For several years I have resisted listening to audiobooks, but a few weeks ago I downloaded the Overdrive and Libby apps, connected them to my public library account and have been enjoying listening to them on my commute. It is wonderful! I enjoy podcasts as well, but I have found audiobooks to be much more satisfying as audiobooks/books have a higher level of writing/editing*. And with only so many hours in the day, I guess I’d rather spend my time on a good book than a podcast.
Recently, I’ve been enjoying Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians book trilogy, whose first book was the basis for the hit movie by the same name. I thought the book was great, so after finishing it I put a library hold on the second one, China Rich Girlfriend, and flew through it in just a few days. Immediately after finishing that, I put the third and final book, Rich People Problems on hold, and within the hour, it was available! I could continue the story without delay, which is perfect since it’s a long holiday weekend. It’s a true Crazy Rich Asians reading-fest. 😆
The books are super fun, and although the constant brand-name fashion references can seem a bit tedious at first, I soon enjoyed the over-the-topness of even those descriptions. The story is great and I love the characters, but what really makes it an exceptional series for me are the descriptions of all the delicious foods. The books make me so hungry!
I also like the fact that I can relate to the story through some of the settings (and dare I say brands?). In fact, one of the chapters in the first book is named Conduit Road, which is a street in Hong Kong. And a good friend of mine’s family has a flat there, which is where I stayed when I visited twice in the 90s. That kind of blew me away. The scenes in Shanghai also were familiar to me since we visited the city just last year. There are even some luxury brand watch references which I thought were great.
On the flip side, reading about Singapore, a city I have not yet traveled to, has given me a serious case of wanderlust! I’m definitely not alone in the fact that Crazy Rich Asians has really piqued my curiosity.
I am halfway through the final book and I am looking forward to seeing how it all concludes. By the way, the books are much better than the movie, IMHO.
This year, I’ve been reading more than ever, and actually finishing books! This is unusual because my normal time to crack open a book/turn on the Kindle is when I climb into bed, and then I am usually nodding off within 5 minutes, often dropping the book on my face (which keeps me awake for another 30 seconds or so). But ever since I got my iPad, I’ve been able to stay awake longer, and also, I enjoy using it to read around the house.
And I have noticed that my attitude toward my nightly reading has changed a bit too. I’ve always enjoyed reading, but now I really look forward to it every night. It’s really fun.
The last book I finished was Men Without Women: Stories by Haruki Murakami. He’s one of my favorite authors and I’ve read all but maybe 4 of his books. I’m confident that I will finish those in 2019, but if not, I have something to look forward to, don’t I?
This year I’ve been getting away from tracking data about myself, for instance using a Fitbit to count steps, and I quit logging how my interests were changing over time. But I still enjoy some automated data collection, specifically tracking my progress on books that I am reading.
I love reading books on my Kindle because I can sync progress between devices, but also because it is linked to my GoodReads account. This is cool because I can see what books I have on my shelves and also because GoodReads keeps track of the books I have finished each year. And since it is the end of 2018, GoodReads has compiled the personalized 2018 Year in Books pages for all its users.
Looking at my page for 2018 and all the previous years (you can just edit the URL with the desired year) I see that I had a kind of an average year for reading, with 9 books completed and a total of 2,877 pages read, which is an improvement from 2017, but not close to 2010 when I finished 22 books.
Still, I really enjoyed the books I read and am happy to have discovered some new favorite authors, such as Celeste Ng, Hiromi Kawakami, and Peter Hessler, whose other books are now on my “To Read” shelf. I’m looking forward to lots more reading in 2019!