Happy new year, friends!
As much as I wanted to make separate posts for my 2014 recap and this year’s new reading goals, I had to give time to more important life things such as hanging out with family, and it is only now that I can finally sit down and take care of other life stuff such as reading. So, this 2-in-1 post will be longer than my usual entries, but please bear with me.
My 2014 Year-End Report
I really had a good reading year last year because of notable shifts in my reading preferences and some really surprisingly wonderful book discoveries. Last year, I enjoyed reading non-fiction, literary fiction and short story anthologies, which were deviations from my usual staple which was crime fiction. It is also worthy to mention that most of my reads last year were really good books (I can only think of one book which I didn’t like) and most were 4 and 5 star reads.
Let’s take a look at whether I was able to achieve my reading goals last year:
- Read at least 40 books. I read a total of 50 books last year, surpassing my set goal by 10 books. Several were short stories which were comparable to full length ones, and some nonfiction which I had grown to love. I also made surprising discoveries from my NetGalley account: Drawn by Cecilia Gray, where I really liked the illustrations, and Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker, which inspired me to revive personal blogging.
- Read at least one print book every month. I haven’t really kept track of this goal but I made a serious effort to read print books last year, especially on the last couple of months. After looking at my 2014 read books, I realized that I have read 14 print books out of the 50. Not bad at all, especially since most were full length books.
- Read at least one 501 Children’s Book every quarter. Now, this is the goal that I miserably failed. I think I never finished any book out of this list ever since 2013. I wanted to really really work on this but I got stuck with Little Women which could not really hold my interest any longer. But I intend to remedy this this year, which I will talk about in a little while.
- Read all the books in this list. I read 6 out of the 10 books on the list, and I think that’s a good enough accomplishment. *pats back*
Some highlights on my reading and book-blogging life for 2014:
- Became a contributor to The Short Story Station
- Formed The Reading Club with some very close friends
- Read and loved short stories and non-fiction books
- Joined blog tours of Filipino books
- Discovered (and raved about) new authors, i.e Neil Gaiman, Jhumpa Lahiri, China Mieville, Eliza Victoria
My Top 10 Best Reads of 2014: (in the order of which I read them)
(click title to see my review)
- The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
- A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
- Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
- What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
- On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
- Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
- Landline by Rainbow Rowell
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Notable Filipino books:
- Manila Noir edited by Jessica Hagedorn
- Welcome To Envy Park by Mina V. Esguerra
- Finding X by Miles Tan
- Fall Like Rain by Ana Tejano
- Dwellers by Eliza Victoria
My 2015 Reading Goals
I have made my 2015 a year to focus on #whatreallymatters, and this will also hold true in my reading life. So, for this year, here are my reading goals:
- Read at least 24 books. From having a goal of 40 books in 2014, I have lowered my reading goal to only 24 books. This means that I have to read an average of 2 books each month to reach this goal. This is because I wanted to be more discriminate in the books I read, choosing only those that are really worthy of my time. I cannot afford to waste time on books which I won’t really like and this is where award winners and recommendations of trusted friends will come in as these will influence my reading choices for this year.
- Read (and finish!) at least one classic. Classics are really my waterloo, but books like these won’t have staying power and being called as such if they aren’t worth reading. So, following my rationale in the first paragraph, I will try to conquer at least one classic book (such as Wuthering Heights, or Jane Eyre, or Little Women) for this year. Cheer me on once I start, please?
- Read all the TFG Books of the Month for 2014. I have been a member of this online book club since 2008 but I haven’t really made a conscious effort to read all monthly group reads. This year, I will strive to read each monthly required readings because that’s what book club members ought to do, right?
- Read at least two books in the 501 Must-Read Children’s Books. This is a goal that I keep repeating for 2 years now and I can’t seem to make any progress. So, I am lowering my standards to make the goal attainable by limiting to only 2 books, at least. I hope this goal will already be achieved this year.
- Read the following books, where print copies of some are already gathering dust on my shelf:
- Home by Marilynne Robinson
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker (ebook)
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foerr
- A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
- Man in the Mirror by Paul Auster
- Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan
- Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (ebook)
With respect to my blogging, I will strive to write my thoughts on a book as soon as I finish reading it. I don’t want to cram again just like what happened last year so I will really try to be more dutiful in my blogging this year. Also, I will still continue to do the monthly Required Reading and join blog tours of local books that I will be interested in reading.
Cheers to the new reading year that is 2015!