Tom Being Tom

Just me, talking about stuff.

Turn the Page

2018 Reading List

By on 28 Dec 2017

This is my last blog post.

Of 2017. 😉

You’ll not get that lucky, my friends; Tom still has many things to say.

Is there still an idiot president? Then I have things to say!

Are the Rams still in the NFL? Then I have things to say!

Am I married to Mrs C? Do I have the best group of peeps on the planet? Are golden retrievers still cute? Is there still beer? Then I have things to say!

But, for 2017, I’m about to hang it up. I’ll have another raucous weekend, then that’s it. Pfft, she’s gone. The two-thousand and seventeenth revolution around the sun, in the common era, is over.

I will miss it.

I’ll miss the last year I wasn’t 50. I’ll miss watching my football team climb back into the playoffs  after a long drought. I will even miss listening to people defending Donald Trump in his appalling first year in the White House. But we must move on. Another revolution must begin. The wheel in the sky keeps on turning.

wheel in the sky

But I didn’t come here to take one last poke at the cretin-in-chief before 2018. I didn’t start this posting with the intention of doing yet another recap, and I didn’t sign on to lament the ending of my 5th decade on Earth. I am here to fulfill a promise. A promise I made to you.

I am here to reveal my Very Important 2018 Selected Reading List.

Many of you played a hand in this. This list is so much more comprehensive, and exciting, than it would have been without you. I want to thank you all.

A couple of quick notes, then, before we go to the list…

  1. I chose 20 books, instead of 12, because 12 books/year is the American average, and I am not an average American. It’s also because I couldn’t decide on any more to cut.
  2. I calculated 7387 pages combined in these 20 books, and when I divided 7387 by 365 I came up with roughly 20 ¼. So, I must read 20 ¼ pages each day to complete them all. Combining mathematics and goal-setting is how things get done, folks.
  3. I will almost always have at least one book going on the side, as well, unrelated to the current book. This feeds my ADD.
  4. And, finally, after trying many different approaches to attempting to prioritize an order to my reading – including a breakdown of monthly and seasonal metaphorical meanings in congruence with the tomes in question – I abandoned every approach and decided to read them in alphabetical order. By author’s last name. There is absolutely no more significance to the arrangement than that. At all.

Okay, you’ve waited long enough. You’ve been patient. You’ve waded through my inane commentary and gratuitous pokes at lunatic demagogues, so there will be no further adieu.

I present to you, my 2018 Reading List:

reading list

  1. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  3. The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
  4. The Alienist: A Novel by Caleb Carr
  5. Failed States by Noam Chomsky
  6. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
  7. The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve by Stephen Greenblatt
  8. The End of Faith by Sam Harris
  9. Tribe by Sebastian Junger
  10. Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
  11. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  12. The Conspiracy against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti
  13. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  14. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
  15. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  16. The Great Divide by Joseph Stiglitz
  17. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  18. The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis
  19. When Nietzsche Wept by Irvin D. Yalom
  20. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I was going to take a moment to deliver you a brief synopsis of each tome, and perhaps some reasoning why each was chosen, but I didn’t. I read once that the perfect length of a blog post was 600 words, which is enough to make a point without losing your audience. This is at 666 words right now.

So I will let the list stand as is.

And I will thank you, once again, for your incredible suggestions and participation in making this list complete. And I will thank you, as well, for making 2017 another incredible year in the life of Tom.

2018 will be even better. This I know. I know this because I have all of you.

new year

So happy new year, brothers and sisters. Be safe, be kind, and – most of all – be you.

You are what this world needs, most of all.

39 comments on “Turn the Page

  1. I’m going to be bookmarking this, I feel like many of these should make it into my hands (and brain lol)

        1. Fascinating! Well, as you were the one to suggest that book, I will take your word for it, and substitute it for an alternate… thank you, George!

  2. As always, you have inspired me, made me laugh and made me feel grateful to have found your blog. I look forward to hearing about all the books and whatever else you choose to write about in 2018. Have a blast this weekend!!!! Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Susan! You already know I feel likewise about finding your blog; talk about inspiring! I might do a post about all the holiday partying we’ve been doing if I can remember it all. Maybe I’ll interview some of the others at the party to get an idea of all their favorite parts! 😂

      Happiest of New Year to you!!

  3. 5 of which are mine, thank you Tom. How very thoughtful. Kidding. I’m sure you’re gonna love them. Don’t forget, we need full reviews on each once you’re done. Or we can do one at a time, what do you say? As soon as I’m finished reading mine, I know where to look for next ones.

    Are you reading them in this very order? Have you started ordering already?

    As for your wishes, thanks a lot. My 2017 was full of ups and downs, more downs than ups actually. So, I do hope 2018 will be better. No, I know it since I have all of you too, which means the world to me.

    And you my friend, relax, have fun wherever you’ll be on N.Y.’s Eve and talk to you SOON. Looking forward to our chats already. Thanks Tom for being amazing Tom. Hugs, B

    1. Haha! I noticed that, too. Hey, you were the instigator of this thing, so that’s how it should be! 🤣 But, honestly, it didn’t hurt that what you like, I like, so your suggestions were well in line with stuff that was already on my own wish list. You sealed the pact of many of them!

      I will be reviewing each upon completion. I’ve never done reviews before, so bear with me. I’ll talk a bit about them in my own inimitable (Tommy) style. How’s that?

      I will read them in the order I proposed. I downloaded the first one today, and read twenty pages of it, so I’ve already got a head start!

      I surely hope your 2018 is better, and I believe it will be, for the very reasons we’ve mentioned. We are making such amazing connections, right here, on our blogs. Adding friends like you, Bojana… well, that’s what life is all about, right? Big hugs, and happy new year to you and all of yours!!! 🤗🤗🤗

      1. You’re downloading them? Is there sth free of charge? 🙂
        I’ll be with you, I just need to read them again. 🙂
        I don’t believe I forgot sth soooo important, so another 2019 essential (among other dramas, promise?) is Eugene O’Neill, The Iceman Cometh. Legendary.

        1. I will add it to the list! I usually check to see what’s free (I’m a Prime member, and I also check BookBub), but I’d rather pay for something I want to read than settle for something free that, maybe, I don’t. Besides, literature is pretty inexpensive, and always a worthwhile investment. 😊

  4. Your’s is the forth set of “to read” books I’ve piled into my own “someday” list. Thanks.

    You’ve got a few unexpecteds in there. My only suggestion is, never read a bad book. There are just too many good books to be had these days. At 49 I know you’ve got your tells for knowing when a book is going to fail you. In the last four months I easily started 50 and finished maybe 10 of them. One I read into page 100 and then, just, no. No more. I got over being compelled to finish a book years ago.

    Luck in your efforts. HNY too,


    1. That’s an awesome compliment, Anony, thank you! I hope you get to enjoy some of the books on this list. Heck, so do I! I’m very excited that the bulk of it was inspired by others, whose intellect, charm, and ability I already respect. Hard to go wrong there!

      Yeah, I hear what you’re saying. I start a lot more books than I finish. Sometimes, I still feel guilty about not returning to one I’ve abandoned, but I rarely do. Usually by 100 pages, I’m good to go. Books I abandon usually get set down before page 50. Sometimes, by page 10.

      So, yeah, I promise. If one of them isn’t good stuff, or simply ain’t my cup of tea, I’ll give it an honest (and, in this case, an extra) effort and then, if I must, surrender. At that point, one of the alternates will take it’s place (at the end, most likely).

      On a related note, I doubt I’ll “review” the books I set down. Maybe, at the end of the year, I’ll do a single post on all the ones I did not consume (if any), for whatever reason.

      Thanks again, my friend… and happy new year to you, too!

      1. Tom, I must say, you have the most gracious and temperate demeanor of anyone I’ve met thus far on wordpress. Conversing with you is always a pleasure.
        You touched upon a hotpoint of mine: reviews. I won’t dawdle, but my theory goes like this: Humans have choices, binary choices (anything can be reduced to a binary choice).
        Watch that movie, or not? Visit Barcelona, or not? Eat at that restaurant, or not? And finally, read that book, or not? Do it or don’t. 1 or 0? So, all these five star rankings? Never choose anything but 1 or 5,
        I’ve got whole posts on the subject. But in the end, your review is either read this… or don’t. Period. (There’s order of selection, but that’s another story…)
        My point? If all you do is say 1,2,3,,,20 Yes/No. That would be enough. More than enough.
        Peace this New Years to you and yours. AM

        1. That’s brilliant, man. I will take that to heart. No star system. I will tell you what I liked about it, even try and analyze it from my point of view and what the book means for my own life, but I won’t give it a percentage of good or bad. Hell, good and bad literature is pretty relative anyway, isn’t it?

          Thanks again, AM, for what I’d have to consider one of the best responses I’ve read yet, and for what is certainly the best compliment I have ever received. I say “yes” to more conversing; this has only just begun. 😉

  5. Your post has put two songs into my head – thanks for the second one. I thanked you for the first earlier. 😉 This is quite the list and I look forward to following the links on many to see what they are all about. I’m looking forward to you consuming The End of Faith (I’ve drunk the Sam Harris Kool-Aid as of late) and Tribe. You and I think much the same and I’m curious how you will approach digesting it (Tribe). Like I said before, I read it in a single night so I will need to go back and re-read it. Give me a head’s up when you start both Harris and Junger and I will join you for those two (at least those two. Maybe more). Cheers brother! Save me a barstool at Church!

    1. Haha! I caught you on a Journey loop! 😂😂😂

      Man, that is a plan. I will let you know the moment I crack open the books you’ve recommended, and we will go toe-to-toe! We’ll probably be sending highlighted pages back and forth by text the whole time. 🤣

      Dude, the seat at the bar at church next to mine is always yours. The conversation never ends, and that is how it should be!

  6. I’ll be chipping away at this one (in between my “chick-lit” hehe). That’s why I love you Tom, you bring the high-brow to the interwebs x

    1. Why, thank you, Trace, that is a fine compliment! Say, I don’t remember you recommending to me any of that “chick-lit” when I asked for help, so I’ll put on the spot here: what’s your favorite? What would you recommend to Tom? 😎

      Happy New Year to you, by the way!

      1. ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ Thomas Hardy
        ‘The Garden Party and other stories’ Katherine Mansfield
        ‘Tully’ Paullina Simons
        ‘The Slap’ Christos Tsiolkas
        ‘Eat Pray Love’ Elizabeth Gilbert
        ‘The Rosie Project’ Graeme Simsion
        ‘The Alchemist’ Paulo Coelho
        ‘Big Little Lies’ Liane Moriarty
        ‘Frankenstein’ Mary Shelley
        The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
        Not all chick lit.
        I can’t think of anymore as I’m not near my bookshelf.
        Just finished ‘The Break’ by Marian Keyes.
        And I this week I also read ‘The Barefoot Investor’ by Scott Pape (which is about, you guessed it, money. Scott Pape is an Aussie guy who lost everything in one of our most terrible bush-fire seasons and rebuilt himself from the ground up. He wrote a book to teach other people about investing/saving. It’s already changed my life).

        Hillary’s book is next on my list to read!

        Happy New Year Tom and Mrs 🙂

        1. The Alchemist is a good book; a friend recommended it to me a couple of years ago. Always meant to read Frankenstein and haven’t yet. Gonna look into the others… thanks for sharing, Trace!!

  7. Don’t even scare me like that Tom! Ok, I have not read a thing on your reading list, we can start a bookclub! Happy New Year, May all your dreams come true!

    1. Thank you, DG, be happy to have you in the club! Happy New Year to you, and here’s hoping 2018 punches the lights out of 2017 in every imaginable way… Cheers! 🥂

  8. So many books here I haven’t read. Awesome list Tom, you’ve got a lot of reading in front of you. Enjoy it all and have a fantastic year.

Now, You Be You:

%d bloggers like this: