21 in 2017
Last year, I decided to set a measurable book reading goal, and thought 20 in 2017 would be relatively attainable.
I gave myself a few rules:
- Finish what you start
- Try to set aside time to read every day
- Change it up—don't just stick to one genre
I ended up slightly exceeding my goal, but only slightly. Raz told me to count the two chapter books I read to Oliver, so I'm counting them as a combined one in my head even though they make my 2017 total 21.
I was pregnant for the front half of the year and infant-rearing in the back half, and sometimes life got in the way, which made it harder to be as good about reading as I wanted to be. There were several instances where the book I had chosen was a really slow read, and I found that doing something I thought I was against worked really well for me: reading two at once. It helped me WANT to pick up something and gave me options for when I did. That way, I didn't feel bad about getting through only a few pages of one when I could zip through more of another. I love to read, but when I find myself invested in something that's heavier, I can get frustrated and not want to grab for it as much. I finished two or three other books while reading The Devil in the White City, for example, which isn't to say I didn't enjoy the former—it just took a lot more concentration and energy to get through than the others did for me.
Because reading is so personal, I won't go through why I wouldn't recommend a few of the books I read and am instead listing out the books from the back half of 2017 that I loved, with links for you to get them yourself, if you choose. Check out the Amazon descriptions and hit me with any questions you have. I have lots of comments on all of them, but if they've contributed something valuable to my life (like a fun way to think about deep breaths from Today Will be Different: "Smell the soup, cool the soup"), I've added them to the little scrolly below. HOWEVER, I am more than happy to share my personal pros and cons on all, and if I were to recommend two only, they would be Hyperbole and a Half and Gracious.
I've set myself a goal of 24 this year—slightly more aggressive, but still attainable, and I'm starting with Oprah's The Wisdom of Sundays. More on that later. Happy reading!