Actually, as it turns out, 2014 is the year of the horse. However, for me it is the year of the book.
First up is The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, as I ruminated about recently. We had watched the 2011 Martin Scorcese film version of Hugo, and it was completely epic – a fantastic family flick.
Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.
I was elated when I ran across the book while browsing (like I do) the children’s section at Barnes & Noble. I promptly scooped up the thick, pricey book full of gorgeous illustrations on black pages “for Sophie” for Christmas, and then urged her daily to finish it so I could plunge in myself. It appeared on my pillow two nights ago, and to Fred’s certain delight, I poured a large glass of wine and cracked it open one night this week… at midnight.
A few nights prior as Sophie read the book, she paused and said “Oh, this is the best quote!” – which made me exceedingly happy as a quote hound. She showed it with me, and I agreed enthusiastically, so she decided to jot it down for both of us:
I love to read, and yet in the past year I consumed very few books (with the stunning exception of Papillon by Henri Charrière), which I really regret. So, this year I jumped in on the Goodreads reading challenge by setting a not-terribly-lofty goal of reading 35 books. In fact, I’ve added a widget on the bottom right side of the blog for both the books I’m currently reading and my progress on the challenge. I’ve even added a Books section to the menu for all my past posts related to books, authors and related subjects:
- On Bookshelves: Secrets of a Stalker
- On Gabriel Garcia Marquez: (Almost) One Hundred Years of Solitude
- On Poison Darts: Why the Hunger Games is Appropriate for Small Children (Sort Of)
- On #TheStruggle: Digital Justification
Speaking of things related to books, I’ve mentioned it before but if you’re not already on Goodreads, it’s a fantastic tool! Pick a dreary weekend (or another snow day if you’re in northwest Arkansas) to set up an account and you can quickly add a list of books you’ve read or keep track of those you want to read. Like Facebook and other social media sites, you’ll add friends – but I suggest limiting it to those whose opinions you really care about or whose taste in reading is similar to yours so that you get a steady stream of great book recommendations! For some reason, I have a high number of friends who are librarians (which I love), and they are my best source for great new book finds. Don’t feel like this is just another social media site you’ll have to upkeep – it’s well worth it if you love to read, and you can login quarterly and still benefit. Be sure to connect with me if you use Goodreads.
By the way, Goodreads has a fantastic book review program and I often receive free books from authors and publicists for review, such as this one I covered over on The Food Adventuress:
Another essential tool for me is Audible. I finally discovered last year that I will consume far greater numbers of books when I allow myself a little grace from the idea that my eyes must be on physical pages, and I nabbed an Audible subscription to download many of the books on my to-read list so that I could tackle them while driving, folding laundry and so forth. I love the compatibility with multiple devices and the Kindle, and it’s helping me make progress on all the books I’m interested in devouring. As is often the case when I discover an establishment or tool that I love, I immediately began demanding that everyone I know join me in adoring Audible. One of my successful converts, Paige, has deemed 2013 her year of the audiobook and did a lovely job extolling its virtues here.
Hope you’ll get out there and join me on the reading front this year. While this post (much like my book selections) was a little all over the board, Sophie’s favorite Hugo quote rings true of stories and of life: stories lead to other stories.