This past year I used a Jibun Techno B6 Slim as my main planner and journal. One of the sections in this notebook is a book list. The template inspired me to keep a record of all the book I’ve read or listened to throughout the year. Now that the year is winding down and I’m transferring to the 2020 journal, it gives me the perfect opportunity to review my list and establish a digital record.
In 2019, I consumed 20 books, 14 read and 6 listened to. There are a handful of books that didn’t make the list because I started the book but didn’t finish it. I’m learning to be more selective with my reading and move on from things that don’t keep my interest. This year’s list also leans heavier on nonfiction. Books were more a learning a tool than a form of entertainment for me this year.
I started using Libby this past summer to borrow e-books and audiobooks from the public library. I discovered that audiobooks were a joy to listen to. It was like listening to a longer and more in-depth podcast. It also felt more intimate to actually hear the author’s voice instead of imaging the sounds in my head. It wasn’t all positive, as I had difficulties with “reading” comprehension, especially while driving. I became confused during my listen of the Joy Luck Club. I didn’t catch the transition from the main narrative to the side stories and had to do some internet research to piece everything together.
My favorite read of 2019 was When Breath Becomes Air. Paul Kalanithi does an excellent job weaving medical information and philosophical theories with details from his own life. The writing is excellent and does a fantastic job making you think about what death and life really means.
My most fun read of 2019 was the His Dark Materials series. Philip Pullman creates these big overarching questions that pull you in. The wonderful thing about the questions is that the characters themselves don’t know the answer, so you get to discover the answers with them.
My most impactful read of 2019 was Fluent Forever. I’ve been wanting to learn Japanese for years and this book gave me the road map on how to do it. After reading the book, I purchased the learning aids from the Fluent Forever website and haven’t looked back. I believe SRS, spaced repetition system, and mnemonics are great tools for memorization, especially for new and foreign vocabulary.
Books read in 2019 (in chronological order):
- Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
- The Ego is the Enemy
- The Bottleneck Rules
- Moon Palace
- When Breath Becomes Air
- Men Without Women
- Scrappy Little Nobody (Audiobook)
- On Writing Well Audio Collection (Audiobook)
- Fluent Forever (Audiobook)
- Thinking in Bets (Audiobook)
- The 5 Love Languages
- Designing Your Life
- The Joy Luck Club (Audiobook)
- We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons
- Born Standing Up (Audiobook)
- Draft No. 4
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Second Edition
- A Geek in Japan
- The Golden Compass
- The Subtle Knife