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 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.
When I read books related to an area I’m researching for a writing project, I carefully read and take notes on the parts that interest me, and skim the parts that don’t. So I may list a book that I’ve partly read and partly skimmed. For me, that still “counts.”
You can also follow me on Goodreads where I track books I’ve read.
If you want to see what I read last month, the full list is here.
And join us for this year’s new challenge: Read for 21 minutes every day in 2021!
The year of 2020 was a tough year, so as a treat, this 2021 challenge is a delightful challenge. If you read for 21 minutes per day for 365 days, that’s 7,665 minutes, or almost 128 hours of reading. You can read a lot of books in 128 hours!
A surprising number of people, I’ve found, want to read more. But for various reasons, they struggle to get that reading done. #Read21in21 is meant to help form and strengthen the habit of reading.
January 2021 Reading:
Circe by Madeline Miller (Amazon, Bookshop) — Indies Choice Best Adult Fiction of the Year Award; Red Tentacle Award, American Library Association Alex Award, and Elle Big Book Award; shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction. People have been telling me forever to read this book—I loved it. I’ve been reading a lot of things classical lately, not sure why.
Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones (Amazon, Bookshop) — Pen/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction Finalist, shortlisted for National Book Award. A thought-provoking collection of short stories—I’ve found myself reflecting back on several of them. Really creates a sense of place.
Secrets by Nancy Hale (Amazon) — A wonderful novella about a family, a place, and a time.
The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating by Gary Taubes (Amazon, Bookshop) — We interviewed Gary Taubes in episode 308 of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast. As I write about in my book about habit change, Better Than Before, Taubes’s work changed my life (and my father’s life).
Little, Big: Or, The Fairies’ Parliament by John Crowley (Amazon, Bookshop) — Winner of the World Fantasy Award and Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. I heard about this book because it was recommended by Ted Chiang, and I love the work of Ted Chiang. I was astonished that I’d never heard of this novel before, let alone read it; it’s exactly the kind of thing I like. A true fairy tale for adults.
Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America by Rich Benjamin (Amazon, Bookshop) — A fascinating look at demographic change, real estate, and racial attitudes in the United States.