I’ve chosen for my various reading projects, both of which I’m very excited to read. I decided to go with the literal definition of the Big Books Project this year and tackle what’s sure to be a favorite, Under the Dome by Stephen King. I think I’m allowed after fighting through Atlas Shrugged last winter. Besides Under the Dome and Lord of Misrule, all the books on this list are ones I’ve had sitting on my TBR pile for quite awhile. Three of the — Fight Club, Prep and The Scarlet Pimpernel — are actually Joel’s. Considering the steep price of new books and the infrequency with which I go used book shopping, it’s absolutely critical I read what I have first.

So here’s to another season of reading. Hopefully, the winter months pass just as successfully as fall.

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