LAKE MACBRIDE— Long form reading was slight in 2014. A daily hour or two of reading articles from screens displaced reading books, and my reaction is mixed.
Part of me wants there to be more long-form reading, and part of me understands the new dynamic of staying in tune with what is going on in the world through reading many articles on multiple topics. It is unsettling.
I keep close track of the books I read. If there are less of them, each one played a role in daily affairs. No real clinkers made it to the following list of the twelve books I read this year:
Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barry Estabrook
Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Home Place by Carrie La Seur
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Wrong David by Christa WoJo.
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser.
Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing by Anya von Bremzen
The Pruning Book by Gustave L. Wittrock
Gardening with the Experts: Pruning by Moira Ryan
Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wisława Szymborska translated by Joanna Trzeciak.
The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible by Simon Winchester.
My Life by Bill Clinton.
Two of these are the result of being on social media, The Home Place and The Wrong David. They would not likely have been read if I hadn’t been on twitter. I know Carrie La Seur from before she returned to Montana, and reviewed her book on Amazon.com. Christa WoJo is an Internet marketer and writer living in Panama. WoJo describes her book as about “drunken Americans behaving badly in France.” Both were quick and engaging reads primarily for diversion.
In a way, all of the books were read for diversion from a life too full of low paying jobs. The most practical reading was Hillary Clinton’s secretary of state memoir. If she will be running for president, I felt it important to know what she did in that role with more detail than may be found in a single article. Besides, like her husband, she is an interesting person.
Suffice it to say that I want to read more in long form. My new year’s resolution is to work toward that end.