Monday, January 2, 2017

35 Books

I just decided to pop into my blog and decided it looked pretty neglected.

We spent two whole weeks in Idaho for Christmas. It was crazy fun. Maybe I'll get around to posting pictures sometime. We'll see. 

The last little while, I've been trying to articulate what goals I want to set for myself in 2017. That, of course, made me remember that I have two books I never blogged about from last year. AND I'M A PERFECTIONIST SO I'M GOING TO FINISH IT AND TELL YOU ABOUT THOSE DARN BOOKS. 

Seriously, though, it was great to focus a little bit more on reading. Maybe that seems like a silly goal, but it was important to me. When I see people that I admire, it always strikes me how involved they are. They have talents, skills, hobbies, passions. They take time to make things, improve themselves, learn things, serve people. I want to use my time on this earth wisely. I am NEVER going to look back and wish I watched more TV, or spent more time scrolling through social media. So while there are times to read and there are times to do other things, I'm glad I read this year. It was good. One step on the road to becoming an accomplished, involved person. It feels good. 

So, here are the last two books I read in December of 2016: 

Do you remember Ken Jennings? He's that guy who had a crazy long streak on Jeopardy back when I was in junior high or whatever. Yeah, I didn't remember him either. But guess what? He's hysterical. Extremely clever humor and I love that stuff. Back in 2015 I read Maphead, which was really a very entertaining book. It was nonfiction that was hilarious, interesting, light, and super informative all at the same time. So I was excited to read Brainiac, which was actually written before Maphead. It was all about trivia and the rise/fall of trivia in culture, and also sort of a memoir about his Jeopardy experience. I hate to say this, but it just isn't as good as Maphead. The sections about Jeopardy are interesting. What can I say? I like memoirs of any sort. The sections on trivia got boring for me after awhile. 

This book ^ was one of the best books I read all year. I would highly recommend it. It is a memoir from an African American man about his mother, who was white, and not only white, but raised as an Orthodox Jew. She left home and an extremely rough family situation and married a black man in the 1940s, a time when interracial marriage was still illegal in many states. When James asked his mother why she was white and he was black, she said she was only "light-skinned." When he asked her what color God was, she said "God is the color of water." There is something kind of beautiful about that. Water transcends color. Anyway, it was a great read, very sweet, very powerful, very eye-opening. 

So I just scrolled back to look at a little recap of all my book posts. Last year I read 35 books, plus a few more for my personal gospel study. Did a little research just due to curiosity...the mean number of books people read in some kind of study or something is about 20. Some well-readish people say they read 30-40, or around 50. Other fancy pantsy people read more. 35 seems kind of like a low number to me, but hey. I was reading. It was awesome. I found myself excited to write about the books I was reading and more optimistic about the fact that if I went to the library to get a book I had wanted to read for awhile, it would actually get read before I ran out of Renewals. I started lots of books I didn't finish, but that's okay I think. (Here's a secret: Sometime certain books are not worth finishing.) 

So hopefully I get around to blogging about my goals for 2017 soon. I like having the blog as accountability, so everyone has to read my boring inspiring self-improvement posts and LIKE IT. 

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