“I’ve loved reading since I was a kid. My mom would catch me after bedtime reading in the dark. As a child I always had my nose in a book,” recalls local book enthusiast Layne Bordelon. The mom of three has continued reading into adulthood, and began sharing book reviews on her Facebook page in 2021. “My friends knew about my love for reading, and they began asking me for good books to read, and good books to give as gifts. I thought sharing on social media was a good way to share,” said Bordelon. “In addition, I set yearly reading goals for myself. I thought if I put it out there on social media, it would hold me accountable, and I’d stick to it.”
Juggling family, work, and life keeps Bordelon busy; she recommends finding little pockets of time to read. “Whether I’m using a Kindle, paperback, or audio book, I squeeze reading in every chance I get. I read while I’m waiting for an appointment, or I read when I’m in the carpool line,” Bordelon explains. “Another way I squeeze in reading is with audio books. When I’m cleaning the house or doing laundry, or driving, I put in my air pods and listen to audio books.” Bordelon’s top pick for audio books are memoirs read by the author.
“My mom and grandmother were librarians, so I guess a love for reading runs in the family,” Bordelon said. While her favorite genre is literary fiction, her girl’s love graphic novels. Initially she tried to get her girls to love reading the books that she loved as a child, or books that she thought they would enjoy. Following some good advice from her mother allowed her girls to develop a passion for reading as well. “My mom told me to nurture what they love, so I stopped pushing, and my two oldest love to read. My youngest is 4, and I read to her daily.”
Selecting books and setting a reading goal of 50 books for 2023, Bordelon looks forward to continuing to share her passion for reading, and personal book reviews. “Knowing that I’m going to share my review, helps to keep me engaged. As I’m reading, I evaluate and think about the symbolism, meaning, and how it relates to today’s world,” she said.
Bordelon shared the top five books on her 2023 list, and her summaries of each:
Spare by Prince Harry –I have this one on pre-order and I’m so excited for it to arrive. I have so much compassion for the situation that he finds his family in today.I’m hoping that hearing the emotional backstory of his childhood within the “institution” will make the royal upheaval of the last several years make sense.
Inheritance Games Book #3: The Final Gambitby Jennifer Lynn Barnes – I fell in love with this young adult series in 2021 and I’m excited to read the final installment in 2023. It follows a teenage girl who receives an unexpected inheritance, and her mission to unravel the mystery of why she was chosen by a complete stranger. It’s full of mystery, puzzles and a steamy (but totally PG 13) little love triangle.
Homecoming by Kate Morton- Homecoming is a historical fiction set in South Australia, telling a story that begins with a mysterious murder in 1959. Many years later, the tragic story is unearthed by a journalist who finds connections to the original case. I love a story that spans generations!
With the Fire on Highby Elizabeth Acevedo –I’ve been holding off on reading this one for awhile, almost savoring the work of Acevedo. Now that she has a new book coming out in 2023 that I can look forward to, I feel like I can finally read this one! It’s the story of a teen mother who is balancing being a good mother while following her passion and her dreams of being a chef.
Evil Eyeby Etaf Rum- I read Rum’s debut novel in 2022 (A Woman Is No Man) and immediately looked to see if she had any other books out that I didn’t know about. Luckily, her second novel, Evil Eye, is scheduled for release in March of 2023! Like her first novel, it explores the struggles of Palestinian-American women and their role in family life. The main character, Yara, seems to have obtained the dream with a formal education and a husband that is supportive of her pursuing a career outside of the home. Just when things seem utterly perfect, trials from her childhood begin cropping up to challenge her carefully built life.
Perhaps you’ll be inspired by Bordelon, and even enjoy one or more of her picks in the new year. While your personal goal, may not be 50 books, set an attainable goal, and find those pockets of time!