I used to read far more when I was back in my home town, ever since I moved to the UK, in 2014, my reading habits have dropped significantly, to the point that maybe this year I hadn’t read a single full book! I keep starting reading them, because I still buy them, but never finish them. I recently, not that recently, 6 months ago, got into the mode of learning new languages, particularly Italian and have been very good at it for around 3-4 months, after which, autumn knocked at my door, more hours at work had to be taken temporarily, rain and winter feelings of cosiness leaked in my daily routine and I eventually dropped my Italian habits and I realise now that what I have learned did not disappear, however the level I thought I had achieved, it’s not actually there anymore. I would need to revise everything all over again, which, in this point in them, is likely improbable. That’s why, I want to crayon my 2020 reading plans, to maybe think of a reading list and actually stick to it.
Reading has always been for me very relaxing, and has always calmed me in some way, reading is calming my restless mind and it’s forcing me to focus on one thing at a time. I guess this is the main reason I really struggle to read nowadays, because I want too much all of a sudden and I distract myself in too many directions, becoming actually, more directionless.
Apart from the fact that I want to re-group myself and introduce my daily foreign language learning habits, I want to write more on my blog, here, and I want to read more, because, firstly, reading is exceptionally creative, inspirational and can motivate you, or at least, it surely does this to me, to get inspired and if, I read about something interesting, I immediately get an idea and want to write it on my blog. So, let’s just do this. 🙂 Maybe this plan I have for myself will guide you to think of your own reading lists for 2020. I hope.
I get a lot of inspiration and joy from browsing specific websites, that I think I mentioned here before. I will start with the most recent one that I have looked onto, which is called lithub.com. I am always captivated by the quality and beautiful craft around writing there, and I actually discovered that literary platform because I really loved how one author or writer was creating content on flavorwire.com‘s books section, her name is Emily Temple and at one point, she left her position there and I kept trying to find out where else is she writing and that’s how I ended up on lithub.com.
So, when I select books I want to read, I usually go to different recommendations on websites that do this for a living, such as the lithub.com. I also check the publishing house of books that I read in the past and enjoyed so much that fell in love with the publishers and one example is Picador publisher company, or Pan Macmillan. Picador actually won the Imprint of the Year at 2019 British Book Awards. I also scroll their website in search of new books and interesting stories and different content than the one widely spread or suggested online.
I used to not really enjoy reading fiction because I did not think at that age (when I believed that) that one could learn anything from a novel, apart from life stories and events and get a plot and feel the rush to finish reading it, but that has changed when I read very good books recommended by mostly people who are in the industry and know what they are talking about. I like a good fiction book, however the latest one that I picked up, was in Spanish, by Paulo Coelho, called Veronica decides to die, and I cannot finish it, it is so depressing and it really affects my judgement. This means 2 things, I am very empathetic, I am too emotional and I am easily influenced by what I read and also, the author is extremely good at describing and making you feel like you could be thinking the same way. I think that should be a book suicidal people should read. I cannot finish it though, I found that it strongly affects my emotional state and makes me gloomy. I wanted to read it because first, it’s by an author that I know is exceptional and have read “The Alchemist” and it was life-changing, read my Blogmas 2 on the topic more, and second I wanted to maintain my Spanish language skills. But, I will not be doing that with that book!
I am also particularly interested and keen on discovering new sensations in the non-fiction realm of books actually. This may steam from the fact I studied Psychology and being given potential answers or reasons for behaviour and brain patterns is really helping me in understanding myself for, as I am on a constant “get to know myself” treadmill and it pushes me to follow my dreams. So, the books that I actually have on my reading shelf are mostly, if not, all, non-fiction.
1.How to be a dictator – the cult of personality in the 20th century by Frank Dikotter
2.User-friendly – how the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work and play – by Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant
3.Long Live Latin – the pleasures of a useless language – by Nicola Gardini
4.The finance curse – how global finance is making us all poorer – by Nicholas Shaxson
5. Winterlust – finding beauty in the fiercest season Bernd Brummer, translated by Mary Catherine Lawler
6.Genuine fakes – how phony things teach us about real stuff by Lydia Pine
7.Artificial Intelligence – a guide for thinking humans – by Melanie Mitchell
8.Crisis of conscience – whistle blowing in an age of fraud by Tom Mueller
9.The optimist telescope – thinking ahead in a reckless age by Bina Venkataraman
10.The fate of food – what we’ll eat in a bigger, hotter, smarter world by Amanda Little
11.The levelling – what’s next after globalisation by Michael O’Sullivan
12.The universe speaks in numbers – how modern math reveals nature’s deepest secrets by Graham Farmelo
13.How to do nothing – resisting the attention economy by Jenny Odell
14.Maybe you should talk to someone: a therapist, her therapist and our lives revealed by Lori Gottlieb
So, these are the few books I should be able to easily read next YEAR, as you can see they are diverse, different and give perspective on subjects that are of worldly interest and futuristic. Practical.
I have there 14 books, so I have been very kind to myself, one book a month should suffice for me to finish it and not leave it unfinished. Regarding my plans to incorporate language learning into my daily routine, I decided I want to go ahead with one language at a time, so my focus will remain Italian and as much as I am so interested in Estonian and their culture, I will need to prioritise to be able to reach my destination. If there’s anything that I learned this year hardcore is that you need to focus on one thing at a time, multiple diverse interests would only distract you and take you no where.
As to how I will do the Italian, I will do it passively through learning on the go, most likely by listening and following Youtubers in Italian, music and blogs. If my attention is mainly there anyway, why not make use of my passions and include tiny changes that can actually help me further down the line.
If you would like to read some Christmas related books, I recommend to follow these suggestions, they are from last year (10-new-books-to-enlighten-your-dark-december) , but they are very mesmerising. I also have my own December Christmas recommendations here, if you want something old, but gold.
Baby steps. how about you, what is your reading list made up of? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear about new books, different styles or ideas.