Books and Magazines

Reading 13 Books in a Year

It’s New Year’s Eve 2021, and I’m ending the year having finished 13 new books!

It’s not a massive amount, and I’ve heard of other people completing dozens more in 2021, but those 13 books represent an important goal.

Around March, I started tracking my reading habits, setting out to read a few minutes a day, every day (news articles and Reddit threads didn’t count). I quickly finished a book that had been on my virtual shelf for at least a year: David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me. Then I tackled one that I had purchased even longer before that, Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, and kept going, even adding in audiobooks for long drive’s or when I felt like relaxing.

What helped me achieve this was, surprisingly, reading on a tablet. While the younger me loved buying books and growing my personal “library,” the older me — who has moved a few times and needed to make the most out of space in a small apartment — can’t log around bulky books anymore (save a few special ones).

But reading on a tablet and Kindle allowed me to read in bed at night or in the morning. It eliminated the need to switch on a light or stand up for anything else. There was little friction between me and the book, making it easier to want to read.

Three of the books I finished were audiobooks — General Hospital star Maurice Bernard’s Nothing General About It, Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and Neil Strauss’ The Game. This was my first time listening to audiobooks, and one thing I learned is it’s not like listening to music. Instead, you need to give it your undivided attention, just as you would a traditional book.

I also relied on my two library cards and the app Libby, which lets you borrow ebooks from your local library, similar to a physical one. You can read them from the Libby app or transfer them to your Kindle or Kindle app. I’ll still be using it in the new year.

So, I’m still thinking about what my goal for 2022 should be — maybe, 22?

Check out my GoodReads profile if you have one!

“When Breath Becomes Air”

Reading this while sitting next to mom as she gets her latest round of immunotherapy for her brain tumor.

“When Breath Becomes Air” is written by Paul Kalanithi, who was completing his training to become a neurosurgeon when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2013. The memoir chronicles his life and his experience after the diagnosis, and I bought this for my mom shortly after she was diagnosed in 2015.

She didn’t read much of it, she instead read “Life of Pi” and some James Patterson books, so I recently decided to read it for myself… and I’m going to keep using the bookmark of hers I found inside.

Esquire, 1968

A look at the 1968 35th Anniversary issue of Esquire, which features a look at the major assassinations of the generation. One great addition to my collection.

The State of the American Dog

I recommend everyone, especially pet lovers, pick up this month’s issue of Esquire and check out Tom Junod’s piece, “The State of the American Dog.”

“A House on the River”

“A House on the River,” a great read in this month’s Esquire about how a man rebuilt his life after his family was murdered.

Should This Have Been Published?

Cover of the New York Post. This man was pushed onto the tracks yesterday after arguing with another man. He was declared dead at the hospital.

Is this a compelling cover, or irresponsible?

Inside and Outside

One for the thing beating inside your chest.

Robert Hass

Nice seeing a book by my old Berkeley poetry professor Robert Hass in the Columbia bookstore.

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