Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Year in Books

My heart was heavy when I discovered that I did not make my Goodreads Reading Challenge this year, and won't manage to read ~15 books before the end of the year. I was too ambitious, not to mention that it was only until these last few months that I started getting into audiobooks again. I only read 44 books out of 60. It was a good effort! I'll keep the same goal for next year and see if I can make it!

This year, I made some changes in how I consumed books. Instead of discount books, and occasionally caving and buying a new one off of Amazon when they were cheap enough, I decided that I was going to use my local library. Enoch Pratt is renown, and arguably, one of the best libraries in the country. They have a central location downtown, but have branches all over the city.

The closest branch to me was 20 minutes up the road. There was hardly any parking, so I would have to walk, which could be done on Saturday when they were open. I would need to plan out due dates for books, and make time to walk up and peruse.

It wasn't that much planning, and when I realized I could reserve books and they would come to the specific branch that I go too and I would get a text that notified me that they were in, well... I haven't bought a book all year. I'm not sure why I didn't do this sooner. The library rocks!

Reflection on this year in books - Goodreads

Back towards what I read this year in 2017. Here are my thoughts on my book lists and ratings on Goodreads: 
  • I started a lot of science fiction and fantasy book series, some of which I heard about and always wanted to try, and others where I picked up the second or third novel. With the library, I can do that, and it's freeing.
  • I stuck to my tried and true lane of my favorite historical fiction writer - Philippa Gregory. I read one other historical fiction book from one other writer, and it was one of my discount books. It was ok but glossed over the interesting stuff.
  • I read some more travel books - namely, Bill Bryson. I am not a fan.
  • I've read some famous/infamous authors, such as Stephen King, Octavia Butler, Rick Riordan and Cassandra Clare. I want to read more King and Butler and even Riordan, I've read three of Clare's books, and remember nothing about them.
  • I've seldom read any books on the best seller list all year.  The exception was The Nightingale.
  • I've actually started to read some home tidying books and "self-help" books. One book, the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, big win. The other, Little House Living, was a dud. 
  • I inflicted on myself Fifty Shades of Grey in audiobook. It was awful and I regret it. That woman makes so much money. 

Final Thoughts 

Whereas I love my science fiction and fantasy novel series and I'll continue to read them, I think this year I'll branch out to read more on the best seller's list. It will keep me current on trends as well as I can probably vote for Goodreads Choice Awards!

As well, I would like to reading more Historical Fiction authors from different time periods. I'm not sure why I was stuck in Tudor, but there is a plethora of authors and time periods out there.

Finally, I would like to actually read more self-help books. Maybe it's being in my 30s and finding out that your parents are still human (and are just navigating life just like you are), or maybe I've finally latched onto the idea that a) I'm not perfect (shocker) and that b) it would be good to seek out a better way to do things.

I think also this year, in 2018, I will also reread a few books... in audiobooks. I've been meaning to read the Harry Potter Series again, and while the library has infinite options, I think it would be fun to revisit old favorites and books that has a profound impact on my life. There is something soothing about being read too, something that I hadn't appreciated until recently.

What books or genres can you recommend to me for 2018?

Any books, authors or genres you've been meaning to get to but never found the time? What books or media do you want to read, watch or listen too in 2018?

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