As this year comes to a close, I find myself dwelling on things I want to do better in the next year. I have a list of things that I plan to do more or less of in 2019 but that list is still work in progress. Today, I am planning my reading for the next few months.
In the last month, I have taken to listening to audiobooks on the Audible app and I am hooked. I have a lot of dead time while biking to work or grocery stores or even on short walks to run errands. I used to listen to music earlier but I realized that I am a lot lazier about discovering new music than I am about exploring new books. As a result, without external influence, my music list gets stagnant and repetitive. Listening to that on the bike ride to and from my lab stopped being super fun. Instead, I listen to audio books now. Last month I did The Handmaid’s Tale. I think, as usual, I started with the absolute best in audio books. The Handmaid’s Tale is a compelling story, written beautifully, full of insights that got me reflecting on my own conservative upbringing and the narrator of the audio book is excellent. By the time the book ended, I felt i missed her voice in my daily life.
However, listening to a book like that made me realize that if I am walking/biking when a notable line is narrated, I can’t underline or highlight it. Unlike when you read a book, you have the time to process everything in slow motion if you want to, savor the words, derive deeper meaning, etc. So, I decided that I should read and not listen to literary classics of any sort. Keeping this in mind, I used the list of Audie Award Winning books to find my next audio book. I found that Michael Connelley’s The Crossing had won under the mystery category in 2017. In the last couple of weeks, I finished The Crossing and it was really fun. Particularly, while on an airplane, a fast paced murder mystery keeps things interesting.
My reading plan is therefore going to be a combination of audio and text-based books. Books in the fantasy/mystery genre will be candidates for listening to while commuting and literary classics will still be in some written form: on my Kindle or as physical books.
As of now, my reading list has these titles:
- Hackers by Stephen Levy (read)
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (read)
- Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (read)
- Peak Performance by Stulberg and Magness (listen)
- The Secret History by Donna Tratt (listen)
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (read/listen)
Additionally, I plan to read books on things I am learning to get better at: sketching, watercolor painting and calligraphy. More on my newly acquired skills later!