Quarter-Pole Review of My Year In Reading


As we reach the end of March, I’m now beginning to notice just how quickly this first three months of the year has just flown by!  The days seem to go by faster each and every year, or maybe that’s just me.  With March coming to an end, I thought I would go ahead and take a look at what I’ve read so far, and how I’m meeting my reading goals that I established back in February.  For a quick recap of my 2011 reading goals, you can review my original post here.

As I currently stand, I have completed the following three books:

  • Grundrisse by Karl Marx
  • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama

I’m currently close to completing my journey with Karl Marx’s Capital, Volume I, and along with it David Harvey’s A Companion To Marx’s Capital.  I should hopefully have those two works completed by the end of this week.

As I was reviewing the goals I initially set in February, I noticed that I have 10 out of the 13 books I have planned to read are of the non-fiction variety.  I know that wasn’t my original intent when I went about picking the books I wanted to tackle this year, I think it just ended up that way.  Generally speaking, I’d much rather read fictional works than non-fiction, but for some reason, this year, it’s a bit different.

I think this year, I just wanted to learn a bit more after focusing on fiction for a majority of the last couple of years.  I know my reasoning with studying Marx this year was to discover a bit more about capitalism especially with the recent market crisis we had here at home.  Plus, I got an opportunity to get back to my roots in history, and that’s where The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich come to play this year.

But I also feel I have a pretty decent mix of fiction this year, and I plan on doing some additional reading outside the scope of my goals this year, which will include, not only classical literature, but some escapist fiction as well, simply to break things up a bit.  But generally speaking, I usually pick my non-fiction books based on what I want to learn at any given moment in time.  I also foresee myself reading more non-fiction books as we move forward in time.

Are you solely a fiction or non-fiction reader?  How do you normally go about choosing to read non-fiction and what types of non-fiction do you like to read?

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

12 Responses to “Quarter-Pole Review of My Year In Reading”

  1. The older I get, the more nonfiction I read. Not sure why.

    You must share with us what you thought about such readings.

    Here’s my Sunday Salon post for this week. Hope you will stop by and chat.

  2. Goodness, I’m not ‘solely’ anything! I love a mix — fiction and non-fiction.

    As to non-fiction, I love history and science (exploration.) I plan to read Emerson, Rousseau, Einstein, Thoreau — the history of Henry VIII, the French Revolution, Napoleon, Thomas Jefferson…

    Essays! I love an essay or a speech, from history.

    Also, stories of survival. I’m going to read Heinrich Harrer’s memoirs.

    And biographies…

    Shakespeare

    Mommy Dearest

    A Boy Called It

    (It goes on.)

    • A mix is definitely good! If you’re looking at some good historical non-fiction, I highly recommend The Federalist Papers, Team of Rivals, and Common Sense.

      I also plan on getting a bit more into Shakespeare as soon as I can find the time to do so!

      • I own all of those!! They’re sitting very near me, actually. I recommend to you, Civil Disobedience. 😉

        (Shakespeare was a reference to the Bill Bryson biography.)

      • I’ve been wanting to tackle Civil Disobedience for quite some time now! I just haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve read a lot about it and I’m really looking forward to tackling it at some point! 🙂

  3. I mix it up…I have been reading a lot of memoirs this year…and even last year.

    One of my current reads is nonfiction.

    You’ve read some really “heavy” books…Karl Marx and Obama’s book.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    • I’m hoping to finish up my reading of Marx’s Capital, Volume I here shortly. Going to definitely move onto something a bit lighter before I tackle Capital, Volume II.

      Looking forward to getting back into some fictional reading for a little bit, and perhaps, even a little lighter non-fiction.

  4. I, too, try to read a mix but it does seem like sometimes I get on a jag of one genre. Memoir, mystery, current events, etc. I do have to lighten it up though if I find that I am getting to weighted down or stuck on finding the next great book. Your first quarter seems pretty heavy for me although both my husband and I enjoyed Obama’s books. In looking back at my own 2011 challenge, I am behind a little in the goal I set for the year but I believe I will pick up the set in the next few months.

    • I think this first three months of the year is the heaviest amount of reading I’ve ever tackled. Even more so than last year at this time.

      I enjoyed reading the President’s book Dreams From My Father, it was good to discover a bit more about his background. Due to some personal beliefs of mine, while I completely understand the positions he made in The Audacity of Hope, a part of me cringed at reading some of the things in there. But overall, I found it to be quite the interesting read. Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Ah Shakespeare perhaps one of my favorite writers to read; also my inspiration for writing as well. A quote from one of my favorite plays: “Are you biting your thumb at me? I bit my thumb, but I do not bit my thumb at you.” great stuff. Jeremy if you decide to read Shakespeare I have plenty of it so you can just borrow it. I read whatever grabs my attention at the time I am looking. At the moment I am reading The Da Vinci Code; started on Friday. So, it really just depends. But, all that Marx stuff just not for me sounds like reading stereo equipment instructions…you know like Death Book from Beetle Juice :).

  6. I love a bit of both. At the moment I’m reading more fiction than non but if something grabs my attention then I’m not too worried what it is. I love the informative nature of non-fiction but fiction has taught me plenty too, recently…

    Great post 🙂 Good luck for the rest of the year’s reading!

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