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Hello there, friends. Let’s chat about books.
My TBR (to be read) has 112 books on it currently, and I’m sure that does not include many new releases and backlists that I’m not aware of and will still want to read. I read 61 books in 2020, much more than I have in many, many years. All things considered, it was a great reading year and I’m grateful for that reliable escape during the last tumultuous twelve months the world experienced. Most of the books I chose through the TBR, what was available at the library when it was open, and what I could get through Hoopla or Overdrive. I listen to the What Should I Read Next podcast and gained a lot of insight on books I would not normally read from there, and tracked them all on Goodreads. I also joined the book club, and greatly diversified my reading through help from other readers there, and delighted in the books we discussed and read as a group monthly. 2020 greatly restored my love of reading and I’m so grateful to be back in that space.
For 2021, I’m staying in the bookclub and will continue to build my TBR with those recommendations. I don’t mind having a long TBR, it gives me a place to hold books that I can hunt for at Thrift Shops or bookstores when they open back up (soon I hope). As for what I’m currently reading, I’m doing things a little bit different this year. I read some amazing books last year (click here to see that post) and many of those gave me a tease of things I really want to learn more about. I’m going to be doing a deep dive in to a few topics that I really want to expand my knowledge on using historical fiction and biographies.
These topics include:
Nancy Wake– a New Zealand woman who became a spy in World War II for the French Resistance. I first read about her in Code Name Helene and find her bravery to be astonishing, and her life experience enthralling. I’ll be reading biographies about her and probably watching a movie as well.
Systemic Racism in Healthcare– I am taking steps on my anti-racist journey and learning about what I can do to end systemic racism in healthcare. When I learned about the experience of a black mother giving birth and the drastic difference in survival as compared to my experience as a white woman, I was appalled. I’m learning what I can do next to advocate for this to change by diving into the history of BIPOC in the medical field, and exploring how I can best impact current policy.
History of my town: I found a book at the local museum discussing our town, and I loved peering at the artifacts. Our town was founded in 1837, and sometimes when my daughter and I our taking our walks, I can see the history in the buildings and I become more and more curious about the people who lived her and what they did.
The Vietnam War: I have not read many books that are set in this important time period of our American history, and I do not have any on my TBR right now, so I’m looking to expand my knowledge of this beyond the documentaries and movies I have watched.
Aside from certain topics, there are a few authors and series that I also want to do a deep dive on, one that I have already started and am tearing through.
The Outlander Series: I have already gobbled up the first two books in this series (Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber) and have been blown away. Definitely do your research on trigger warnings if you are a sensitive reader, and I say sensitive in the least offensive way possible. There is descriptive violence, rape and the door is wide open in this book, but if that isn’t a bother for you I cannot recommend this series enough. It is an amazing escape to historical Scotland, and I absolutely love the world Diana Gabaldon created. The audiobook narrator is amazing as well, and I’m bummed I could not get the third book on audio, but I’m still flying through it.
The Inspector Gamache Series: I’m not thinking I’ll be able to get through this entire series this year, but I do hope to at one point and would like to make some progress with it, I currently have book two of the series checked out from the library.
Epistolary Style: I’m looking for more books written in letter format, fiction and non. This is part of my wanting to expand my knowledge of certain time periods, I want to see how people wrote and connected to one another.
And, finally, there is one author that I’ve really enjoyed reading and want to cross off her backlist for fun, and that is Liane Moriarty. The conflicts she creates and the mystery always have me quickly turning pages and questioning what I would do if faced in a similar situation. My favorite so far is Nine Perfect Strangers, but I’m looking forward to the rest of her books.
I’m holding myself to these mini projects, but also granting freedom if I see something from my long TBR come available. I’m really looking forward to this reading year and expanding my awareness of historical events, as well as crossing some large series off my list. I’m truly #outlanderobsessed, and yes, there’s a hashtag for that so I’m so relieved that I’m not alone in the love. As Anne Bogel says, as a reader you’re never alone.
I’d love to hear what some of your reading intentions are for 2021. Let me know on twitter, instagram or by leaving a comment below. Happy reading!
With Hope For 2021,