As you can see, I read a lot for pleasure this year. Reading has always been a great source of pleasure for me – a bit of escapism, a love of silence and comfortable corners, and a good story can get me into a happier brain space. I think that Sally Rooney’s novels were my favorite of the year, but I clearly also got into Liane Moriarty and Armistead Maupin.
My professional life was guided by the wisdom in Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks. I also have a copy of The New Jim Crow by Michele Alexander and Mary Oliver’s Devotions on my desk… I return to these frequently while I’m working, though I haven’t read them in full.
One of my best friends was married this year and another had a baby – and I drove to each of these life celebrations to the tracks of audiobooks. In fact, I rarely get in my car these days without jumping into another novel.
I read Chocolat by Joanne Harris while traveling in Spain. I was struck by the number of relevant themes, both to my travels and to the current global political phenomenon of refugees. The refugee crisis that the United States government currently perpetuates is the embodiment of the same fear and close-mindedness that Harris describes in the reactions to Vianne Rocher and Anouk.
I spent seven months of this year pregnant and, if you ask any person who has been pregnant they will tell you, it isn’t the easiest experience. Books have been crucial in the passing of time when I’ve been tired, sick, or uncomfortable. But, as I reflect on all the occurrences of the past year, I feel that, in the end, it has been one that has passed in joy, comfort, and hope for the future.