February 2017 Wrap-Up

Print/digital books: 12

Audiobooks: 2

Total number of books/comics: 14

Total page count: 3942

Read My Own Damn Books: 3

I’m an academic. It only takes a short to get to know me to know that I love data. I love looking at the numbers, it keeps things in perspective. It’s an objective measurement of behavior. In the year that I’ve been breaking down my reading numbers by month, this is definitely the lowest it’s ever been. I’m definitely disappointed by these numbers, but it’s good to have them. There’s a few reasons why- primarily because I’ve spent most of the month yelling on Twitter (sorry to my followers over there).

I’m going to try not to dwell on these numbers too much, and instead going to focus on actively choosing to read over doing other things when I have the time. Twitter isn’t going to stop being a trash fire, I have so many books to catch up on, blog posts to write, and we have three weeks till the big move. So, onwards and upwards. 

So friends, what did your February look like? What are you looking forward to reading in March? 

 

January 2017 Wrap-Up

Maybe it’s just me, but January felt long. As someone on twitter put it so eloquently: “Each day in January 2017 felt like there entire year of 2016.” What a friggin’ trainwreck. I’d like to take a second to applaud all of you that are fighting- with your phone calls, donations, protests, buying and supporting books by marginalized authors, allyship. Keep at it, my friends. It feels like the world is truly going up in flames and it’s been so easy off-late to give in to despair and panic (I know I have, more than once). Don’t give up, step back when you need to rest and recharge so you can keep coming back out to the frontlines.

Okay, time for some data:

Print/digital books: 17

Audiobooks: 3

Graphic novels/Comics: 3

Total number of books/comics: 23

Total page count: 5653

Read My Own Damn Books: 15

Like I’d mentioned over on Litsy, while it seems like I maintained my average reading volume, I actually had a lot more free time to devote to reading, but was just unable to lose myself in a book. I participated in three readathons, and didn’t even make it through half my TBR for two of them. I feel extra crappy about that because these were both readathons that focused on diversity. Oh well. I guess rising fascism is as good an excuse as any. 

Meanwhile, Black History Month has officially begun, and I’m fully entrenched in it, with The Fifth Season (dystopian SF), Narrative of Sojourner Truth (Serial Reader), Redefining Realness (audio), The Autobiography of Malcolm X (#SJBookClub), and Hidden Figures (nonfiction). 

Reading my own post is making me feel like the ultimate Debbie downer, so look here at this puppy rocking on it’s back: 

wp-1485958127638.jpg

How have you fared in 2017 so far? What are you looking forward to reading in February? 

2016: Reflections and Resolutions

2016-reflections-and-resolutions

Disclaimer: Several existential crises about attaching meaning to arbitrary cycles of time occurred during the drafting of this post. 

Ahem, okay. 2016. Trashfire year, to say the least. However, there’s some good stuff once you wade through the garbage, and I’m taking the time to be grateful for the little things. 2016 is the year I joined the book community on the internet, and it still amazes me to know that there’s people out there that read, breathe, and revere books the way I do (and some even more). I made some fantastic friends, some of whom I got to know in real life, and all of whom have been absolute hearts (you know who you are). I discovered so many social justice warrior gems who inspire me everyday with their outspokenness and general badassery. I also discovered that my drug of choice is participating in readathons and reading challenges, regardless of how well I do in them. It is the year I started blogging about books, albeit sporadically, and also the year I realized the purpose of this blog. All of these things give me the warm fuzzies, and I’m taking this moment to be grateful for that. 

I’ve learnt several things about myself as a reader this year, and I’m choosing to use those things to shape my reading as we enter the next year. 2017 is going to come with a hell a lot of challenges as it is, and I’d like to make sure I keep chipping away at making my happy place a worthwhile place. 

In terms of numbers, this year has been a success. I’ll be ringing in the New Year with my 228th book, which is the most I’ve read any year ever (last year I read 53, I think). I’ll be setting a goal of 250 books next year, which I think is pretty doable. I’m woefully behind on updating my spreadsheets and the running list on my blog, but I have finally completed all my social obligations  so those should get done soon. 

I’ve talked before about wanting to read mindfully, and this is something I’d like to continue working on. While high numbers are an adrenaline rush, I’d like to be really absorb and sit with what I’m reading, and be able to look at my reading material critically.

As for reading challenges, I’m narrowing those down to a chosen few. I’ve learned that I prefer readathons, especially ones like Dewey’s where I can go full blown introvert and hole up with my books and the bookternet, so after having dabbled in a bunch of reading challenges this past year, in 2017 I will be doing the following: 

As mentioned earlier, I’m joining the wonderful Kerry in hosting Social Justice Book Club, and it’s been so great working on the behind-the-scenes stuff with her. We’re actively working on making this a meaningful experience for all our participants. We’re also working on selecting books that cover social justice intersectionally, which I’m super stoked about. The intention is to continue learning and using that knowledge to do good, and I’m working on these intentions being reflected in actual, actionable steps. 

I have several things I want to work on with blogging, and I’m trying to remember that I’m still brand new to this, so taking it slow is key. I do not want blogging to be an aversive experience, so I’m going to take a couple of things at a time and work on them. Manageable goals are less stressful, especially since there’s so many other uncertain variables in my personal life.  

I’d like to work on an actual posting schedule. It’ll help with accountability, generating content, and writing more reviews. It’ll also motivate me to chalk out time to work on these posts, rather than scramble in the wee hours of the morning in sweaty panic because that’s just unnecessary. 

Another thing I’ll be working on this year is to write better reviews. This means having something meaningful to say besides just gushing about books I love, because I think it’ll just generally help improve my writing, so two birds, one stone. I’m also going to use this as practice to critically analyze books- plot, writing style, character development, etc.- and generally have more nuanced content. 

Of course, as I’ve said earlier, the purpose of this blog is to support and promote marginalized voices. I think a part of this is also being able to discuss problematic rep. While I’ve been part of a fair number of these discussions on twitter, I think using the blog for this is equally crucial, especially since there’s very few POC/LGBTQIA+/disabled bloggers, and we need to keep having these conversations about inclusivity and representation if we hope to make a dent in publishing. 

I’d like to take this moment to thank you guys- friends, readers- for having stuck with me all through 2016. I don’t think there’s words that will adequately describe what this community means to me. It’s changed my life. I’m looking forward to all of the wonderful things you will be doing in 2017, and I will be cheering you on all the way.

Let’s kick 2017’s ass.

-J

 

 

Epic Reads’ Reading Decathlon Recap

Heyo,

Updates, updates: All my stuff was packed and shipped, and I moved back to Muscat about a week ago. My last few weeks in Chicago were spent catching up with as many friends as I could, and generally taking in as much Chicago as I could before I left. Yes, this did include visiting all my favorite bookstores one last time. It was an emotional rollercoaster of a month and now I’m catching up on sleep, enjoying my mom’s cooking, and just chilling. My body is appreciating this kindness. 

As most of you know, I participated in the Epic Reads’ Reading Decathlon Challenge. They had three different levels of challenges- gold, silver, and bronze- and you could choose to attempt whichever you wanted.

readingdec

I chose to go for the gold- mostly because I had a 15 hour flight from Chicago to Muscat and I needed some motivation to kill my time up there reading. Plus, what better way to make a dent in that TBR? I managed to finish 10 books in 9 days, and it was so much fun having all this time to read! 

Continue reading “Epic Reads’ Reading Decathlon Recap”

July 2016 Wrap-Up

So July:

wp-1470324477021.gif

I’ll just skip right ahead to book data. 

Print books: 13 books, 3924 pages.

Audiobooks: 2 book, 604 pages, approx.  15 hours

Graphic novels/Comics: 11, 1020 pages.

Total number of books/comics: 24

Total page count: 5548

Read My Own Damn Books:  19

This month is a perfect illustration of why I love data. I honestly had not been paying attention to my reading the entire month, so I started writing this post dreading how low the numbers were going to be and grumbling about moving once again. Clearly I’d read more than I remembered reading. Kind of had an audiobook lull- nothing was grabbing my interest. Also, it’s interesting how much my numbers skew when it’s a readathon month, especially since I did no reading in the last week of July. Hurray readathons! 

Do you guys have any cool audiobook suggestions? I’m all ears. 

wp-1470330348202.gif

-J

 

 

 

July 18th, 2016: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

img_20160516_170058.jpg

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Continue reading “July 18th, 2016: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?”

June 2016 Wrap-Up

Hi there!

It is the end of June, and half a year has flown by. I don’t even understand how that happened, but I know all of us are wondering the same thing, so I’ll just let us all sit with it for a minute. Instead, let’s dive into the book data:

Print books: 9 books, 2741 pages

Audiobooks: 6 books, 1829 pages, approx. 46.28 hours

Graphic novels/Comics: None

Total number of books/comics: 15

Total page count: 4570

Read My Own Damn Books:

Read The Books You Buy: 4 out of 5 of my own damn books were ones I bought in June.

Compared to April and May, this was a relatively low month of reading. I think it’s mostly because my supposedly free weekends turned out to be unexpectedly jam-packed, so not a lot of reading happened over weekends. Also, I haven’t had the urge to pick up a comic all month, though I’ve got them all downloaded and waiting on my kindle. Maybe I’ll be inspired when Ms. Marvel Volume 5 arrives at my doorstep.

Meanwhile, I have squared away this long weekend to hibernate and read, and have even curated a stack. So many exciting books on the docket. I’m also figuring out a way to be more organized about my blogging. I have a few non-review posts about reading in mind, but have been hesitant to roll them out yet. If you guys have any tips on how to blog more effectively, and what kind of content you would like to see, I would really appreciate your thoughts. 

What’s everyone else got on their stack?

-J