2016 Blog Goals Check-In & 2017 Blog Goals

If you’re interested in viewing my full 2016 Blog Goal post and not just the concise, updated version below, it can be found here.

2016 Blog Goals

Read 75 books.

In 2016, I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 75 books. I completed 60% of this goal; I read 45 books. Honestly, this is more than I expected because I had some serious reading droughts in 2016.

Finish my Fairytale Retellings series.

This series is supposed to be 17 books long. I only needed to read 13 books in 2016. I read 3 and reviewed 2; I’ll get around to posting the review for the third book. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to finish this series.

Publish 5 discussion pieces.

I published one. *sigh* You can check it out here.

Create a Facebook page for this blog.

I never got around to this. I got as far as brainstorming what my cover graphic might look before this task was put on the backburner.

Interact with the blog community more.

My intention was to make at least one comment on a blog each month. However, I think I only made it 3 or 4 months before my login on WordPress became sporadic making it less likely I would comment on someone’s post.

Now on to the goals I hope to accomplish this year.

2017 Blog Goals

Read 50 books.

This year I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 50 books. While it is lower than my 2016 reading goal, it is higher than the number of books I read last year, which, to me, is a good equilibrium. It is also about a book a week with a little wiggle room so I think I may be able to accomplish it if I keep reminding myself a book a week.

Continue to work on my Fairytale Retellings series.

I think it’s highly doubtful that I’ll finish this series this year seeing as it is taking me so long to finish it anyway, but I think trying to tackle some of it, instead of all of it, is more manageable. I think I’ll try to read another 3 books this year.

Publish 1 discussion piece.

This way if I only post 1 piece, then I accomplished a goal, but if I post two pieces, then I get to feel awesome about overachieving. 🙂

Publish 25 reviews.

So, I actually took the time out and counted and last year I posted 18 reviews. This time I going to try to write 25 reviews, which is half of the books I hope to read this year. However, the number of reviews I post isn’t as important to me as making sure there aren’t as many droughts on this blog as last year. I just don’t want my posts, reviews and otherwise, to be few and far between.

There you have it: my four blog goals for 2017, one less than 2016, but hopefully more manageable or easier to accomplish or both.

Side note: I would have loved to roll expanding my brand and interacting with the community forward to 2017, but I’m going into my final semester of college and don’t know how much time I’ll be able to dedicate to this blog. It’s better to leave the two goals off than to add them knowing it’s highly unlikely I’ll get to them.

Did you create any reading/blog goals/resolutions? Are you not even bothering with the goal/resolution trend? Let me know in the comment section.

(2016) Blog Goals

Since it’s the start of the new year, there’s been a variation of blog goals and blog resolutions spamming the blog community. At first, I wasn’t going to publish any goal or resolution list, but after reading Faith @ My Bookish Year’s 2016 Reading Goals and Shealea @ That Bookshelf Bitch’s Book Challenges for 2016, I thought “If I don’t have goals, then why am I doing this?” (this = blogging). And I could easily keep a mental list, but how would I hold myself accountable? And I how would I remember everything I told myself I would do by the end of the year? So even though I previously told myself I wasn’t going to do this, I’m doing it.

Why goals and not a resolution?

According to Macmillan Dictionary, a resolution is a serious decision to do something. Meanwhile, a goal is something you hope to achieve. While I’d love to achieve all of the following goals, I most likely won’t. Either life will get in the way or I’ll be biting off more than I can chew (excuse the cliché). I’d rather create a wish list than guidelines I can’t live up to. As John Oliver says in his video about resolutions, they either have to be so easy/flexible that you do them automatically or so obscure/difficult that you know you won’t be able to achieve them and won’t feel bad later. Additionally, I’m making goals so that anything that isn’t accomplished can be rolled over to the next year, which is why 2016 is in parentheses.

Goodreads Reading Challenge

This year I set my reading goal at 75 books. This shouldn’t be too hard considering that last year my goal was 71 books and I read 87 books, according to Goodreads standards. (Is there a difference between how Goodreads counts and you count? Yes, thanks for asking.) At Goodreads, as long as you set a date for a book, it’s counted, which I love. But at the end of the year, I want to know how many novels and novellas I read that year so I go through the list and subtract any DNF’ed books and any manga read. Last year, I either just made my goal of 71 novels/novellas or was just under (I’m too lazy to calculate again) so I’m going to try this year to read 75 novels/novellas. (I don’t know why I have to be so complicated.)

Fairytale Retellings

This year I hoping to finally get around to finishing the fairytale retelling series I started. I did not do a decent job of keeping up with it.

Writing/Discussions

Last year, I began drafting some discussion posts but was too afraid of publishing them. It’s one thing talking about books, but discussing opinions that are my own is scary. I’d be putting pieces of myself out in the world and you may reject me. But this year I’m determined to publish 5 discussion piece. I might have to close my eyes and click publish, but it’ll get done.

Expand My Brand

So far my only interaction with the bookish community is this blog and the few people I have on Goodreads. This year I’m going to create at least a Facebook page for this blog and maybe invite more people to be friends with me on Goodreads. I’m not going to hold my breath on the latter since I’m so protective of my Goodreads. (One step at a time, Erica. One step at a time.)

Community Interaction

I usually just read posts and like them on occasion, but I’m not gaining any blog friends by not putting myself out there so I going to try to make at least one comment each month. It’s not going to suddenly be raining friends out there for me, but at least I’m trying and I’m putting myself out there.

There you have it: my five blog goals of 2016. Seems manageable, but I probably still won’t finish.

Did you create any reading/blog goals/resolutions? If you wrote a post on it, link it below.

Are you not even bothering with the goal/resolution trend? Tell me why in the comment section. I want to know.

When Reading Gets Hard

The Water Travelers

Daniel Waltz

Rate: 1/DNF

I tried really hard, maybe not my hardest, but really hard to read this book. But it wasn’t working out. And part of it was just me not having the time and patience in my schedule right now to continue. But part of it was the book.

Everyone has a favorite writing style and if you claim you don’t, then you at least have a writing style that you’re used to. You normally don’t notice these preferences until you read a book and either the phrasing of the sentences seem jarring or strange to you (meaning the writing is only slightly different from what you’re used to) or the phrasing irritates you and all you want to do is throw the book (Note: I do not condone the throwing of books). The latter is what happened to me with The Water Travelers. I’m not saying Waltz is a bad writer, I didn’t read long enough to make that kind of judgment, but I just couldn’t handle his writing style. Sadly, I’d rather give up on a book early in the reading process (I only finished 14% of the book) than to force myself to read it and have my subsequent foul mood take a toll on the rating. I don’t enjoy not finishing a book, but I prefer to give it the respect that it deserves.

Continue reading

Endgame: The Calling

The Calling (Endgame #1)

James Frey

Rate: 5

Two Structural Things You Should Know About This Book and the One Character I Disliked the Most

Format: One thing you’ll notice right away when reading this book is that there are no indented paragraphs and no spaces between paragraphs. This doesn’t mean that each chapter is one long paragraph, but they aren’t as clearly defined like in a conventional novel. More often than not you can tell when a paragraph ends based on whether a sentence ends mid-line and there’s no subsequent sentence. It doesn’t make the story difficult to read, just different.

Another thing you’ll notice when reading this book is all the numbers. At times, Frey goes overboard in his exactness. Not only do numbers show up a lot, there are also many long decimal. There are coordinates, seemingly random clues, and even times explained to down to its nanoseconds.

Third, and my last thing about the format, the Calling has changing narrative forms. At first, the book is in the first person and the speaker talks to the reader, but then it shifts to a third person multiple point of view. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but at times, the POV changes between paragraphs instead of between chapters, which most people are used to. This was jarring at first, but I got used to it as I read on. Since the focus of the speaker changes often, it’s best to read the title of each chapter, which tells you which characters will be present in the chapter and you can anticipate the voices and any POV changes.

Continue reading