A year ago, I shared with you all the list of books I read in 2018 and set a goal for myself of reading 26 books in 2019, or one book every two weeks. This didn’t sound like a tremendously hard thing to do, but I found myself shy by four books at Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, as I write this, I succeeded in reading all 26 books.

What did I read? Thank you so much for asking. My 2019 reading list can be broken into three categories:

1. Books (Novels, Non-fiction, Poetry) that I read for myself. Included in this category are Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, Batman and Philosophy by William Irwin (et. al), The Philosopher’s Flight and The Philosopher’s War by Tom Miller, Radiance by Grace Draven, A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin, Egghead, or You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone by Bo Burnham, and The Monarch Papers: Flora and Fauna, The Monarch Papers: Cosmos and Time, and Ackerly Green’s Guide to Magiq by Martin Rank and CJ Bernstein.

This group is eclectic to say the least. While my standard fantasy and sci-fi reading is certainly represented by Miller and Martin, the inclusion of mystery, philosophy, romance, and especially Burnham’s poetry definitely deviate from my typical literary excursions. The most unusual inclusion in this lot has to be The Monarch Papers books and the Guide to Magiq. These books exist as a sort of living novel that merges our world with a world of fantasy and magic through the Ackerly Green website. They are books, but they are constantly evolving and changing as more people come to know about them. It was definitely worth my time to explore that series.

2. Books I read with my daughter. My daughter’s nighttime reading routine has evolved throughout the past year. Early last year, she broke away from picture books entirely and into the world of chapter books. She now reads completely independently of me, though we still spend that time together each night. We did get several chapter books in before her independent streak showed its head and they include The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, the first three novels of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 1 & 2, Matilda by Roald Dahl, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, Darth Vader and Friends by Jeffrey Brown, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling.

I would like to encourage you to read with your children and grandchildren, as well. I have been reading with my daughter since she was very small and that sparked her interest in books at a young age. By kindergarten, she was already able to read simple books and that ability only grew from there. For a child, reading is the most important life skill for them to learn. At the Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library, we have a story hour twice a week (5:30 PM Tuesdays, 11:00 AM Wednesday) to help you get your child interested in reading. We’d love to have you and your children to join us.

3. Graphic Novels. I am an advocate for Graphic Novels to be considered literature. The stories that have been woven together by the likes of Stan Lee, Alan Moore, Robert Kirkman and so many others, have made their way into the public eye in the last few years as more than just stories for young kids. This year, I read Watchman by Alan Moore, Injustice: Gods Among Us by Tom Taylor & Brian Buccellato, Joker by Brian Azarello, Raven by Kami Garcia, and Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kashiro. Whether they were stories of superheroes turning evil, robots discovering how to be human, or young people discovering their powers, each of these books present a captivating story told through pictures as well as words.

With my 2019 goal met, what is my 2020 goal?

Read. I am not putting a number on this year, but I simply wish to read as much as I can without having long stretches of not reading. I have finished one book already, and I am halfway through a second (and to be honest, a third and fourth). There are a few things I want to read if possible: The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, and the rest of the Series of Unfortunate Events (even if my daughter doesn’t want to finish them with me).

Whatever your 2020 read goals are, the Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library can help you reach them. We can connect you with books, both physical and electronic, that you will fall in love with. Come by and see what waits for you here!

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