Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year Of Finding Happiness and Home. And Reading Books.

January 1, 2013. I was laying on the couch under a blanket, trying to warm up after a freezing cold New Year's Day run and reading over what I had posted the day before as my year end review. Looking over all the words, all the links to the posts filled with the words that told the story of my year, made me proud, and a touch overwhelmed. And, when I got to the sections for November and December, they made me a little sad.

Because even though the construction was done and the house was finally finished, sitting on that couch on New Year's Day, I still felt profoundly unsettled after our move to the suburbs. Adrift in a sea of change and uncertainty, not sure when I would again find myself on dry land. And I looked forward to a new year, relishing the idea that maybe, just maybe, I would begin to find some comfort and peace. That maybe it would finally start to feel like home. Like my life, instead of a life that I was viewing from the outside, wishing it could be different.

If 2012 - the second half at least - was a story of saying goodbye, of transition and nostalgia tinged with sadness, 2013 was the story of finding my place. Of building a new life in a new neighborhood. Of joining a community. Of meeting new people who became new friends. Of finding a running path I loved as much as I love Central Park. Of getting to happy. Of discovering that slowly, and without my even realizing it, what was once new becomes normal. 

2013 was the story of finding home.

And 2013 was the story of reading books. 

Because when I feel unmoored, books are where I turn. When I lose myself in the words of my favorite authors, all is right with the world. So when we moved into our new house, the very first thing I did, even while my kitchen was still a black hole and everything was covered with a layer of construction dust, was set up my bookshelves and start reading.

My Bookshelves: Romance Novel Central

And Everything Else

And when I had torn through 3 books in our very first week, I decided it might be fun to keep track of everything I read for an entire year, and to write about it. So I created a new bookshelf in my Goodreads account, and started filling it. 

And when I checked it this morning, my grand total was 132 books in 2013, including 72 by Nora Roberts, 13 by her alter-ego J.D. Robb, 3 Hunger Games, 3 Divergent, 2 by John Grisham, 2 by Dan Brown, 13 by Brad Thor and 13 by the late and great Vince Flynn. The other ten are a mixed bag that include Maine and Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan, Early Decision by Lacy Crawford, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty and a few from my law firm's book club that I hated but read anyway to avoid feeling stupid in the bi-monthly meetings.

It was a year of romance and mystery, of brand new and very old. Of re-reading my favorites, and giving the unfamiliar a chance. Of sinking contentedly into my favorite characters and the stories that I love, and relishing happy endings. It was a year of embracing the familiar while surrounded by the unfamiliar, and finding out that I am still me, no matter where I land.

365 days and 132 books later, I am happy, and I am home.

Thank you for taking this journey with me. It is an honor and a pleasure to write, and to be read.

Wishing you all and your families lots of love, happiness and success in 2014.


  1. Happiest new year! I can't believe how many Nora Roberts books you've read. holy wow!!! here's to fabulous reading and writing in 2014!!

  2. It sounds like we have a lot in common as readers! I just posted my 2013 reading list today too :) I wish you continued happiness in 2014 -- as well as happy reading! It's been a pleasure to get to "know" you this year. And by the way your reading totals are very impressive!

  3. Glad 2013 turned out to be great for you. And wow, you really do read a lot!!

  4. So happy 2013 turned out so well for you! Can't wait to see how 2014 goes, including your marathon training!

  5. 73 NR books in 1 year? Wow. You are a reading machine. I tried a couple JD Robb books, and couldn't get into them. I love your bookshelves (and congrats on the new home!). I'm in the process of getting "organized" - really a forever ongoing- project - and trying to come up wit the best way to organize allll my books!