I READ 59 BOOKS IN 2 YEARS - HERE'S WHAT I LEARNED
To me, a book is something to be devoured, ingested, so it swims in your system and becomes a part of your being. Every single one of these books has become something I can talk about, part of my vocabulary, my references and my recommendations.
Every book and every inch, contributed to who I am today, in some way, and altered the ways in which I interact with the world around me. Some challenged my viewpoints, others reaffirmed them, some angered me, made me weep, kept me up at night, made me question, made me wonder. Some lines awakened a longing within me to do more or to change something, some books made me ask why things are the way they are and what I can do about it. Some stuck with me like a low hanging cloud, others passed by like a soft breeze, giving me no more than a brief shudder before it was gone and forgotten.
There are many places to read a book, obviously a couch comes to mind, but my favourite is sitting in a coffee shop by myself. You can often find me in the corner with one black coffee, three books and a laptop.
If there is something I don’t understand, a word or a reference, I look it up, I repeat it, I learn.
I like my books to look worn, so don’t ever let me borrow them. I jam them in my bag, I fold the pages, I cry big chunky mascara streaks on them, I wipe my fingers on them while I’m eating popcorn, I flip pages with my spit, and if I’m sweaty the book gets sweaty too. Oh, and don't think I'll let a little rain stop me either.
Here are some of my favourite things that I learned from the books over the past two years
· Lena Dunham is that kind of girl.
· In Cold Blood: Phillip Seymour Hoffman is said to not just play Truman Capote in the movie "Capote," but resurrect him. As a book/movie combo, this is my favourite and is a must read and must see. Over the years, there has been growing speculation about the validity of some facts, as Capote was known to bend the truth in favour of a story. This one tells of a true crime and the cold blooded murder of a family in 1959. One of the culprits was arrested and it was during this time that Capote began visiting him and interviewing him for the book. It is said they developed a friendship, though others say Capote was using it as a weapon of manipulation. Regardless, the outcome is incredibly deep and disturbing.
· The TommyKnockers: Stephen King was so hopped up on booze and cocaine that he barely remembers writing this novel, which has been all but dismissed by literary critics as garbage any way. It's still better than anything most of us could write sober.
· The Blind Assassin: Margret Atwood makes a reference to being condemned to a life in a jar like Sibyl. I looked up what that meant and learned that in Roman mythology, Apollo offers to Sibyl a wish in exchange for her virginity. So, she took a handful of sand and asked to live for as many years as the grains of sand she held. Later, she refused the God's love, and as punishment, he allowed her body to wither away because she failed to ask for eternal youth. Her body grew smaller with age and eventually was kept in a jar until only her voice was left.
· The Minds of Billy Milligan: Daniel Keyes writes a true and twisted story. Billy kidnapped and raped three women, but each described Billy as a different person – one said he had a German accent, another said he was kind and she would have considered dating him. But the story only begins there. Billy would become the first person in American history to successfully use multiple-personality disorder as a defence for a violent crime, saying that his mind was fractured into 24 different personalities. The book is a series of transcribed interviews and observation, in which you meet almost every single one of Billy’s personalities, including “The Teacher,” the most important one of all and the one that holds the key to the outcome.
· We Need to Talk About Kevin: Lionel Shriver kept this book unpublished for years because of its similarities to the events of 9/11. Thirty publishers rejected the book before it went on to sell millions of copies and earning her the prestigious Orange Prize.
My Height in Books: 2012-2014: 59 books
1. Coma – Alex Garland
2. The Minds of Billy Milligan – Daniel Keyes
3. 1984 – George Orwell
4. Red Dragon – Thomas Harris
5. Choke – Chuck Palahniuk
6. When God Was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
7. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls – David Sedaris
8. Horns – Joe Hill
9. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
10. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
11. The Executioner’s Song – Norman Mailer
12. Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen
13. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
14. The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson
15. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
16. No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy
17. Still Alice – Lisa Genova
18. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
19. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
20. Kasher in the Rye – Moshe Kasher
21. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
22. Brain on Fire – Susannag Cahalan
23. The Radiant City – Lauren B. Davis
24. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling
25. Our Interrupted Fairytale – Megan Williams
26. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
27. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
28. The Road – Cormac McCarthy
29. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
30. What the Dog Saw – Malcolm Gladwell
31. Lolita – Vladimir Nobokov
32. Let Me In – John Ajvide Lindqvist
33. The Defining Decade – Meg Jay
34. Lost at Sea – Jon Ronson
35. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
36. #Girlboss – Sophia Amoruso
37. Anchorboy – Jay Onrait
38. A House in the Sky – Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
39. Room – Emma Donoghue
40. The Hour I First Believed – Wally Lamb
41. Five Weeks in the Amazon – Sean Michael Hayes
42. Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham
43. Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar – Kelly Oxford
44. The Confabulist – Steven Galloway
45. Drink: intimate relationship between women and alcohol – Ann Dowsett Johnston
46. Wild – Cheryl Strayed
47. The Book of Negros – Lawrence Hill
48. Push - Sapphire
49. Dreamcatcher – Stephen King
50. 11/22/63 – Stephen King
51. IT – Stephen King
52. Dolores Claiborne – Stephen King
53. Hearts in Atlantis – Stephen King
54. The Green Mile – Stephen King
55. The Tommyknockers – Stephen King
56. The Shining – Stephen King
57. The Stand – Stephen King
58. On Writing – Stephen King
59. Under the Dome – Stephen King