Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2015

I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This year I had one big goal, which was to diversify the races and nationalities of the authors I read (and their fictional protagonists). Look for a wrap-up on that very soon! For 2015, I have a number of smaller goals to tackle throughout the year.

1. Read some fun books I've put off
As rewarding as my 2014 goal was, I'm a little bit burnt out from reading so much about racism, civil war, slavery, and other forms of oppression for much of the year. I also pushed books I wanted to read by white Americans to the back of the line. To start out 2015, I plan to tackle some lighter fare I've been waiting to read, including Hyperbole and a Half, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Anna and the French Kiss, and Yes Please.

2. Read at least 100 books again
I exceeded this goal this year, but I'm not sure how my reading habits will change if (when) we become parents in 2015. However, my to-read list isn't getting any shorter, so I'd love to get through another 100 books next year.

3. Rate and review every book I read
I find ratings and reviews helpful for deciding what to read, so I want to offer the same for others. I also find that my memory is fuzzy on certain books I read before I started using Goodreads (Did I like this book? Should I recommend it?), so having my own detailed description helps. I managed this for every book I read this year, so I want to continue the trend into 2015.

4. Read books recommended by people I know
I get book recommendations from a lot of different sources, and I want to make it more of a priority to read the books that have personally recommended to me by people I know. I love when I recommend a book to someone because I think they'll really like it and then they come back to tell me how much they enjoyed the book. I've used Goodreads to track who recommended books to me, so it will help me pinpoint which ones to read next year.

5. Finally finish the "classics" list I've been working on since high school
When I was in middle school, my English & Reading teacher had a classroom border featuring classic literature. When I was in high school, the middle school moved buildings and I helped her decorate her classroom in the new building. She had bought a new version of the border, which was fading a bit, and she let me keep the old one. Since then I've been working on reading all 88 classic books featured on the border, and I only have four left to go: The Canterbury Tales, Little House on the Prairie, The Miracle Worker, and Flowers for Algernon.

6. Read more classic children's literature I've overlooked
This year I read a few books that are considered children's literature but which I'd never read before now, including Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. There are still more that I'm looking forward to, including The Princess Bride, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and The Cricket in Times Square.

7. Read some other religious texts
This is probably going to be a longer-term goal than I can tackle in 2015, but after my reading this year covered characters of a wide variety of religions, I decided I should become more well-versed in their texts. The Qur'an, the Book of Mormon, and Tao Te Ching are all on my to-read list.

8. Read some graphic novels
I'm embarrassed to say I have yet to read a graphic novel, but I've collected quite a few names of ones I should try: Boxers, Persepolis, Maus, Watchmen, and Blankets. Other recommendations welcome!

9. Reread at least one book a month
As I've said before, I don't do much rereading, but my book clubs have made me more willing to do so this past year. I've shared the top ten books I want to reread; I'd love to read one a month in 2015.

10. Continue diversifying my reads
When tackling my 2014 goal, I found that I wasn't necessarily lacking for recommendations, I just tended to write off anything unfamiliar as something that wouldn't be interesting to me. Making an intentional effort to read authors of color and non-Americans meant that I was now seeking those books out. I want to keep an eye on my reading balance and make sure I don't get sucked back into reading mostly white American authors.

What are your book-related goals for the next year?

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  1. Lovely goals, my friend! One recommendation I have for you: don't read Boxers without Saints! A lot of people loved the former but considered the latter a lesser work - but I absolutely disagree. They complete each other, and I consider that some of the most powerful moments in both are found in Saints, particularly the ending, which I loved. Hope you do too! You really can't go wrong reading anything by Gene Luen Yang.

  2. Well, okay, seems a bit wrong to say I "loved" the end of Saints - it's very sad, of course, this is the Boxer Rebellion. But it is very moving in the way GLY does best.

  3. Good to know! I put Boxers on my list based on your recommendation, so I will be sure to read Saints as well!

  4. Flowers for Algernon is one of my favorite books! I do hope you get to it! And as for graphic novels, they may change your reading life! ;) You should definitely look at Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince, Smile by Raina Telgemeier, and Zita the Spacegirl (since it seems like you read Juvenile Lit). I hope you enjoy all of your fun reading this year!

  5. I don't really reread any more which I used to do all of the time. I hope to reread some books next year too. I hope you achieve your resolutions!

  6. Great set of goals. There are so many classics on my TBR. I need to read more classics too!

  7. Religious texts are my favorite! I majored in Hebrew Bible, so any and all ancient documents are kind of my favorite thing ever! I applaud all of your bookish goals this year!

  8. I also really need to get some of my classics read. Even though I did English lit in Uni I didn't always get to read all the books on my reading lists. I only had two rereads this year so I have plans for a lot more next year!

  9. I've been working on the list of classics for almost 15 years now, so even just reading a few a year you can get through a lot!

  10. Very cool! Thanks!

  11. I've tried to pace myself because classics can be dry sometimes, although some of them are really fantastic. Good luck!

  12. Thanks, you too!

  13. Thanks for the recommendations!