For more than two years now, every Monday morning, I've posted a photo on my Facebook Page of the books I finished during the week, with the tag #GretchenRubinReads.
I get a big kick out of this weekly habit—it’s a way to shine a spotlight on all the terrific books that I’ve read.
As I write about in my book Better Than Before, for most of my life, my habit was to finish any book that I started. Finally, I realized that this approach meant that I spent time reading books that bored me, and I had less time for books that I truly enjoy. These days, I now put down a book if I don’t feel like finishing it, so I have more time to do my favorite kinds of reading.
This habit means that if you see a book included in the #GretchenRubinReads photo, you know that I liked it well enough to read to the last page.
You can also follow me on Goodreads where I've recently started tracking books I’ve read.
If you want to see what I read in January 2019, the full list is here.
February 2019 Reading:
Pride by Ibi Zoboi -- a wonderful re-telling of Pride and Prejudice, set in Bushwick. "It is a truth universally acknowledged that when rich people move into the hood, where it's a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up."
The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas -- This is the second in a YA series by Scarlett Thomas. Now I have to wait for the third book to come out.
Eva by Peter Dickinson -- How I love Peter Dickinson! A girl is in a terrible accident, and wakes up with her mind implanted in the body of a chimp. Very interesting. Straight sci-fi.
Earth and Air by Peter Dickinson -- More Dickinson! Short stories on the theme of earth and air. Wonderful. Fantasy.
The Wave in the Mind by Ursula K. Le Guin -- Dickinson got me in the mood for Le Guin. These are various essays.
Spring by Karl Ove Knausgaard -- Another author I love. You're either on this train, or off this train. I'm on it, all the way.
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee -- I love essays and kept hearing that I had to read this collection.
Still Life by Louise Penny -- One of my most bookish friends keeps urging me to read Penny, even thought I don't usually like mysteries, and told me to start with this one. I really enjoyed it.
How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand -- I skimmed this book. Very intriguing look at buildings, cities, and how time changes a place. Loved the illustrations.
The Anatomy of Color by Patrick Baty -- I also skimmed this very dense book. It's an extremely comprehensive, authoritative and odd examination of historical issues related to color.
My Father's Fortune by Michael Frayn -- I love Michael Frayn's work and love memoirs, so had to get this book. A very loving account of a family and a time in history.
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson -- how had I not read this book before? What a title.
What have you read recently that you'd recommend? I'm particularly in the mood for essays and memoirs. Plus as part of my "19 for 2019," I vowed that during my upcoming book tour, I'd spend my time in hotel rooms reading children's/YA novels instead of watching before-and-after HGTV which (for some reason) is what I usually do. So I'd also love some children's/YA recommendations.
Announcement! We decided to launch the Happier Podcast Book Club. We'll discuss Dani Shapiro's Inheritance on episode 212 (airing March 13). Spoiler alert: it's really, really good.
One Last Thing
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