january 3, 2019

posted in: photography | 0

“We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated by purpose.” ~ Bob Goff


still brook


I had such a restful break last week that I’m having trouble getting up before dawn again. For those who don’t know, I’m so not a morning person. I never have been and I never will be. I’m just not made that way. I’ve always been at my best in the late, late evenings, but the only time I can stay up that late is during the Christmas break. Otherwise, I’m so tired that I’m no good any time. That’s neither here nor there except to say my lack of sleep means I’ve already finished a novel this year and it’s only January 3. This morning, bleary eyed coffee in hand, I was thinking about how important reading is to me. Plus, I love it so much. So, I decided to write down the books I’d finished in 2018. I say finished because I’ll bounce between three or four books at once until I finish all of them, or until I fall in love with one that I can’t put down until it’s done. Knowing that I am currently reading as many titles as listed here, the books I actually finished in 2018 were (in no particular order):

    • All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
    • Southernmost – Silas House
    • Lincoln In The Bardo – George Saunders
    • Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry
    • Melmoth – Sarah Perry
    • From Here to Eternity – Caitlyn Doughty
    • Just Us Kids – Patti Smith
    • Country Dark – Chris Offutt
    • Birds of Opulence – Crystal Wilkinson
    • Night Garden – Carrie Mullins
    • Stardust – Neil Gaiman
    • Dodger – Terry Pratchett
    • Above The Waterfall – Ron Rash
    • One Foot In Eden – Ron Rash


    I’m disappointed in how few books are on this list, though I am hardly surprised. If you’re as busy as I was in the fall, watch too much TV as I do, and are generally a slow reader as I am, you’re not going to finish a lot of books, especially if you read four at a time (I don’t recommend it). Part of my goal in 2019 is less TV, less extracurricular work, and fewer posts. That should help make time for more reading. One of the reasons reading is important to me is because good writers read a lot. I’m a slow reader and an even slower writer, so it’s already an uphill battle for me. Add a billion other distractions and things churn like molasses. But what I really want from reading is to absorb the goodness of language; the poetry of a single sentence; the essence of thought; so that maybe one day I create my own beautiful sentence that inspires and provokes others. As far as this list, every one of the books was awesome in one way or another (or I wouldn’t have finished it) so I’ll just say this; All The Light We Cannot See is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read, the characters from Birds of Opulence and Country Dark will stay with me forever, and Sarah Perry is an unexpected extraordinary storyteller. I’m looking forward to more characters and great stories in 2019.