My 2015 Reading List

I managed to read 24 books in 2015. I’m currently reading Emily Giffin’s The One and Only and I’m going to try and finish it before January 1st, but for now my number is 24. I’d aimed to read 30 books this year so I missed by… let’s say 5. 

Which books did I love? The Happiness of Pursuit (Chris Guillebeau). Waking Up (Sam Harris). Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert). The Art of Asking (Amanda Palmer). Daring Greatly (Brene Brown). 

The only book on this list that could be described as bad would be, you guessed it, Grey. I had fun reading it but it was horribly cheesy and as poorly written as the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. 

What books do I plan to read in 2016? I’m going to finish The One and Only (if I don’t finish it before Friday), followed by possibly finishing A Town Called Alice (a book that my dad recommended that I had a really hard time getting in to).

In the spirit of de-cluttering (thanks, Marie Kondo), I didn’t ask for many books for the holidays this year. Besides The One and Only, I received Griftopia (Matt Taibbi), Revenge Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger), and Columbine (Dave Cullen). 

My attempt to not gather and hoard books anymore I believe will be proven futile after walking through Strand Books tonight. I saw so many books that I wanted to buy and read. Books like St. Mark’s is Dead, One of Us, Just Kids, The Opposite of Loneliness, and 10:04. I also have a ton more nonfiction novels on my floating book case in my apartment.

So many choices. So many books. So little time. I’m setting a goal of reading 25 books in 2016. I should be able to easily.

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

I read this book in a little under two weeks. It’s really a quick, easy, and joyful read. This is a totally different book from Eat Pray Love or Committed. I think she was trying to inspire people to create cool shit not, even if it never makes you any money. And I think that’s awesome.

The Voice

Lately I’ve been telling myself that I’m not a very good writer. That I haven’t found my voice yet. Who knows if I should even bother still blogging. Blah, blah, blah. What I’m really doing is comparing myself to other people who I consider better writers. They’re really just different writers than I am.

I’m happy to have found Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic, right around this time.  (I actually didn’t find it, I just picked it up off my shelf where the advanced copy has been sitting for a few months.) Gilbert talked about how she took a vow as a teenager to spend her life writing, whether or not she ever made a dime at it, and she spent her 20′s finding her voice by writing all the time. 

So I thought, that sounds good. It’s inspired me to stop my bitching and just write. That I should just write more. I’m going to make a habit of writing anything for at least 30 minutes a day if I want to get better. Not blogging once a day necessarily, just writing, like on actual paper.

I think that’s the only way to find your voice. Just keep writing. Otherwise you’re just imitating or even worse, comparing. 

(Relevant: Jordan, one of my personal favorite bloggers, just posted this link on her blog today, how timely!: (How To) Get Over Comparing Yourself to Other Creatives)