Reflecting on 2017: Reading

And yet, another reflection post on the previous year. It might not look like it, but I’m taking it easy with these reflection posts. Last year, I wrote them back to back and was burnt out by the end of the first week in January and didn’t want to look at my blog or read a book. As my mom always says, “everything in moderation,” so I’m moderating how much I write in a day.

Feeling burnt out, I set a manageable Goodreads reading goal for myself in 2017 at just 40 books. I thought I wouldn’t be much interested in reading and would feel pressured by a high reading goal. But I surprised myself later in the year when I passed my reading goal and read 74 books. I was tempted then to increase my goal, but reading pressure-free was so wonderful that I left the goal as is. Inspired by that, at the beginning of 2018 I again set a manageable Goodreads reading goal for myself at just 45 books.

Overall, this wasn’t a spectacular year in reading. I read some great books, but they were few compared to 2016 when I had a hard time deciding on my best reads of the year. However, I was very generous with my star ratings again in 2017 and gave many books 5 stars, which I don’t mind much but as time passes and I reflect on some books, I realize that I no longer think they are 5-star reads. For example, Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy, which is wonderful and thought-provoking, but is over worked in some areas making reading feel like a chore. The more I think about those books, the more I feel like dropping a star. But, whatever. It’s still a good read that I highly recommend.

Below, I’ve selected the top books for the year for each category I usually include in my quarterly reading wrap-ups. Again, this is unneeded, especially since I’ve already done a favorite books of 2017 post, but I had so much fun doing this last year that I had to do it again this year. I’ve only included up to 5 books in each category and afterward I list some stats on my reading and mention my progress in the reading challenges I participated in. It’s basically a quick overall wrap-up for the year that’s similar to my quarterly wrap-ups. All books/items, depending on their categories, are listed from absolute best to acceptable, or from least liked to acceptable. Rereads are not often consider for the “favorites” and “least liked” lists.

If you’re curious about how I managed to track all this crap, check out Brock’s YouTube video to learn more about the reading stats spreadsheet he creates every year. (He recently posted a link to an updated version on his Twitter.)

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What’s on Your Nightstand: December 2017

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

December is not done yet, but it’s been great so far and since we’re so close to its end, I think it’s safe to say it’s one of my best months of this year. I had so much fun in December anticipating the holidays and planning with friends and family and celebrating new friends, old friends, who I hadn’t seen in a very long time, and co-workers. It was a month of happiness and celebration and I was glad for it. Such is usually the case at this time of year. I’m always happy when family and friends get together to celebrate. As for what else I did this month, read on.

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What’s on Your Nightstand: November 2017

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

November was an odd month that staggered by in fits of enjoyment. All I can say is that it was great; the time I spent with family, friends, and alone were all immensely pleasurable and made November one of the best months of this year.


Books read:

I didn’t complete many books this month. I do the majority of my reading while travelling to work, but that has been difficult recently because my route changed. I no longer have a set chunk of uninterrupted time to spend reading. Instead, I have to be crafty about stealing time to read, which sucks. I guess I’ll have to start reading at home, which will be difficult because my home is a very distracting place (i.e. my family is loud).

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What’s On Your Nightstand: October 2017

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

October was a weird month. It seemed to both fly past me quickly yet plod at a slow pace toward its end. October was also a fun month filled with lots of work and travel and fun times at concerts with friends. I also decided in that month to try to save more, though in making that decision, I also ended up spending more too. I guess it wasn’t a great decision to make. For me, it’s usually best that I just go ahead and do a thing instead of making and stating my decision. When I make the decision, sometimes I end up doing the opposite of the decision. It’s frustrating. I frustrate myself.

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What’s On Your Nightstand: September 2017

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

September was a turbulent month for most what with the many hurricanes sweeping through the Caribbean and the earthquakes rocking Mexico City. Following that came Trump’s insensitivity towards those affected by these disasters that left many, including myself, angry, annoyed, and frustrated with his leadership and lack of consideration for others.

I do hope that the people affected will receive the support needed to rebuild, but because I am a bit of a pessimist and because of the reports I’ve heard about mismanagement, corruption, and insensitivity around the world, I do wonder if needed support will be delivered. Many are willing to help now but rebuilding will take time and once newscasters start focusing on the next big story, some places affected by these disasters might be forgotten.

On a lighter note, personally September was a dull month that flew by quickly in retrospect. I spent the majority of the month looking forward to its end when my week-long vacation would begin. It was a vacation I desperately needed because as much as I like my new job, it’s very boring there and I craved a break from it. It was a week well spent. Anyway, here’s what I did in September.

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What’s On Your Nightstand: August 2017

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

August was good to me 🙂 . I got so much reading done in August because of the 3 readathons I was participating in: Tome Topple, the Reading Quest, and Bout of Books. Not only did I read loads of books, I also consumed lots of articles. But that’s because I was bored at work and thought it best to use my lack of nothing to do to get through the many newsletters I’m subscribed to. I discovered some great articles in them.

Because of all the reading done in August and because I have lots to highlight in the things I read, this will be a very long post. I don’t expect anyone to read everything here, but I urge you all to check out the Articles and Podcasts sections below because there are some great thought-pieces listed in them.

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What’s On Your Nightstand: July 2017

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

I’m now convinced that the year sped up in the summer. Didn’t summer just start and already we’re in August reeling toward its end. All my plans for summer, which boils down to lots of time spent outside reading, has yet to come to fruition. July was mainly spent developing professionally and doing a bit of travel for work, which was fun until I realized I was close to Disney World but couldn’t visit. I’ve always wanted to go there. It was an even busier month than June and it went by in the blink of an eye. Hopefully, August will be a little slower.

Weirdly, I got a lot of reading done in July despite being busy (the traveling helped); but I didn’t blog as much because there was no time to write posts. Even now I find it hard to find time to write stuff, so I have to create my posts whenever the time presents itself and schedule them to publish. That scheduling tool is so helpful! I also fell behind on visiting blogs but hopefully that will be rectified in August. August will be all about reading.

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