My year in 2020 consisted of a LOT of reading much of it due to being in lockdown for much of it.
Every year, I set myself up a Reading Challenge using the GoodReads app. Over the years, the pace of reading books has increased however, it means it’s at the expense of doing some other things such as catching up with Netflix series (I hardly seem to watch it even though we have a subscription as I prefer YouTube) and of course, my knitting.
However, I find the GoodReads app very glitchy and have lost some of the Reading Challenges over the years; it breaks down at some odd times and methinks it’s just an app that seems to be losing ‘something’ over time. I haven’t found an alternative like it where there’s such a massive load of books and reviews but that’s because it’s driven by Amazon. I don’t buy anything from Amazon and yet, I feel peeved I have to use this app. If anyone knows an alternative, please let me know.
2020 was a great reading year for me. I read 83 books from a goal of 80 and that’s not including all the other references like blog posts, papers and articles.
My preference is to read modern literature preferring those than any recent writers who I feel at times, try too hard in their writing style. Sometimes I wish they could use the Ernest Hemingway approach and reduce their words and let our minds fill in the rest.
(Says me who writes long diatribes here as blog posts).
My favourite book of 2020 was Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities which was simply awe inspiring and beautiful. I did a review of it on my YouTube channel too. You can check out the Playlist of Book Reviews too if you’re interested.
Over the year, I did read some non-fiction to do with the changes that are facing the world and they got a lot of comments and views which I can only attribute to the subject matter.
I can highly recommend Kate Murphy’s You’re Not Listening:
Yanis Varoufakis new book, Another Now basically blew my mind (in a good way) because it made me reflect on what choice would I have made if the same situation was presented to me. Here’s a review of it I did.
Also Lynda Gratton’s new book is also a must to read because again, it challenged my thinking on what people will be facing in coming years.
These books – along with reading of other articles in 2020 – has made me recalibrate my thinking around the issue of learning how to learn, social learning and taking charge of our own development – and not necessarily focussed on workplace learning but instead, being open to explore and be curious about the world around us driven for a need to learn more about ourselves – and our place in the world – as opposed to just workplace performance or job skills.
The reason I started reading more fiction and then sharing what I thought on YouTube as reviews was just that it was an alternative way for me to capture what I was reading and learning in this video format and make sense of it by applying what the characters had gone through – the humanness of them – to make me feel empathy and be curious about what I would do in their place.
Also in 2020, I started to read more about the Aboriginal culture and about indigenous Australians as I felt that this was a huge missing gap in my own knowledge. From what I read, I was aghast and ashamed at their treatment and in tears thinking why we hadn’t seen or been exposed to this shocking part of Australian history. Now’s the time to make amends and to self-educate here.
What does 2021 hold in store for me reading wise? Unsure. I’ve reduced my reading challenge to read about 50 books but the number is unimportant to me.
Instead, I will be using this blog to write out notes from some of books I read with some key lessons and questions I take away from them – along with the video review.
I really have no idea why I’m doing it this way but I feel that it’s a great way to capture the lessons in both written format but also express a bit of creativity through the video format too as it also enables me to have conversations with people who are beyond my social networks in Twitter.
Happy reading for 2021. As the French say, “C’est parti!”