One of the things I sometimes like to do is go into my past reading challenges on goodreads and look back on all the books I’ve read. I was looking at the books I’ve read in 2016. At first, this post was solely about the books but then I started wondering what was going on in my life as a pharmacy student (crazy as it was) while I was reading a certain book. And so, it begins! These are my honorable mentions from 2016.
First up, A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin. I actually started reading this in June of 2015. I had started reading A Song of Ice and Fire before I started pharmacy school, I fell in love with it and vowed that during breaks from school I would read and finish all books. I had not been able to finish this during summer 2015. Winter vacation came around and I went off to Japan for winter break. Yet another obstacle to finishing. This was the first book I finished in 2016. While I really liked A Dance with Dragons, it was a step down compared to the first 3 books. However, it was a step up from A Feast for Crows, which was, for me, the slowest of all 5 books.
Speaking of Japan, here comes Long-ago Stories of Japan by Carla Valentine. While on my trip to Japan, I saw a lot of people on the subway reading small paperback books. From watching people read on the subway I decided I would buy a book in Japanese to try and translate it myself. Having absolutely no experience with Japanese, I decided it would be better to find a Japanese to English translation! Haha! So I came across this wonderful gem that gave some insight into Japanese literature. It has both Japanese and its English translation. It is a book of Japanese fairy tales. Will probably post something on this book but suffice it to say it’s a wonderful little book!
Next honorable mention is Hell House by Richard Matheson. First of all, I have to say, I scare easily. Some people were able to brush this book off light nothing. When I finished this book at 10pm, I was looking around hoping the ghost of Bellasco wouldn’t come out to get me!! For me this book was an escape when final exams were just around the corner. I had finished my third year and was going to start my practice rotations. This is basically a transition from being a student in a classroom to being a student in a practice setting where you can actually work as a (pretend) pharmacist, basically. Hell House’s haunting provided much needed distraction.
After finals I started the journey that is the Wheel of Time, starting out with the Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. A journey I’ve yet to complete; I started book 6 recently. During this reading, I had trouble adjusting to having the life of a student (studying, taking tests and still going out with friends whenever time permitted) to having an 8-5 job at my practice site. I don’t know why but it hit me hard. Although I know this is a reality all of us face, I got a little depressed by the fact a great portion of my time is spent at work and when I get home I barely had the energy let alone the time to do the things I wanted like I normally did. While I like what I do in the pharmacy field, I still like to occupy my time with other things. My reading hit an all-time low. What usually took me a week or less to read now took me almost a month. I guess being an adult isn’t all it’s cracked up to be sometimes?
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I will be forever grateful to whoever it was that gave this 5 stars on my newsfeed. It made me curious and now my reading life has forever changed. During this read, I was on a psychiatry rotation at a psychiatric hospital. So while I was helping doctors and nurses deal with patients having hallucinations and bouts of psychosis, Vin and Kelsier took me along in their struggle to defeat the god-like Lord Ruler. It’s a side to health not a lot of people know much about or are exposed to. I definitely learned that not everyone is born to deal with people with mental health issues. It takes a certain amount of patience, the strength of will and dedication on both the patient’s side and on the caregiver’s side. Fortunately, in the few moments I was able to steal away and read, this book distracted me enough that I felt refreshed and ready to help the doctors and nurses with their patients.
The first audiobook to make me weep like a baby, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This was the year I started audiobooks. The others being Foundation by Isaac Asimov and the awesome 1984 by George Orwell. It almost 2 months hearing it on my commutes to home and work (I took a lot of breaks from it) but so far it is my favorite audiobook. I finished around Christmas time where I was two months away from finishing my practice rotations. I had finished 7 months of practice rotations and the time went by so fast it almost scared me. I was just a few short months from graduating and I couldn’t believe it! Just as Aibeleen was walking away from her job as a maid and leaving the only life she’d ever known, I was finishing up with my life as a student and I kept asking myself…now what?
Do you remember a book that accompanied you during important moments this past year? Share in the comments!