Reading 2020

I have to read a lot of books for school. That’s what being an English major is all about, after all. Last year I decided to be realistic about how many books I’d read when I entered the number in Goodreads. And I was just about spot on. I chose 24, I read 25. More than half of those were assigned.

Writing and reading for pleasure are both difficult for me when I am in school. There are so many demands and I am just trying to stay afloat mentally that those things I enjoy the most are shoved aside.

This year, I am trying to get a system in place that will afford me more time for those two things because they are both incredibly beneficial to my mental well-being.

One of my lists I made up on Notion is my extraneous reading list. These are books that I want to read this year and I don’t think any of my professors will assign. I could be wrong, but my Lit prof generally picks books I have either never heard of, or I’d never have read on my own. I know some students hate that, but I love the challenge.

This is my planned reading list for the year. The list is not in order of when I’ll read them. I’ll probably jump around, even before I finish a book. I get bored of the same author some times and need a change. πŸ˜‰

Lab Girl and Behave have been on my “shelf” for a while. I just haven’t had/made the time for them. They might get read first.

The book on sisu is one of two books published on the subject. It’s written by a researcher who is from Finland. I am reading the only other book right now. It is written by a writer. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the book by the researcher will end up being the one I like better. πŸ™‚

Newton, well, is Newton, so I must read it. This is part of the dust jacket description:

“The essays in part I shed new light on Newton’s motivations and the sources of his method. The essays in part II explore Newton’s mathematical philosophy and his development of rational mechanics and celestial dynamics. An appendix includes the last paper by Newton biographer Richard W. Westfall, examining some of the ways that mathematics came to be used in the age of Newton in pursuits and domains other than theoretical or rational mechanics.”

The Body Keeps the Score will be the first book I’ve read on recovering from trauma. I’ve read a lot of articles, including articles in scholarly journals, but I haven’t read a book. I’m not sure what more I will find in there, but it can be helpful to just read about a subject from a different perspective. Another person might be able to explain something to you in a way no one else has.

On the other hand, Small Habits Revolution, which I started this week, is just a rehash, almost verbatim, of everything else I’ve read on habits. I’m not impressed at all. Everything in it can be found on productivity blogs for free. I am going to try to finish it because it is such a short book, but I’m glad I didn’t pay money for it.

Infinite Powers is about Calculus. ‘Nuf said. πŸ˜‰

Night Train to Rigel and Dune Messiah are just for me. Timothy Zahn used to be my fave author, but I haven’t read anything by him in years. And I loved Dune (which I read last year) so I am going to continue the series until I burn out. πŸ˜€

The Radiance of the King is a stretching book. Toni Morrison discussed it in her book The Origin of Others, which was my favorite book I read last year.

The Meaning of It All was recommended on a book Insta I follow so, hey, I’m a sucker for recommendations. And it’s Feynman and I can’t remember when I last read Feynman.

Finally, Gravity’s Rainbow. If you haven’t seen Knives Out, you won’t get the reference. Basically, it’s a book people mention, but no one has ever read–except, it turns out, Rian Johnson. The entire scene in the film cracks me up, so now I must read the book.

What will you be reading this year, and what was your favorite book from last year?

6 thoughts on “Reading 2020

  1. Quite intrigued by the Sisu books, I will seek them out. It is really hard to fit in extra reading when you are studying, feels frustrating when you have a huge study read list and there is something you really want to read to just satisfy your own curiosity. Good luck with the study and the reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I have only been reading the one that is written by the Canadian immigrant to Finland. It’s probably useful because she harbored a lot of typical views and problems associated with living in the US and Canada. But she didn’t grow up in it. I think both books will be useful.


  2. Renata, what a fascinating list of books. I think the only one I’ve read is DUNE MESSIAH. I had a copy of GRAVITY’S RAINBOW for years but never read it, and now I want to see “Knives Out” AND read GRAVITY’S RAINBOW.

    My favorite book from last year. Hmmm, I finally read T. H. White’s THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING WHICH blew me away. It was an incredible reading experience. Another book I read and absolutely loved was a small Japanese novel, CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN BY Sayaka Murata. It’s a perfect little novel. What will I be reading? Yikes! My TBR pile has turned into three or four piles. I’ve just finished WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING, which was good. I’m also reading William Dever’s DID GOD HAVE A WIFE which is a study of folk religion in ancient Israel. Dever is an archaeologist and hence a interesting perspective. I’m halfway through Alfred Habegger’s MY WARS ARE LAID AWAY IN BOOKS: THE LIFE OF EMILY DICKINSON. It is an excellent biography. So, as you see, much of my TBA is catch up!

    Thank you for the “like” for my comment on Jim’s post on prayer. I read on your about page that you are an atheist. I too am atheist with a hard leaning toward a mix of Taoism and Zen Buddhism.

    I’ve just published my first novel online, GIRLS WHO DON’T BELIEVE, in which a young lady, a staunch evolutionist, and undeclared atheist, meets and begins a relationship with a Christian fundamentalist. The narrative gave me a great sounding board to go after a few Christian sacred cows. If you have Kindle Plus you can get if for free. I’d love for you to take a look. BUT having thrown out a shameless promotion, I would be just as happy if you come over and give my blog a visit. πŸ™‚

    And you’re an English major! I was an English lit professor at an HBCU, Historically Black University, Alcorn State, in south-central Mississippi. It’s always good to see a fellow English major and lover of books!

    You have a marvelous blog, Renata, and I’m glad to have met you. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I will definitely look into your book. Sounds interesting if for no other reason than to find out why she would do such a thing. πŸ˜€

      I like your list of books. I have a few of those on my future list. I keep hoping some things on my list will just get assigned to me in class but so far my professors have not been so kind. πŸ˜‰

      You must see Knives Out. It is fantastic. I’ve seen it twice and it was better the second time, which says a lot for a mystery. Knowing who did it took nothing away from the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will definitely watch Knives Out. And I hope all goes well at school. I’ll burn incense and try to push good karma your way! πŸ™‚


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