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.
October 2020 Reading:
Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler (Amazon, Bookshop) — Nominated for the Lambda Award, short-listed for Carl Brandon Awards, nominated for a Locus Award. More Octavia Butler! More, more, more. I loved this novel.
Dustland by Virginia Hamilton — One of a strange, haunting trilogy.
The Idiot by Elif Batuman (Amazon, Bookshop) — A New York Times Book Review Notable Book; finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; long-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. I came across this excellent list of recommended “campus novels” (a term I’d never heard before, for a kind of book I love), and I added several titles to my to-read list. I loved this novel, and find myself reflecting back on it often.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Amazon, Bookshop). I love what might be called “two paths diverge” stories—like Lionel Shriver’s brilliant The Post Birthday World (Amazon, Bookshop) or the delightful movie Sliding Doors. This is a fantastical look at what it might be like to explore the “what ifs” of our lives.
Remembering Smell: A Memoir of Losing—and Discovering—the Primal Sense by Bonnie Blodgett — So many people these days are losing their sense of smell because of COVID-19. In this account, Blodgett recounts her experience after losing her sense of smell from using Zicam. It’s a powerful tribute to the power and importance of this sense.
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (Amazon, Bookshop) — Locus Award for Best First Novel; John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. I read this terrific list of “The 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time” and have been tracking down all the ones I haven’t yet read; I discovered this excellent novel that way.