Happy New Year! I cannot believe it’s already 2020. It didn’t even hit me until mid-December, but when it did, I immediately started to think about my favorite books of the past ten years. I compiled this list on New Year’s Eve by scrolling through Goodreads and the blog and then posted it on New Year’s Day…since then I’ve wanted to edit it a bunch of times, but it’s out there already and so I’ll just stick by it. (Okay, I wish I’d included Dreyer’s English and Behold the Dreamers.) These are all books that have stuck with me, that I’ve recommended time and again, and that at some point I hope to revisit. Erm, except Commonwealth and M Train, which I’ve already read about five times. And yes, I’ll probably read them again.
I started this blog in 2009. Looking back at my very on-again/off-again blogging habits made me a bit melancholy. I can only blame myself for my irregular engagement here, but most often over the past ten years, I quit blogging from fear that I was giving too much away to “friends” and co-workers IRL. But that meant I forgot about the community (a very supportive one, I might add) that I had made here. So that’s one thing. Another thing, of course, is who reads blogs anymore? Well, plenty of people, from what I can tell. I know there’s competition from bookstagrammers and Twitter and newsletters and so on…but I also wonder if people are starting to get tired of being spread so thin across the internet, if they’re tired of the overly styled and sponsored book reviews (for new books, mostly), if they want less curation and more conversation.
I know that blogging made me a better reader, in many respects, especially at the beginning, when it was easier to ignore all the new books and sort of “keeping up with the Joneses” effect that started to happen with NetGalley and Book of the Month and so on. A lot of bloggers I still stalk are the ones who most resisted these things and kept on reading what they liked, when they liked. And so I guess this is all to say, thanks to those of you out there who’ve kept on writing about books, and also for visiting this blog from time to time. I’m not sure what 2020 holds, but I hope it’s a good one for all of you out there!
2 thoughts on “Favorite books of the last decade, and a little musing on the new year”
I also feel like coming back to my blogging roots. When I started in 2011, I read mostly reading classics, and was hardly on other social media. I miss it.
What a great list, and you have such beautiful handwriting!
I’m always glad to see a post from you in my WordPress reader. In 2018 I struggled with my blog, wondering if I had anything to say. I finally stopped comparing my blog to others and realized that I get joy from my blog when I do it the way I want to do it, not follow anyone else’s style or path. Anyway, I’m awfully glad to be a part of this community. May 2020 be a good year for all of us, reading and otherwise!