New Year, New Books

Happy New Year! 2017 was a long year and I’m glad it’s over, so I don’t want to spend too much time talking about what’s past. Still, I do want to take a minute to reflect on the year that’s passed in order to make some goals and resolutions for myself in the future.

I made a goal to read 50 books in 2017, and in the last day of the year, I met my goal! I read 50 books, and probably about half of them in the last two months of the year. I didn’t feel it to be a terribly ambitious goal when I set it, being an English major and enjoying reading in my free time, but the turmoil of the year really threw me off course, and depression took my love of reading from me for a long time. In the middle of the year, I probably read a meager 5 or so books, and after my September troubles, it was hard to pick up a book again. But I knew I had to get my life back together, and I figured that reading was a way to put my foot on the path to health. I took reading back from my depression, but it wasn’t as easy and saying it and having it done. My Harry Potter readathon helped a lot with this, and this blog was no small piece of it either. It gave some level of accountability to populate the blog with posts that helped me to stay on track with my goals and my reflections. Check out The Shelf page to see which books I read last year.

For the new year, I’ve decided to pick up a challenge that a friend of mine did this past year. I’m going to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I work well with deadlines and goals, and having a more immediate goal than “a year” I think will be good for me, so knowing that I need a book completed each week will help me keep it a priority between work and everything else in my life. Keep up with me on Goodreads if you’d like, or pop on over to my Facebook page to keep up with me there!

I’ve also made a resolution to diversify my reading. I’ve been reading pretty much the same kinds of novels for a while, and haven’t made much of an effort to try anything new. Without a college syllabus, I found I wasn’t reading anything diverse or outside of my comfort zone. Being at the library has helped to make me more aware of other books and authors and has piqued my interest in other topics. I found this reading challenge from Bookriot to try out for the year, which I will post in full below and update with the books I read for each challenge. Also, I have a TBR journal with about 60 different lists, each with a different book topic/genre/author/style/etc, so that I can use it over the next few years to keep track of all the great books I’ve read and want to read. Hopefully at the end of the year, I’ll feel a little more clever!

While we’re talking about resolutions, I want to take a moment to talk about some personal resolutions too. I didn’t make any goals for myself like I did with reading — none with any hard numbers or deadlines. Instead, I reflected on some thoughts and words that I wanted to begin to practice in my life. Patience, forgiveness, tolerance — these were at the top of my list. I also thought about some things that I wanted to have in my life — a full time job that I liked, more education, more time for quietness and stillness, better social skills and less fear of interaction. A lot of good things found me at the end of 2017, so I want to go out and find more good things in 2018. Cheers to the new year!

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2018

  1. A book published posthumously: 
  2. A book of true crime: 
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance):
  4. A comic written and drawn by the same person:
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa):
  6. A book about nature:
  7. A western:
  8. A comic written or drawn by a person of color:
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature:
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color:
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980:
  12. A celebrity memoir:
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection:
  14. A book of social science:
  15. A one-sitting book: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author:
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image:
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation:
  20. A book with a cover you hate:
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author:
  22. An essay anthology:
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60:
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished):

What are your reading resolutions for the new year? What do you hope to find in 2018? Have any recommendations for my challenge? I’d love to hear them!

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