What I'm Reading | 2017 In Review (So Far) & Some Tips For Meeting Your Reading Goals

In honor of surpassing my 2017 reading goal, I thought I would do a quick little write up of what I've read this year.

In previous years I've set my reading goal a little too high to account for the variety of media I consume. We are in the golden age of media after all, and I consume so much information and story that isn't in the form of a book—podcasts, television, documentaries, articles, blogs, journals, individual stories—not to mention the number of essays, articles, and varied documents I read as a teacher. So I lowered my goal from a number I thought I should be reading as a writer and lover of literature to a number I thought I really could and would be able to enjoy reading, a number of books that I would have to remain conscious of the goal to attain but that would be easily achievable with focus.

I came up with 24—2 books a month, split between physical hold in your hands, smell the paper, bookmark your page books and audiobooks.

And you know what? I found that by setting this number, by being intentional about it, I really strove to reach it. I delighted in getting ahead, finishing each book felt like a triumph, but I also had room to set aside books I'd started but wasn't loving and take a break when I was really into a television show. I will say that I did eschew podcasts for the most part at the beginning of the year to make way for more audiobook time...with my commute to and from school, that's the easiest way for me to get "reading" time in. But now that I have the comfort of having reached my goal, I'm seeking more balance.

If you're looking to incorporate more reading in your life, these are my suggestions: 1) Listen to audiobooks. It may take some time to get used to, and it may feel like cheating, but it's a great way to work books in when you're driving, working out, taking a walk, doing chores around the house, or traveling. I especially enjoy nonfiction when the writer does the reading so you hear the book in its most intended voice. 2) Make it a habit. Whether that's reading every morning, every night before bed, on your commute, or whenever, make it a habit. 3) Make time for it. Make it non-negotiable. Not because you have to, but because you like to--it's something kind you're doing for yourself. Make room for self-care and you'll make room for reading. 4) Make a plan and keep track. Whether that's setting a Goodreads challenge like I did, joining a book club to keep yourself on a schedule, or partnering with a friend to keep yourself accountable...as with any goal, you have to take steps to make it happen. 5) Read what you enjoy. Don't read what other people are reading, what's well-reviewed, what you think you should be reading, if that isn't what sounds interesting to you. Browse. Read summaries. Listen to clips. Read what feels right. You'll find you won't have to think too much about your goal if you're excited to sit down and dive back into your book.

Onto my list! Here you'll find a mix of self-help, modern classics, contemporary fiction, and YA. More YA than I'd realized going through the year, but that's the great part of reflection! Audiobooks are highlighted and books I would particularly recommend are designated with a ⭐, though I enjoyed all of these! All titles have been linked for your convenience (though maybe try checking your local library or bookstore before purchasing online).

  1. Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #5) by Douglas Adams
  2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  3. ⭐  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  4. ⭐ Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  5. I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson
  6. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
  7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  8. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
  9. ⭐ Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  10. Map of Fates (The Conspiracy of Us #2) by Maggie Hall
  11. Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
  12. WomanCode by Alisa Vitti
  13. Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
  14. Elite (Hunter #2) by Mercedes Lackey
  15. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  16. The Dinner by Herman Koch
  17. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
  18. ⭐ The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
  19. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  20. ⭐ Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 
  21. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
  22. Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde
  23. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  24. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
  25. Looking for Alaska by John Green

I'll make sure to post another update at the end of the year. What are you reading? I would love to know!

1 comment

  1. I love this post, mostly because I love seeing what other people are reading but also because you gave some great tips for fitting in more reading! I hear that a lot from people, "How do you read so much?" but it's honestly all about fitting it in my day. You have so many things on your list I haven't read yet! I'm between books right now, but I'm starting Lincoln on the Bardo on my drive home tonight (I commute a total of 2ish hours per day).

    I also feel like I have to choose between podcasts and audiobooks. Do you have a good system for balancing the two?


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