Why Don't I Have Time to Read All the Books?!
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
The New York Times has published its list of the Top 100 Books of 2019 and I've read a grand total of six of them. How on Earth did this happen? I am a voracious reader, after all, and I'm on the last book of my 52-books-in-a-year GoodReads reading goal. What have I been doing with my time?
In all seriousness, the Times' list is a terrific resource for highlighting some of the year's most amazing books. And while it offers answers to the question, "What should I read now?" it's also a testament to the sheer amazingness of books! Is "amazingness" even a word? This grammar-conscious gal doesn't even care. It seems to fit, in this case.
As far as pop-culture goes, we're living through a time when the quality of movies has arguably decreased and stars like Jennifer Aniston and Martin Scorcese get shamed for criticizing the proliferation and popularity of "popcorn" Marvel movies over more cerebral cinematic fare. Plus, the quickness with which movies are released to stream/DVD after being in the theater and services like Netflix to linking theaters and streaming releases have also affected my enjoyment of the medium. Why take time to go to the theater (and spend a small fortune) if I can see it on my 4K HD TV screen with surround sound in two months?
TV is (way) better than movies (and has been for years, in my humble opinion), but with so many viewing options and SO MANY SHOWS, it can get overwhelming to try and keep up. Plus--and I'm sure that the younger Diana who had to wait entire summers to find out where Buffy went after killing Angel or what was going to happen now that Luke and Lorelai kissed would hate hearing me say this--the ability to binge has taken away some of the enjoyment I get from TV shows. I'm not quite sure how to explain it, since I've always been a TV fanatic, but breezing through a narrative so quickly and watching show after show after show--all quickly--seems to have lessened their impact on me.
But books! Books require you to take your time reading them. Books relate small details with gorgeous, eloquent language that cinematic or small-screen experiences just can't. A book is work! Turning pages, eyes darting across the pages, finger tapping or swiping to move your eReader forward, starting and stopping as time allows...you have to invest in a book with almost all of your senses and, in the end, I think it's a more rewarding and fulfilling experience than movies or TV.
And this list by the Times is a testament to the sheer quality and quantity of books available. The number of genres to choose from, the various topics explored, the creative narratives offered, the compelling characters created...they're all showcased here in this list of 100. And think of all the books published in 2019 that are NOT listed here! Also, with small bookstores booming and the printed book outselling eBooks, it's obvious there are many people as enamored of the book experience as us. So, go. Use this list as a guide and pick up a book (or two, or five) to read! The ones I read and enjoyed are listed below.
Bottom line: Yay for books!
Disappearing Earth - Full disclosure, this one features the abduction of children, but it's still really good.
Women Talking - Fascinating! A quick but compelling read.
Furious Hours (audio) - I listened to the audio version of this and it was wonderful. The history of Harper Lee and her attempt to write a second book.
Fleishman Is In Trouble - My favorite book of the year. This one has it all: Humor, rich characters, a relatable story. I loved it.
The Testaments - I didn't finish this one in time for my book club meeting, but I enjoyed it!
Becoming (audio) - What can I say? I love Michelle Obama and hearing her tell her story in her own words was a wonderful experience. Her tale is truly the stuff of what I believe the American dream to be.