My first successful New Year’s resolution that I made, kept, and remembered, was: read at least one nonfiction book a month. Then, as now, I was reading about 10-15 books a month, and they were nearly all fiction. I decided I needed to push myself to branch out and read in some other areas, like (auto)biography, history, and science. Thus did I discover such excellent books as The Ghost Map, The World Without Us, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, and The Wordy Shipmates, not to mention Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Keith Richards’ Life.
In the years between that resolution and this new year, I have accumulated a number of books that I haven’t yet gotten around to reading. Most are fiction, but some are nonfiction. Most I’ve bought used, some have been sent to me by thoughtful and generous friends. It used to be that if a book was in the house, I had read it or was in the process of reading it; now that’s not the case. (Partly because I work in a library; I’m surrounded all the time by free books that I can just borrow and give back, and which always seem to take precedence over the books that I own, which don’t have due dates.)
I want to get through my shelves of unread books, either by reading them or by deciding that I don’t want to read them. After I’ve read them, I may keep them, may donate them, or may pass them on to friends, but there are too many unread books in the house.
So help me out: have you read any of the below? Loved them? Thought they were a waste of time? A few came with personal recommendations and are at the top of the list: Far From the Tree, God’s Hotel, Shantaram. If you’ve got opinions on those or any of the others, please share!