Welcome to the 2023 Reading List!
As always, I’m pulling over the books I didn’t get to last year and I’m full out dropping a couple that I just could not finish. In process or finished reads are in BOLD.
I read 31 (and 3/4) books in 2022, a number I’m very happy with. I hope to meet and/or top that this year.
Fear, Bob Woodward. Yes, THAT Bob Woodward. Nick picked this one, but I’ll read it, it’s about T****.
A Country Road, A Tree, Jo Baker. WWII historical fiction set in Paris.
To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf. I didn’t count this as READ, I’m about 1/4 into it… Probably won’t finish.
Paper Son, S.J. Rozen.
Fifth Chinese Daughter, forgot about this one, it’s my treadmill book. Almost done with it.
Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee.
The Distance Between Us, Reyna Grande.
The Good Demon, Jimmy Cajoleas.
The Silver Star, Jeannette Walls. This is NOT a memoir, unlike the two books of hers I read last year. I like her voice, I hope it carries into fiction.
Books I hoped to acquire in 2022, they are from Obama’s reading list (still around, but mostly dropped for 2023):
Land of Big Numbers, Te-Ping Chen
Empire of Pain, Patrick Radden Keefe
Things We Lost to the Water, Eric Nguyen
Intimacies, Katie Kitamura
Started in 2022, ongoing:
The Interior, Lisa See. NOT a Chinese historical fiction, more of a mystery. Just started this one Dec 20, so it won’t be finished this year. So far, it’s pretty good. It’s a mystery within a historical setting.
Christmas Book Hurl!
Crying in H Mart, Michelle Zauner. A memoir I’ve been wanting to read for a while now. Finished Jan 2. This is a well written memoir, especially for a first effort. Zauner has a good voice in writing. It was ALL about her mother dying, however. The first 1/3 – 1/2 of the book is intimate details of her mother’s illness and death, so I can’t really recommend this book for everyone. Clearly the author needed to unpack a lot about her mother’s death and her relationship with her mother, so if this is not your bag – IT IS NOT MINE – skip this book. I have zero relationship with my mother and therefore any book about how much you love your mom will not do much for me. I will say it was good enough to finish and it was a fast, easy read.
The Holy Shit Moment, James Fell. Recommended by Nana Visitor – I HIGHLY recommend you follow her IG.
Unwinding Anxiety, Dr Judson Brewer. DITTO.
Preacher, Books 1 & 2, Ennis and Dillon. Graphic novels, since we liked the TV series so much.
Peach Blossom Spring, Melissa Fu. Gift from Heather! This is a family story with a decades long arc. It’s fairly well written, but only medium engaging. The story is good, it’s just not engrossing. Almost finished!
Dying of Whiteness, Jonathan Metzl. This is a sociology book on how guns, racism and eliminating social programs (education) are destroying America. The 3 focuses of the book are the 3 places he has lived: Missouri (guns), TN (racism) and Kansas (defunding education). Being from TN, I can already confirm his initial assessment of the people who live there and support the refusal to support ACA or any healthcare. This is a research book, not really a fun read, but a very important one.
Raising the Horseman, Serena Valentino. Valentino’s take on the Headless Horseman. She also does a full series of Disney Villains books. They are in YA (young adult), but very readable.
Goodwill and Xmess Set!
Sabbat Essentials, Llewellyn. Informational books about each sabbat with recipes, rituals, lore, etc. I am trying to get back to my more intuitive self with these and the new Tarot deck I got, which is already reading my beads! LOL
High Fidelity, Nick Hornby. He wrote About a Boy, which was made into the movie of the same name. This book is from 1995. This book is a definite MEH. VERY English, mostly just observational. No ending. Not great.
The Circle, Dave Eggers. This is the guy that founded McSweeney’s! Written in 2013, about computers taking over.
The Mermaid Chair, Sue Monk Kidd. I liked The Secret Life of Bees, so thought I’d give this a go.
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, Kristin Newman. For obvious reasons… Started this one to interleaf with Dying of Whiteness. I can’t read sociological research EVERY night, yanno? This author is a TV writer, which gives her the money and time off to travel A LOT. This is a collection of tales of her travels and the wild times that come with them. Very fun read, albeit a little bit of a downer at the end. Yep, she gets married and has a kid. Meh.
Eight Hundred Grapes, Laura Dave. Something about vineyards and family.
Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer. We have a collection and this is not in it, soooo…
Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass, Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen). Have not read this, but adore the movie. The second story is under 100 pages.
Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand. I’m glad I picked this up! It has lots of photos of Seabiscuit! Looks like Hillenbrand did a LOT of research! There are extensive notes in the appendix.