Reading Round Up 2017

I haven’t been blogging my book reviews as much as in the past; my blogging time is somewhat more limited and I find myself preferring to focus on sewing when I do have time to sit down and write.  However, books are still an important part of my life and I think it is good to have this reflection as part of my week long year-end wrap-up as I look towards my goals for the 2018.

This year I hit a bit of a reading slump mid-summer.  I normally pound through the books then, because work lightens up, but this year I just didn’t have the interest or energy.  I’m hoping I can avoid that somewhat next year – there are so many great books I want to read, but I feel that my focus and attention isn’t able to stick in a book like it used to.  Is this adulthood?  Is it due to spending too much time with technology and social media?  Is it just because I have to focus so much at work that reading isn’t an enjoyable as it once was?  I’m not sure but perhaps this is something I should consider as I think about my reading plans for next year.

I’ve fallen away from writing all of my book posts on the blog, but I do track my reading progress on Goodreads, which also allows you to set goals for a yearly reading challenge.  I’ve started a tradition of adding one book a year; this year my goal was 31 books and I’m happy to say I’ve made it.  Here’s a look at my Goodreads books for the year:

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Number of Books Read: 31

Favorite Book: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Favorite Sword & Laser Pick: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Favorite Fantasy: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Favorite Sci-Fi: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky and The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Favorite Non-Fiction: Washington’s Farewell by John Avlon

Honorable Mentions: The Curated Closet, Wool, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

From last year my reading goals were:

(1) Write a review if I really liked a book.  I can remember liking a lot of the books I read this year, and I wish I had a better record of how I felt about the books after I had finished reading them.

NOPE.  I did write a few reviews on Goodreads, but nothing in depth.  On the other hand, I feel that I didn’t have as many stand out books for me this year (except Long Way to a Small Angry Planet which was absolutely amazing), so, perhaps I get an out based on the “really liked a book clause.”

(2) Finish The Magicians series.  This one is for my sister.

FAIL. I’ve started reading the second book in the series, but I haven’t finished it.

(3) Read The Expanse series.

NO.  Again, I’ve started book one, but haven’t gotten very far.

(4) Read one science book.

WIN!  I read Death by Food PyramidWired to Eat, and We Have No Idea.

(5) Read fewer books, but longer books.  I’ve been reading a lot of short books lately.  Which is good, but it’s been a while since I sank my teeth into a really long story.

PARTIAL SUCCESS.  I’m currently in the middle of Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer.  If this doesn’t count as a “longer book” nothing does.  I haven’t finished it, but I’m savoring the journey.  I guess I also read all of Cixin Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, which was also pretty lengthy, so scratch that, I’m giving myself a WIN.

 

And, with some consideration, here are my reading goals for 2018:

(1) Find more joy in reading.  I’ve treated it too much as a task this year; I need to find the joy in it again.  Especially with science fiction and fantasy stories – I’ve loved reading these in the past, often staying up way too late to finish a particularly great story.  Now I can barely get through a page before passing out, and the joy for reading isn’t quite there.  I need to figure out why I’ve lost the spark, and how to get it back.

(2) Finish The Magicians series.  The second book is actually more enjoyable than the first book so far.  Plus, I want to read it so I can have more enlightened conversations about the TV series, which I absolutely adore.  Though “adore” is perhaps an odd word choice, but, regardless, I love it.

(3) Read The Expanse series.  Another one where I really enjoy the show, and like what I’ve read of the series so far.

(4) Read more of my Kindle/paper books.  I’ve been mainly consuming audiobooks this year, as it is convenient for me to multi-task and read, but I do miss more than when I read the story on paper (or e-ink).  Plus, I’ve got so many real books, and I know there are some fantastic things on my shelves that I really should read and enjoy.

(5) Read more of my sewing books.  I’ve been watching things on Craftsy to up my skill set, but there are so many wonderful techniques in my sewing library that I should take the time to learn.

(6) Konmarie my books.  I’ve made some effort with the Konmarie method on my clothes, which has actually helped my organization quite a bit.  I’ve yet to move on to the second stage of the method, which is books.  I’m afraid I’ll find it more difficult than the clothing choices, which is saying something for a seamstress who probably has a more emotional connection to her clothing than the majority of people Marie Kondo deals with.  However, I really do recognize the need to use this method to pair down the objects in my life.  I’ve been meaning to start on this for the better part of this year, yet I’ve only made mild progress.  Perhaps, though, if I can pair down the books in my life I can find more joy in the ones I keep?  It’s a thought anyway.

And that’s it!  It’s been sort of a mixed bag this year as far as reading goes, but I’ve found a few new books I’ve really enjoyed, despite some setbacks as far as overall motivation goes.  Do you set yearly reading goals?  What sorts of things are important to you?  Pages read?  Number of books?  A variety of genre or author demographics?  Also, if you have any advice for how to jumpstart a lulled desire to read, feel free to leave sage advice in the comments!


15 thoughts on “Reading Round Up 2017

  1. I’ve been following your blog for the sewing (and Burda mag reviews! Love them) and now find you have similar taste in reading material. I will keep an eye out for your Goodreads reviews. Cheers

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  2. Heh if you find out how to restart the reading park let me me know! My theory is that it’s the state of the world that’s the problem. All the awful things happening in real life make it much harder to enjoy fiction where the plot involves any bad stuff at all, and most do. The only things I can read right now are really light and frivolous. I got some interesting nonfiction history of science for Christmas so I’m hoping that’ll help.

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  3. I think there is just different media for different times. Though my goal this year is to konmarie my median consumption. I have not met my usual goal of 50 books this year, even though I include Audio books, which I love listening to while cooking. But then I have been listening to really interesting podcasts, fiction and nonfiction and been inspired a lot. I really want to cut back on Social Media though, it really does not spark joy. Not the way s really good book does.

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  4. I really loved Becky Chambers’ books too. It was like Firefly in book format–charming, fun, sometimes sentimental but not too much so, and engaging.

    And I love The Magicians series. The first book I hated–the characters were all such awful obnoxious teenagers–but by the second they’d redeemed themselves and I was fully onboard for book three. Is the second season of the TV show good? I saw the first season but haven’t picked it up from there yet.

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    1. The Magicians is definitely my favorite TV show on air right now, the second season was great. I am enjoying the characters a bit more in the second book, I’ve barely started, but so far so good. The show I’m totally obsessed with though.

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    1. I’ve read some Brent Weeks, but I never really fell in love with his books. Sanderson is one of my favorites though. And I’m dying for Pat Rothfuss to finish up Kingkillers – that would be a book I’d put everything on hold to read.

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  5. I’ve really enjoyed quite a few of your past recommendations, mostly in the sci-fi genre so will definitely keep this list to refer to. On a sort of related note that won’t help your reading goals at all have you watched any of the Black Mirror series on Netflix, I just saw S4E1 last night and it was wacky, but brilliant.

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