Mid-Year Check In

Happy First Day of June! Can you believe the year is already half over? I figured the mid-point of the year would be the perfect chance to look back on the goals I outlined on the blog in late January (you can find that post here).

For the “too-long, didn’t read” crowd, I outlined 10 book and blog goals I wanted to achieve by the end of 2016. Of course some of the goals have been going better than others but, overall, I’m not thrilled with my progress so far. This check-in is meant to remind myself what my goals were and why I wanted to complete them.

2016 GoodReads Read

1. Read 50 Books

So far I’ve read 15 books this year which according to my Goodreads Reading Challenge is 5 books behind schedule. I’m not so concerned about this goal as I plan to read more poetry volumes and novellas (i.e. shorter titles). I don’t want to harp too much about quantity as I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity, but 50 books in a year has a really nice ring to it.

2. Read more women writers and writers of color

Of the books I’ve read this year, 8 have been written by women which is just 53%. Certainly not representative of how I normally read, but I’ve been truly enjoying the books I read so far. Only 3 of the 15 books I’ve read were by writers of color, which is a dismal 20%. I’d like to read more translated works and non-English writers in the second half of 2016.

3. Read more poetry and historical books

While I’ve read poems here and there, I haven’t read a full poetry volume yet. I’m hoping to change this soon as there’s quite a few poetry books I want to buy in the coming months. My to-buy list includes Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, Robin Coste Lewis’s Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems, and Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds.

As far as historical books, I’ve done a little better. I deeply enjoyed Erik Larsen’s Dead Wake, which chronicles the days before and after the tragic sinking of the Lusitania. It kept me enthralled from start to finish – it was exactly what historical non-fiction should be. I also read Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, which I would argue is contemporary history, and Mary Pilon’s The Monopolists, the extremely fun yet upsetting history of Monopoly.

4. Review every book I read

Not quite. In fact, I’ve only written 3 reviews so far this year. I gave my thoughts on  Hatching Twitter, The Reader, and Tell the Wolves I’m HomeI need to get in the habit of writing my review immediately after I finish that novel otherwise I move onto the next book and it’s hard to get back into that head space.

5. Blog at least twice a week (if not more)

A hard no on this one as well. I’m hoping to change that starting this week. There’s no reason why I haven’t other than sheer laziness and not making this blog a priority in my life.


6. Reread the Harry Potter series

I’ve started to reread the books. Well, I’ve started to reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. So I’m about 5% of the way there. Though I am starting to feel the itch to get back to the series again. It might have something to to do with the photos from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child being released, or that we are officially less than two months away from a NEW HARRY POTTER TALE.

7. Write 5 analytical essays

This was probably my most lofty goal and the one I already know I’m least likely to cross off this list. Since graduating from college I’ve found it hard to sit down and write about literature in an academic and analytic way. If I could amend any goal on this list, this would be the one. I would change to to 2 analytical essays and even that might be stretching it.

8. Read 10 Classics

So far I’ve read 1 classic, maybe 2 depending on your definition of classic. Without a doubt, I know George Orwell’s 1984 is a classic, but I think many consider Cormac McCarthy’s The Road a contemporary classic. Either way I have a lot of classics to read before the year is up.

9. Read as much as possible from my TBR (to be read) pile

Of the 15 books I read eight of them were on my “owned a copy” TBR pile (only two were bought this year) and six were my boyfriend’s books. So only one book came from the library so far. I’ve done great at reading through the books I already own.

10. Read 3 books from 3 genres I don’t typically read (sci-fi, sports, fantasy, etc).

I’m one-third of the way there with this goal. George Orwell’s 1984 is about as classic sci-fi as sci-fi gets. As for the other two books, I’ve been thinking about reading a horror novel and a sports memoir. It always feels nice to get out of my reading comfort zone (aka literary fiction and memoir) so I’ll be sure to do it more in the second half of 2016.

*    *     *

What are your reading/bookish goals for 2016? Have you been able to cross any off your list? If so, which ones?

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