2013 is now over, and I find myself reflecting on what this past year has meant to me. Personally, one of my biggest challenges (as an over-achiever) is convincing myself that I’ve done enough, and that I’m right where I need to be. This is always hard.
However, in one department this year I am proud… shocked, even that I surpassed a certain goal. By a lot.
I decided that in 2013, I would read 30 books.
And I read 55.
That’s 18,711 pages. I counted.
This is what it looks like:
That doesn’t even include all of the screenplays, articles, and countless emails I constantly find myself consuming.
Reading is a hobby I hold very close to my heart, and I am always saddened by how little people seem to do it. Especially in my generation. Books are my escape, my inspiration, my education, my therapy… They have never ceased to excite me, despite the plethora of electronics and other things that come out and beckon for my attention every year.
Growing up, my mother read to me every night before I went to bed. So I guess I can blame her for all this madness and addiction to stories. Actually, I consider her reading to me the greatest gift and act of parenting she ever gave. I loved it so much that I would always try to trick her into reading me the longest bedtime story possible. Dr. Seuss’s 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins was a favorite for that reason! If you are a parent or ever become one, I beg you to read to your kids. It has given me so much.
This year, I focused a lot of my reading on books that are being turned into movies. Comparing the books to their respective films has helped me learn a lot as a filmmaker and a storyteller. (Though I usually like the books more).
I also found myself addicted to fandoms. My obsession with The Hunger Games series led me to look for series that are considered similar. None were as good, however.
One of the highlights of 2013 was attending the Los Angeles premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. In my opinion, The Hunger Games movies have been the best book-to-film adaptations EVER. I’ve been overwhelmingly excited for each new installment. I absolutely love being a part of The Hunger Games Fandom. It’s like my adult Harry Potter obsession. *Geeking Out*
I often like to read new books as well to support up-and-coming writers. One I discovered in particular, iPooKee by Brook Tesla, I absolutely adored and recommend to all. iPooKee is like no other book I’ve ever read before, and I was very touched and inspired by it. Please support this up-and-coming novelist by purchasing the book and writing a review. (It’s only $3! Click on the picture below to learn more)
Books I loved this year (in no particular order):
- iPooKee by Brook Tesla – An imaginative, heartfelt journey through cyberspace!
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – You will cry. Buckets.
- The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort – Shenanigans! A hilarious account of his addiction to drugs, money, and power and the shenanigans that resulted from them (a cautionary tale). Movie is also good.
- Honorable Mention: Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel. Incredible true story about the heroes of art during WWII. The film looks amazing!
Guilty Pleasure YA series I couldn’t put down:
- The Hunger Games & Catching Fire. I re-read them again and I still couldn’t put them down. The movies ROCK!
- The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. Paranormal Romance. Books are awesome. Movie sucked.
- Divergent / Insurgent / Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Another dystopian society series. Why couldn’t they give me this to read in my Political Science class?
- Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Okay, don’t judge me. Another Vampire series you say? I don’t care.
Books that fell short for me… (All of them shared one problem: I didn’t care about the characters enough. In movies we call this the “Save the Cat” moment, where the main character makes us care about him/her by doing something noteworthy. Like saving a cat.)
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I get why this book is famous and beloved, considering the time period. It was a little too *wandering aimlessly with no point* for me.
- Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I know… I was SHOCKED I didn’t love this. I love epic fantasy, LOTR, etc. Maybe if I watch the series I’ll come on board with this fandom.
- Horns by Joe Hill. I like the concept, but didn’t care about the main character enough.
- Serena by Ron Rash. Okay, so Serena is an evil bitch. I’m not supposed to like her. But tell why she’s such an evil bitch. Give me some compelling backstory or something… The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, whom I adore, so I actually have high hopes for the movie.
- Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. This was the sequel to a book (& movie!) I loved, The Devil Wears Prada, but the plot seriously fell short for me. It left me going “What the hell was that?!”
- Honorable mention: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I liked the book, but I felt like it was missing something… when I saw the movie, that something was there, and I LOVED it. This is a rare case of me liking the movie more than the book.
And last of all, at 1463 pages, The Longest Book I’ve Ever Read Award goes to:
- Les Misérables by Victor Hugo! I actually had to read some of this in Ye Olde French back in high school, so I should get points for that. I also played Fantine in the musical! Movie was decent, though I could rant… I shan’t.
(Former book to hold the title of Longest Book I’ve Ever Read was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand at 1,168 pages.)
I could just go on and on about books. But I shall leave it at this for now.
So tell me, what did you read this year? Did you read any of the same books as me? Tell me your thoughts!
For the Love of Books,