Sunday, January 1, 2017

Review of 2016 Reading Resolutions

Happy New Year! I've put together some reading plans for 2017, but before I share those, I want to look back on how I did in 2016 with sticking to my New Year's resolutions for reading.

First, some hold-overs from 2015: As part of my goal to read other religious texts, I finally finished The Qur'an, the Book of Mormon, and the Bhagavad Gita in early 2016. For my goal of reading friends' recommendations, I didn't get to Dancing with God, Winter of Fire, A People's History of the United States, or Woman at Point Zero until this year.

Now, here are the goals I set for 2016, and how I did.

1. Read all the unread books on our bookshelves.
I read almost all the books from my to-read list that were still sitting on our bookshelves. I abandoned (and got rid of) Letters from a Martyred Christian, and I haven't gotten to The Discoverers yet. I ended up keeping George, Faith Unraveled, Dear Mister Rogers, Does It Ever Rain in Your Neighborhood?, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Adoption Parenting and passed the rest on through PaperBackSwap. However, I realized that there are a handful of other books I've gotten in hard copy that were so low priority they weren't even on my to-read list, so I still have to get to those at some point.

2. Read all the Catholic books on my to-read list.
I did end up going to World Youth Day this year (yay!) and I successfully tackled all these books before I went. I read The Church of Mercy (as well as the follow-up, The Name of God Is Mercy), Philippine Duchesne, and With Burning Hearts. I was very glad to have read them all.

3. Read a novel in French.
I did it! I read Translation Is a Love Affair in French. I kept Google Translate open on my phone the entire time, but other than not knowing a lot of the vocabulary I was able to read pretty fluently and understand (I think) everything that was happening. I'd like to try to read another book in French in the future.

4. Read some highly rated books I'd never heard of.
There are still tons of books with a 4.2 rating or above on Goodreads that I haven't read, but I got through some that were new to me. These were Ficciones, All Creatures Great and Small, and Hunger. There are still some others from the list I'd like to read, but it was nice to at least start to branch out.

5. Read some classic psychology books.
I read Will I Ever Be Good Enough? and Emotional Vampires, both of which were just OK. I still have Feeling Good on my to-read list.

6. Reread some Agatha Christie books.
I decided to start with the Hercule Poirot books and read them in order, and I've read almost a third of them at this point. It's been fun to revisit them, and I've remembered almost nothing from the first time I read them except for Murder on the Orient Express. I found that Hugh Fraser narrates a lot of the Poirot audiobooks and is very talented at doing accents, so I've listened to several that he narrated.

7. Read some World War I books.
I did listen to The Guns of August, but only just started on Good-Bye to All That. I haven't yet decided whether to take up the torch again for the publication of my great-grandfather's WWI memoir, or just let it be a story to share within my family.

8. Read more books that require waiting for hard copies.
I did OK with this. Via requests, I read Friendship at the Margins, Five on a Treasure Island, and Winter of Fire. I also got a handful of the books mentioned above (the French book and one of the Catholic books) through ILL, as well as some book club books. With so many books available on Kindle and audio from the library, it's easy to pass over the ones that require a wait.

9. Read multiple books published in 2016.
When Goodreads' 2015 awards rolled around, I'd read a measly one book in the pool, though plenty of them were on my to-read list. This year, I succeeded in reading a number of books published in 2016, including When Breath Becomes Air, Grit, Before the Fall, The Girls, Truly Madly Guilty, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and The Wonder. The bad news: When Breath Becomes Air is the only one I liked enough to vote for it, so I only ended up casting one vote again this year! At least I tried...

10. Read books published in 2014 and 2015.
I caught up on 22 different books from 2014 and 2015. I won't list them all here, but some of the ones I'd felt most behind on were Everything, Everything, More Happy Than Not, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, None of the Above, The Girl on the Train, All the Bright Places, and Lies We Tell Ourselves.

Overall, I'm happy with how I did with sticking to my reading resolutions this past year! I tackled some different parts of my to-read list thematically, which was a cool way to do it. My 2017 goals will be posted soon!

How did you do with your book-related resolutions in 2016?

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