My year in reading
After a few attempts at reading 95 Books, and failing with diminishing returns year upon year, I opted for 2018 to read 52 books, or a book a week so that I’d always have a book to write about. I didn’t always have a book to write about (more on that later) but I did exceed my goal, reading 54 books this year. I like reading best of lists, but I do not like writing them, so I’ve decided to pick a favourite from my three big categories: books about running, fiction & poetry, and non-fiction. These are my three favourites that I read in 2018, two of which actually came out in 2018 and have found their way onto other people’s best/favourite lists.
Favourite running book
I’m a big fan of Hutchinson’s Sweat Science columns in Outside magazine and his sometimes appearances in the Globe and Mail. I loved this book, and it’s responsible for one of my two favourite quotes regarding endurance that I still think about all the time:
Do you notice he’s not dead? What does that tell you? It means he could have run faster.
Also, cyclists are batshit crazy.
PS – my other favourite quote regarding endurance comes from Olympian and Mile2Marathon coach Dylan Wykes, whom sadly the Vancouver running community lost this year…to Ottawa.
Slowing down just means it hurts for longer.
These voices in my head got me over a 5K and 42.2K finish line this year but more about that in 2018 week fifty two, my year in running.
Favourite fiction & poetry book
Split Tooth is a mashup of fiction, mythology, and poetry by the Polaris Prize winning, multi-discipline artist Tanya Tagaq. It follows a young woman growing up in the harsh climate of small town Nunavut in the ’70s and takes the reader down the rabbit hole. It is a captivating read.
Favourite non-fiction book
I had very little confidence in this book and its lofty claims on the cover, but when the time was right I gave it a shot and haven’t looked back since. I don’t know if it’s for everyone but it worked for me, and when I wrote about it on here back in week eleven of this year I did not expect it would go on to be the most read piece on here. By a lot. I’ve been amazed by the reaction. Maybe this is something that you’ve been thinking about. Maybe you have questions. I cannot promise I have answers but I’ll try, and I made a promise that I wouldn’t become a dick about it. So far…so good…. You can DM me via social media Insta: toddnickel Twitter: @toddnickel FB: toddreadrunwrite or leave a comment on here.
The year that was
I read 20 more books than last year, and it felt like a lot less poetry (eight of my 34 books in 2017 were poetry) but it turns out feelings are crap since I read nine poetry books in 2018. I suspect that I will read around the same number in 2019 since there’s plenty of poetry that I want to read that is sitting in my to read pile and on my to buy list. One big difference between this year and past has to do with what I just wrote about above. Not drinking means I have a lot more time and energy for reading. More reading and less nauseous snoozing on public transit.
Goodreads gives a rather pathetic breakdown of my year in reading here. Here’s a rather pathetic breakdown of my own:
By women: 25
By *straight white* dudes: 20
About Donald Trump: 2
About running: 6
*I admit that I am making some assumptions with regards to straight and white when I come up with this number and I’m entirely comfortable with that.
All the books I read (and wrote about) in 2018 in the order I wrote about them on here:
- The Argonauts
- Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
- Nick Cave: Mercy on Me
- Fire and Fury
- Find You in the Dark
- American War
- Son of a Trickster
- Mad Blood Stirring
- This Naked Mind
- Full Disclosure
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
- From Here to Eternity
- The Mars Room
- Steal it Back
- Further Problems with Pleasure
- My Ariel
- Angel of the Underground
- Lost in Stockholm
- By Night in Chile
- The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
- How to Lose a Marathon
- Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls
- Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk
- Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl
- What Made Maddy Run
- Run Forever
- Runner: Harry Jerome, World’s Fastest Man
- The Book of Repulsive Women
- Believe Me
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle
- The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
- The Age of Briggs & Stratton
- Fear: Trump in the White House
- The Rule of Stephens
- When Running Made History
- Split Tooth
- R’s Boat
- Instructions for a Funeral
- The Tiger Flu
- French Exit
- Milk and Honey
- The Sun and Her Flowers
- The Italian Teacher
Next week: my year in running.