Posts tagged reading resolutions
Our Favorite (and Least Favorite) Reads of 2017

2017 is coming to a close and like most people, we are pausing to reflect on our favorite and least favorite reads of the year before looking toward 2018. Both of us had more good reads than bad, a lot of "meh", and a few books we reeeaallllyyyy didn't like. We're coming back with some thoughts about how we fared with our 2017 reading resolutions and some posts about starting  2018 with fresh goals and fresh stacks, but for now here is our simple list of what we loved and didn't over the last 12 months! 

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Michaela

Absolute Favorite

  1. The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet | Becky Chambers

 

Best Series

  1. Neapolitan Novels | Elena Ferrante

 

Best Classic

We're excluding my favorites that I re-read this year!

  1. A Room With A View | E. M. Forster
  2. East of Eden | John Steinbeck

 

4.5 Star Reads

These are all books that really stood out this year, books that will stick with me for a while, but not quite amazing enough to land in my top tier of mind blowing books.

  1. A Gentleman in Moscow | Amor Towles
  2. Commonwealth | Anne Patchett
  3. Moonglow | Michael Chabon
  4. The Outsiders | S. E Hinton
  5. Cork Dork | Bianca Bosker
  6. The Graveyard Book | Neil Gaiman
  7. This One Summer | Mariko Tamaki
  8. Uprooted | Naomi Novik

 

Not For Me

These are the few books that I want to purge from my brain. All of these frustrated and disgusted me in different ways, but they definitely all were decidedly not for me. 

  1. The Art of Racing in the Rain | Garth Stein
  2. We Were Liars | E. Lockhart
  3. A Discovery of Witches | Deborah Harkness
  4. Mr Dickens and His Carol | Samantha Silva 
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Rikki

Absolute Favorite

  1. Unbroken | Laura Hillenbrand
  2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society | Mary Ann Schaffer
  3. The Graveyard Book | Neil Gaiman
  4. The Giver | Lois Lowry

 

Best Series

  1. Harry Potter | J.K. Rowling

 

Best Classic

  1. The Woman in White | Wilkie Collins
  2. East of Eden | John Steinbeck

 

4.5 Star Reads

  1. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe | Fannie Flagg
  2. 84, Charing Cross Road | Helene Hanff
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird | Harper Lee
  4. Boys in the Boat | Daniel James Brown
  5. The Hummingbird | Stephen P. Kiernan
  6. All the Light We Cannot See | Anthony Doerr
  7. A Man Called Ove | Fredrik Backman
  8. The Book Thief | Markus Zusak
  9. The Glass Castle | Jeannette Walls

 

Not For Me

  1. Anatomy of Scandal | Sarah Vaughn
  2. Two by Two | Nicholas Sparks
  3. The Lemon Orchard | Luanne Rice
  4. The Dream Keeper's Daughter | Emily Colin

 

What did you love and not love this year? We'd love to hear!

 

Reading Resolutions 2017
New Year, New Goals

2017. New year, new goals, though truthfully, I am not someone who thrives with a whole lot of structure. I find hard and fast boundaries of any kind stifling and cumbersome, and I know that setting too firm or lofty goals for myself will just suck the fun out of reading for me and make it a chore instead of a beloved hobby. Which would seriously suck. 

HOWEVER. I recognize that I spend a lot of my time (and therefore a lot of my life) reading, and always end up feeling like I could have spent it just a little bit better. Honestly, I just want to start having less regrets about how I'm spending my time in general, and my reading life is one area where it's the easiest to control and change.

I currently have a tower of books stacked next to my bed, and am feeling fresh and inspired to read lately. I am also finding myself being really drawn to having some structure going into 2017, which is a little surprising, so I'm just rolling with it and hoping it pays off! To find some balance and keep up the momentum I have, while also giving myself some solid sense of direction, I've boiled my goals down to two things:

  1. Read 40 books this year, and keep track on Goodreads
  2. Work through a minimum of 10 classic novels

The first one is a low ball goal for myself, but will at least give me a range to shoot for, and hopefully surpass. And lets talk about Goodreads; it has it's issues, but what a marvelous way to keep track of your reading life, to manage your TBR pile and to monitor your pace. I am committed to using it with regularity this year, as I think it is such a useful and easy tool to use.

As for classic novels. I love them. I'm obsessed with reading them, but every year I think I could have read more of them. I'm self aware enough to recognize a 500 page classic is going to suck more of my time and energy than a 500 page YA fantasy, and I just want to be sure I'm setting aside that time and energy for them because they enrich my life so much. There are dozens of classics I'm incredibly excited to read on my shelf, so 2017 is the year I make meaningful progress on that list.

Basically I am aiming for some more intention, and better record keeping in my reading life. Does the new year make you want to set goals? I'd love to hear about them!