Wow. We’re already halfway through the year and my annual “To Do” list is approximately 1% completed (which is close, right?). At least I can say that I’m ahead of schedule on my Goodreads reading goal. Last year I had read 42 books at this point; this year I read 55 books by the end of June.

Like 2015 I initially set my reading goal at 50 books for 2016. Goodreads tells me I’m “30 books ahead of schedule.” Again like 2015, I’m not at all surprised I’ve read so much; it seems I top out my personal reading record with each new year. I’ll likely move the goal up to 75 books just to give me a new level to strive for, though at the pace I’m going I suspect that new number won’t be too difficult to reach. [Post continues below the graphic]

Half year 2016 - 1

Of  course, one of the books I read is one that I wrote, as Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World officially comes out this month (July 2016). It was completed last year and even though I read through it many times while editing, I don’t count it as “read” until I get the hard copy in my hands and read the final version complete with photos and graphics and all the cool design work that makes it the aesthetically pleasing book that sells so well in Barnes and Noble. [Post continues below the graphic]

Half year 2016 - 2

Not surprisingly, I’ve read 13 books so far this year related to Abraham Lincoln. Some are new volumes that will be part of my book review column in the newsletter of the Lincoln Group of DC. Others are background for the Lincoln book that I’m currently writing. All provide valuable insights into the thinking of the man both current day political parties think of as their own. This interest led me to two other books I read. One was Barack Obama’s first memoir Dreams From My Father, and the other was a new book The Black Presidency that examines how racism has affected Obama’s decisions as President and how he has been treated by a party that just nominated Donald Trump as their “leader.” [Post continues below the graphic]


Half year 2016 - 3

Reading down Facebook’s “Book List Challenge” continues. So far this year I’ve read 12 of the 100 books listed, for a total of 82. I’ve also read seven other fiction books, seven books on writing, four books about travel, and another 12 general nonfiction books. I finally read the first “Dragon Tattoo” book by Stieg Larsson and was shocked to find that it actually lived up to the hype. I’ll bring the second book on my next long overseas flight.

Overall my reading list is a hodgepodge of fiction and nonfiction, though obviously heavy on writing topics and biographical background related to the current work in progress. I could stand to branch out into more science fiction, poetry, and modern fiction, but I could also stand with cutting back on the reading so I can spend more time writing.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

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David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (Fall River Press) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book is about Thomas Edison, due in Barnes and Noble stores in July 2016.