General Commentary Personal and Professional Development

Reading 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

These are the books I’m reading this year. Instead of waiting to the end of the year I’m adding as I compete (or drop) them. I’m working to get better at letting go of books that I’m just not that into instead of struggling through… we will see.

More books this year than last are “kids” books. This is in part a reaction to the covid days and wanting something much more fun to read. Kid’s books have always been a regular part of my reading diet and I mss them. Mostly, I like Middle Grade (less so YA, no hard and fast rules here though), leaning to fanciful, maybe fantasy, maybe about animals, but probably not about a day at school (exceptions may occur).

Pax by Sara Pennypacker | Fiction
What a great, sad, heartwarming story. Makes you laugh and cry in the first few pages. Sara Pennypacker does a really cool thing (works best in the first few pages) of sharing the POV of the Fox about his boy in a way that is so specific it relates deeply. Love it.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairlyand in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherine M Valente | Fiction
FUN! A lush read that rips you around Fairyland told by a charming narrator who wants the best for her characters, but understands that heartbreak is unavoidable. Just a really wonderful book.
Highly Recommend

The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Regan Barnhill | Fiction
What a wonderful book! Did you know? I hope so, if you didn’t pick it up. It was my first by Kelly Regan Barnhill and it seems I am late to quite a fantastic game. A fantasy story about a lovely witch and a horrible witch and a young witch and a dragon and a monster and a whole bunch more. Barnhill uses these characters, setting and magic to tell a beautiful coming of age story full of learning to lie, discovering a private self, making the jump into adulthood and how the best intentions even of adults sometimes go wrong.
Highly Recommend

What A City Is For by Matt Hern | Non- Ficition
Ugh. I’m (still) reading this right now and not sure if I will finish it. Honestly based on the writing so far I’m not sure the author ever finishes it or just gives up. The author is super smart and I think probably right about everything he is writing about, even if I often have no idea what he is writing about.

Animal Farm by George Orwell
Did you read this in high school? I didn’t. We must have read Brave New World and/or 1984 instead I to get our fill on anti-utopian/anti-communist literature. I wish we had read this. As you probably know it is a super transparent allegory of communist Russia, staring Napoleon the Pig as Stalin. What you might not know or remember is that Animal Farm succeeds because it is a great read that is hard to put down. Oh the things these animals do! The things they fall for! And gosh Stalinist communism was (truly) terrible. Pick it up! It’s at the library or super cheap in a bin somewhere wishing you’d read it.

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