They say that you should start the New Year off in a purposeful way, because what you do on that day will set the course for the rest of the year. I certainly hope that is the case, because I spent Jan.1, 2016 lounging by a pool, reading a book that was an absolute delight, and finishing it at a clipped pace.
Last year was a fantastic year of reading for me. I participated in the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, which propelled me into more thoughtful and challenging reading than I had ever before, in all my years of reading. I have always been good about updating my reading on Goodreads, but I also wanted to see if I would get a different result if I tried to set a goal number. So I set a random goal of 40 books for 2015 and blew that out of the water.
I listened to a lot of literary podcasts last year, and it made me more aware of what was being published and getting editorial buzz. I do think that helped me to maintain a crazy pace of reading, because everything I read was more likely a good pick, as opposed to years before when I would just pull books from the library shelves and check them out based on cover/ back blurb. And I was excited to finish one fantastic read, knowing that my TBR (To Be Read) pile was filled with other exciting curated reads. So I feel that the time spent to seek out and follow the buzz, and then find the material that matched my interests, was time well spent.
That also made pushing myself to do other things, like taking on the challenge, a bit easier. I really struggled with some of the categories, and I will save that for another post. But suffice it to say, I enjoyed the treasure hunt aspect of trying to find a book I would like in the designated categories, and not being afraid to walk away from it if it wasn’t working for me.
So what’s on deck for 2016?
- Well, definitely the 2016 Read Harder Challenge.
- I have also raised my Goodreads goal for this year to be 50 books, which will be more of a forcing function to make sure that I update each book as I go.
- I am toying with the idea of starting a booktube channel. We will see how that goes. I am most worried about the time needed for the editing process. (Any ideas or suggestions for me, please leave me a comment below.)
- I want to read more books in translation, and not just from European countries. I would like to read more from South American, African and South East Asian authors this year. To that end, I already have the following lined up
- The Clarice Lispector Complete Stories (Brazil)
- Signal To Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia(Mexico)
- The Turner of Silences by Mia Couto (Mozambique)
- All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu (Uganda/US)
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
- Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia)
- In My Country: Stories by Mia Alvar (Philippines)
Please let me know if you have any South American or South East Asian writers that you love, or other works in translation that you are looking forward to reading.
Here’s wishing all readers a bounty of amazing literary adventures in 2016!