Books for the year

I have a conservative goal for myself this year regarding books: read 15 novels. Compared to last year’s 55, it’s a low target. It’s more achievable though, considering the other resolutions I have.

I’m proud to say that I’ve already finished three books this year: Michelle Obama’s Becoming, Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient, and Jane Harper’s The Lost Man. Becoming I only managed as I read the majority of it last December (does that count as cheating?). I finished the other two, meanwhile, as I was killing time in the Philippines. I’m already on my way to finishing my fourth book, Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman.

This is what I really want to achieve, though: to read, and actually enjoy, non-fiction. Autobiographies, essays, history: I’d like to have a deeper understanding of how great people think. I want to understand how their beliefs shaped their decisions. Admittedly it will take effort to enjoy non-fiction, considering my many, many failed attempts. But, perhaps, having these in the form of audiobooks would make it easier.

Prime example: Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I enjoyed her autobiography as an audiobook. Curious about the hype, I downloaded it off Audible and listened to it while in the Philippines. Poignant and genuine, Becoming chronicles Michelle’s roots, and shows her vulnerabilities as she grew from a young lawyer to the first lady of the USA. It helped me see that great people don’t have their path forged for them from birth. No matter what circumstance you’re born into, working hard, thinking through your decisions, and living purposefully takes you to greater heights.

Here are the other books I’d like to read this year:

  • Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
  • Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
  • Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

My hope is that, by delving deep into these writers’ lives and thoughts, I become a more enriched person. There’s always something to learn from others; no harm comes in expanding your thoughts. But of course, reading shouldn’t only be about learning! There’s a reason why, thus far, I’ve read more fiction than non-fiction.

What other books, non-fiction or not, do you recommend? Let me know!

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