But before I jump into that, I want to take a minute to address a common response I get when people find out how much I read (66 books and counting for this year!) It usually goes something like this- "How do you do it? I just don't have the time to read!"
Trust me, I get it. I'm incredibly busy myself. I have four kids, one of which has special needs (and so requires extra care and attention) and two of which I homeschool. That alone is a full-time job! And on top of that, I cook most of our food from scratch, keep the house (relatively) clean, co-teach Kindergarten CCD class, volunteer regularly with Family Promise, work part-time from home, and I'm a foster mom.
Holy crap, I'm exhausted just thinking about it! So how did I manage to read 66 books this year, with all of that going on?
The answer is embarrassingly simply- I read almost every night before bed.
Seriously, it's really that easy. I get the younger kids to bed around 8pm, then I head straight for my bed. Normally I read for 2-3 hours, then turn on my Compline app and pray myself sleep. Some nights I fall asleep soon after I get started, some nights I'm up way too late because I just can't put the book I'm currently reading down, and sometimes I don't read at all. But usually it's 2-3 hours a night.
I rarely read during the day, because I just don't have time. It's normally GO GO GO from the time the kids get up until they're in bed. It does mean I sacrifice other activities, like watching TV or knitting/crocheting, but if reading is a priority for you, you'll find the time. You can dooo ittt!
Okay, on to the books! (FYI, halfway through I decided I wanted to link to Goodreads instead of Amazon. But I was too lazy to back and change the ones I'd already done. Yet another reason I'm the World's Worst Blogger. Sorry!)
- Cell by Stephen King
- The Long War by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
- Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- Different Seasons by Stephen King
- Joyland by Stephen King
- Just After Sunset by Stephen King
- Insurrection (War of the Spider Queen #2) by Thomas M. Reid
- Condemnation (War of the Spider Queen #3) by Richard Baker
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graeme
- By Love Refined by Alice von Hildebrand
- East of Eden by John Steinback
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
- The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke
- 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
- Rogues by George R.R. Martin and others
- The Stars, Like Dust by Isaac Asimov
- Chill of Fear by Kay Hooper
- The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffrey Deaver
- Night of the Hunter (Companions Codex #1) by RA Salvatore
- Skin Game (Dresden Files #15) by Jim Butcher
- The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
- Passage to Dawn (Legacy of the Drow #4) by RA Salvatore
- The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
- Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
- Siege of Darkness (Legacy of the Drow #3) by RA Salvatore
- The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
- Starless Night (Legacy of the Drow #2) by RA Salvatore
- The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Legacy (Legacy of the Drow #1) by RA Salvatore
- Captain's Fury (Codex Alera #4) by Jim Butcher
- The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
- Backup (Dresden Files #10.3) by Jim Butcher
- The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
- Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
- MaddAddam (MaddAddam Trilogy #3) by Margaret Atwood
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Cursor's Fury (Codex Alera #3) by Jim Butcher
- The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam #2) by Margaret Atwood
- The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
- Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam #1) by Margaret Atwood
- The Wind Through the Keyhole (Dark Tower #4.5) by Stephen King
- Academ's Fury (Codex Alera #2) by Jim Butcher
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera #2) by Jim Butcher
- Longbourn by Jo Baker
- Confessions by St. Augustine of Hippo
- On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Bliss
- The Little Oratory: A Beginner's Guide to Praying in the Home by David Clayton and Leila Marie Lawler
- The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning by Simcha Fisher
- Look Me in the Eye: My Life With Asperger's by John Elder Robinson
- A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul by Lisa M. Hendey
- Creator and Creation by Mary O. Daly
- Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor by Suzanne McMinn
- Joan: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint by Donald Spoto
- A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss
- Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona Carnavorn
- George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger
- The New Rules of Lifting for Woman: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess by Lou Schuler
- You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself by David McRaney
- The Nerd Who Loved Me by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Anyway, a few books stand out as favorites- Longbourn, a "downstairs" look at Pride and Prejudice. If you're a Jane Austen fan should enjoy that one. I also really loved the MaddAddam trilogy by Margaret Atwood (one of my all time favorite authors), and The Wind Through the Keyhole is a must-read for any Dark Tower fans.
Oh! And The Casual Vacancy was amazing. If you're wondering if JK Rowling can "do" something other than Harry Potter, the answer is YES. Yes, she can.
The Nerd Who Loved Me was so painfully terrible and predictable I couldn't get through it, and that's rare for me.
What about you? How was your "year in reading?" How do you make time for books?