Apparently I’m starting this year by reading all of the books I wanted to read in 2017 and couldn’t. First, I started reading all of the Fredrik Backman books. I read A Man Called Ove last year and fell in love with his writing and his characters, but I couldn’t read his other books due to the specifics of the challenge. On Christmas Eve, I read his Christmas short story – The Deal of a Lifetime – and I read And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer on New Year’s Eve. Both of these were books that could be read in one day, and due to the lack of length, I missed Backman’s usual development of characters. I immediately went to his longer book – My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry – which was a prequel to Britt-Marie Was Here (I read this in early December not knowing that it had a prequel). In both of these books, Backman was back to his idiosyncratic, curmudgeonly characters which I love. However, I could sense in Britt-Marie Was Here that Backman was developing more as a writer as he had begun to address some deeper issues.
This feeling was reaffirmed in Backman’s latest book – Beartown. The characters here are more human – flaws and all – and not loveable curmudgeons with OCD tendencies. Backman’s writing is superb as he describes human nature and small towns – “people are standing in silent lines with their eyes half-open and their minds half closed, waiting for their electronic punch cards to verify their existence to the clocking-in machine.” There were many passages such as this where Backman describes ordinary scenes and people in such a way that I could immediately connect and think – yes!…that’s exactly how it is.
As I reviewed 2017 and prepared for 2018, I realized that my work reading drastically suffered in 2017. So, in addition to daily pleasure reading, I’ve also scheduled daily work reading during the work week. I’m currently working on Theories of Learning for a brush up on learning theories for EDUC 1300, Design for How People Learn for Liz’s CAPE reading discussion and to brush up on course design, and Mathematical Mindsets for my Mindset Monday blog posts. After the first few weeks of getting classes going, I’ll also add an article a week to my reading in an attempt to wade through all of the articles I’ve clipped and stored but haven’t had a chance to read.
What are you reading and what are your plans for reading this year?