2016 In Books

emersonWhen I discovered Goodreads several years ago, I had no idea that such a place even existed online. Discovering a place where fellow book nerds congregated and discussed books they were reading, books they wanted to read, and all else literary made me incredibly happy. It also gave me the option of cataloging all the books I’ve read and consolidating my scattershot reading habits into some definable “goals”.

After the passing of a young friend of mine in 2015, I made 2016 the year that I immersed myself in a world of reading in which I gained spiritual, philosophical, and overall educational insight. Overall, I read 40+ books, but I’ll only touch on what I feel were the top ten I read in 2016.

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Closing The Gap Between Knowing And Doing

thinkingMarcus Aurelius, in his book Meditations, has a line that states “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” While I agree that there is entirely too much pontificating on what truly makes a man a MAN, I think there is some value in spending time thinking on how to become a better one. If you have read any of my prior stuff, you should be prepared for a “stream of consciousness” type feel. Sometimes I edit, sometimes I don’t. There, you’ve been warned. I have discovered that sometimes writing takes on a mind of its own and the words flow freely so at the risk of making this a “Jerry Maguire” moment”, here we go.

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In Defense Of Reading

hammockIn a world where technology has improved our lives and continually increases its own ability by leaps and bounds, humans have had to adapt to living at a constantly moving pace. With the instant accessibility of information now, reading a good paper-and-glue book seems to be less and less given its proper due (not that I have a problem with ebooks; on the contrary I enjoy them even though you can’t sniff them). I felt moved to declare my love affair with reading and point out the glaringly obvious fact that people do a good amount of reading, whether they will admit it or not. Now, you may think that reading doesn’t need anyone to defend it, and you may be right, but I have to get it off my chest. To anyone who knows me personally (or even has read this blog for any amount of time, just look at the previous blog post), you know that I am a firm believer in the power of a good book. I have been reading since I was a child, and have always preferred the company of a good book to a reality tv show (or most television for that matter).
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2015 in Books (Part 1)

shelf

So last year, I decided to get some thoughts down on each and every book I had finished reading. Since I started a little late in the year, I had to do a reverse chronological order and work my way back to the beginning of 2014. It was a pretty major task, trying to remember in December what I’d read twelve months prior.
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Facebook Free February 2015

junkieWell, it’s that time of year again. For the third year in a row, I’m declaring the month of February “Facebook Free February”. OK, it’s not official or even public, it’s just my thing.

That being said, I’ve got a couple more observations from this past year regarding Facebook. In an attempt at avoiding the rehashing of stuff from my previous postings on what feels to be a necessary evil, I’m trying to keep it fresh.

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2014 In Books

shelfEver since 2012, I’ve set a yearly reading goal on Goodreads (if you are not on there yet and call yourself a reader, you may want to rethink that!). I have gradually increased my goal every year and as we bring 2014 to a close, I’m happy to say that I surpassed my goal of 35 books for the year. As of “press time” here, I’m at 57 out of 35.

In the same vein as my post about my favorite books, I’d like to put some of my own thoughts out there on the literary highs and lows of this past year. Keep in mind, of course, that these are only my own thoughts and opinions. Occasionally my opinion of a book is way off the general consensus, both good and bad. I welcome discussions and recommendations from all folks so pipe up in the comments if you’re willing.

Let’s go…