For 2021, I set out to read or listen to 52 books, each roughly around 250 pages. Some were longer and others shorter, all in all, they were not short books. in 2020, I only managed 42 books, so this has been an improvement. Some books were repeats from previous years, which offers the opportunity to go deeper with new insights and reviewing previous learnings.
Here I am, in the last week of December and I have reached the end of my 52nd book (see cover above). This was a book I purchased on a whim at the Vienna main train station as I needed to buy something in order to reduce my parking ticket cost. It is a work of fiction, but I would call it, meaningful fiction. The sort of book that changes the way you think about life and how precious it is and what it is all about.
The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig, is about Nora, who is extremely unhappy in her life. Through a series of unfortunate events where she feels like her life has no meaning, she decides to take some pills to try to overdose on medication. She doesn't want to live anymore. In the moment of her death, she is transported to a library where she meets a character very similar to her school librarian. This person offers her the chance to try out other versions of lives. All the books on the shelves are the infinite possibilities of others lives, where Nora made different choices that led to different outcomes. Nora initially looks for lives where she could experience being an Olympic swimmer, or not having her cat die or where she still sings in her band. Each offers her a touching personal insight that ultimately leads her to discover that she wants to live in her original life. That is was meaningful. Through a series of climatic twists and turns, she returns to her original life just in time, not fully dying from the attempted overdose. She gets to hospital and is able to make a recovery and turn her life around. For me, it was a gripping read and made me realise the value in life and how what appears to be fulfilling in one sense, comes with difficulty and sacrifice in another. Also, to certain types of fiction which can be quite meaningful.
For 2022, I would like to read another 52 books, but this time combine it with some re-reads, as well as some new reads and some fiction. Send me your recommendations!