2014, in Reading and Otherwise

December 31st, 2014

So the big thing about 2014, which I don’t think I’ve mentioned here, is that my boyfriend and I bought an apartment. It was a fairly stressful endeavor, involving going to a whole bunch of open houses, making several offers that didn’t go anywhere, and then, just as we had decided that we were ready to take a break from looking, finding out that our offer on a sweet little one-bedroom apartment had been accepted. Then there was some mortgage-related stress, and a lot of waiting, and a whole afternoon of hanging out in a lawyer’s office/waiting for the guy from the bank to show up/signing stacks of papers. And then, in July, we moved, from one corner of our neighborhood to the diagonally opposite corner. Yay!

The other thing about 2014 is that I spent quite a lot of time at various rock gyms, mostly in Brooklyn but elsewhere as well. This was true in 2013, too, but moreso in 2014. (I started climbing in November 2012, got really into it in September 2013, and have been really into it ever since.) In 2014, I took my climbing shoes with me on work trips to England, weekend trips to Pennsylvania to visit my boyfriend’s family, and a vacation to Montreal with the other person I’m dating. In 2014, I climbed 130 times and got belay-certified and took a class in bouldering technique and talked about climbing to anyone who would listen.

Meanwhile, books. In 2014 I read 64 books, including quite a few kids’ books and YA books. Numbers-wise:
Kids’/YA books: 17
Fiction (for grown-ups): 31
Non-fiction: 11
Poetry: 5

Works in translation: 7

Favorites: Tamara Shopsin’s Mumbai New York Scranton, which is full of great details and which I found emotionally engaging and well-written and charmingly illustrated. An Enlarged Heart by Cynthia Zarin, for the language and style and New-York-ness of it. Basically all of Diana Wynne Jones’s Chrestomanci books. And oh, Can’t and Won’t by Lydia Davis, which I found really smart and really fun.

Books I expected to like more than I actually did: Tristano by Nanni Balestrini, which I thought would be exciting because of its experimentation with form, but was pretty much just a slog. City of Djinns by William Dalrymple, which I wanted to have more personal bits and lyrical/descriptive bits.

In general: I read a bunch more kids’ books and YA this year than last year, including a whole bunch of Diana Wynne Jones books (some were re-reads, some were not, and my boyfriend read all of them too, which was super-fun) and two of Lois Lowry’s Anastasia books (I want to read them all but my hold on the next one seems to be stuck). I read some authors I’d been reading about/meaning to read for what felt like ages (Rainbow Rowell and Jo Walton and Teju Cole). Looking back, I feel like a read a lot of plot-driven books/comfort-reads this year, and I’m OK with that.

Plans for 2015: I’m doing the TBR Double Dog Dare, with exceptions for any library books I’ve checked out or put on hold before 11:59 pm on December 31. Also, I said this last year, but: more poetry? And maybe 2015 will be the year I finish reading Proust’s In Search of Lost Time?

2 Responses to “2014, in Reading and Otherwise”

  1. Jenny @ Reading the End Says:

    Oh, congratulations on the apartment! That’s wonderful news! And happy happy New Year!

  2. Heather Says:

    Thanks! Happy New Year to you, too!

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