Fifty Three

In 2002 I decided to record every book that I read during the year. I was working in libraries at the time and was reading a lot. Even though I was only 28 at the time I felt like I was rereading the same books without realizing it. So to solve this problem my reading log/journal was born. For ten years now I have written down every title that I have read (immediately after reading them) and record some initial reactions about the book. This is mainly so I can remember whether or not I liked the book and also if I would read the author again/recommend it to others.

Even though this journal is simply a listing of books and reactions, it has become a neat way to look back at my life over these past years. When I started it I was working full-time and had no children. I was discovering new authors (A. Manette Ansay/Myla Goldberg) and also reading some old favorites (Maeve Binchy/Anne Tyler). Then in the fall of 2003, J got a new job and we were suddenly moving back to Illinois (from Wisconsin). I stopped working in October and began the process of finding us a new home. That year saw titles like The DaVinci Code and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Early in 2004 we were pregnant and so the book choices took a whole ‘nother turn towards childbirth and child-rearing like Misconceptions: Truth, Lies and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and Babyhood. With a new baby and then toddler in the house, my reading took a back seat. Those were lean years of reading. But in 2008, M started preschool so with that came more independence for her and more free-time for me. I enjoyed Eat Pray Love and Every Last Cuckoo and Isabella Moon. Then in 2009, C happened. A baby (and a stong-willed one at that) makes herself known in our house and we decide to put our 2 bedroom house on the market in 2010. So the lean years returned for a while.

Which brings me to last year and the reason for the numbered title of this post. 2012 and 53. Much to my amazement I read 53 books this past year. It is the most I have ever read in a year. Some reasons for this are: this year I read more young adult fiction than I have ever in the past and C entered preschool this past fall. As I stated earlier, preschool truly helped both of my girls see that they are separate from me and gave them more confidence to not rely on me so much. So them being not so needy = more time for me to read, etc. My eyes were truly opened this year to the wonderful world of young adult/children fiction this year. I was mostly reading to get a heads up to what Miss M might be reading sooner rather than later. But boy was I in for a delightful surprise to discover books that touched me deeply, made me laugh and genuinely a joy to read.

My favorites for 2012?

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Sandcastle Girls by  Chris Bohjalian

The Age of Miracles by Karen T. Walker

How about you? What are your favorites over the past year?


  1. I have found myself reading a lot more this year as well. It’s so nice to just have a little time to read again and I also think it’s good to model for the kids as well. I have been reading more and more young adult/kids as well for the same reason (pre-reading for Jack). I read Wonder recently and really loved it (going on Jack’s summer list) and I’ve been waiting for Fault in Our Stars to be free at the library.

    You need to get on Goodreads!!! I want to see what you’re reading all the time (so I can steal your good titles). 🙂

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