Book Junkie

“The Bitch Is Back” was the last book I finished reading in 2016. “The Millennial Mindset”* was the first one I finished in 2017. The latter was a research account from two professors of communications and public relations on just what those Millennials are thinking. The former featured eloquent commentary from women in midlife, sharing, as the editor states, “the wisdom of enlightened middle age and about happiness.”

millennial-bitch-booksAs you may have gathered from the two book titles, I’m a nonfiction reader for the most part. I read about culture and politics, humor and home decorating, among other things. I read for my amusement and education, sometimes at the same time.

Full disclosure: I’m a book junkie. At any given time I’m working my way through about a dozen books or so, picking up whichever one sparks my interest.

I’m also cheap. I support my habit by frequenting two libraries — my local public library and the research library at the university where I work. I visit their “new books” shelves nearly every week, checking out whatever grabs my attention.

Occasionally I buy books. Sometime I even pay retail. But I am more likely to acquire them used, via library book sales.

I read online as well, but it just ain’t the same. I want to hold the book in my hands, feel the paper, smell the ink, and keep my place with an odd bookmark.

Midway through 2006 I started keeping track of the books I read. I’m a list maker and a goal setter. My goal is to read at least 24 books a year. For a book to make the list, I have to have read it cover to cover. No skimming.

In case you’re interested, here’s my 2016 book list. If you need something to read, I recommend them all!

  • We’re Just Like You Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle, by Celia Rivenbark
  • Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox, edited by Joanne Cronrath Bamberger
  • Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
  • Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl, by Carol Bodensteiner
  • You’re Going to be Dead One Day: A Love Story, by David Horowitz
  • Country Living American Style: Decorate, Create, Celebrate, by Hearst Communications Inc.
  • The Jesus Cow: A Novel, by Michael Perry (fiction)
  • The Bee Cottage Story: How I Made a Muddle of Things and Decorated My Way Back to Happiness, by Frances Schultz
  • Absolutely Beautiful Things: Decorating Inspiration for a Bright and Colourful Life, by Anna Spiro
  • 300 Cottage Style Decorating Ideas, by Better Homes and Gardens
  • Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-Seven Women Untangle an Obsession, edited by Elizabeth Benedict
  • Hurts Like a Mother: A Cautionary Alphabet, by Jennifer Weiss and Lauren Franklin (fiction)
  • Sarah’s Seasons: An Amish Diary and Conversation, by Martha Moore Davis
  • Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression – by Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), (A Posthumous Manifesto by the Editor in Chief of Charlie Hebdo)
  • The Atheist’s Bible: An Illustrious Collection of Irreverent Thoughts, conceived and edited by Joan Konner
  • Lovable, Livable Home: How to Add Beauty, Get Organized, and Make Your House Work for You, by Sherry and John Petersik
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo
  • The Nones Are Alright: A New Generation of Believers, Seekers, and Those in Between, by Kaya Oakes
  • Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home, from Wreck to Ravishing, by Robert and Cortney Novogratz with Elizabeth Novogratz
  • Campus Sketches of Iowa State University, by Velma Wallace-Rayness (1962 edition)
  • After You, by Jojo Moyes (fiction)
  • The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All over the Place (parody), by Jennifer McCartney
  • The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s, by Gil Troy
  • Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide, by Michael Kinsley
  • Difficult Conversations: Craft a Clear Message, Manage Emotions, Focus on a Solution – by Harvard Business Review Press, 20 Minute Manager series
  • Who Is Hillary Clinton? Two Decades of Answers from the Left, edited by Richard Kreitner
  • The Wit and Wisdom of Downton Abbey, by Jessica Fellowes
  • My Life on the Road, by Gloria Steinem
  • Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger
  • Leading through Language: Choosing Words That Influence and Inspire, by Bart Egnal
  • Blue in a Red State: A Survival Guide to Life in the Real America, by Justin Krebs
  • 101 Reasons to Love the Packers, by David Green
  • The Bitch Is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier, edited by Cathi Hanauer

Laura Sternweis

*The complete title is “The Millennial Mindset: Unraveling Fact from Fiction,” by Regina Luttrell and Karen McGrath.


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