It’s that time again. I’ve let my reading fall to the wayside. I’m going to read 200 pages every day between now (13 September) and 13 October. I don’t have a reward at the end. I just want to be able to say I did it. And maybe instead of doing a personal challenge like this for two weeks, doing it for a full month will get me in the habit of finding time to read. In addition to reading 200 pages a day, I want to get in the habit of writing a little bit about what I’ve read each day.
My sub-goals for this challenge are to finish my Netgalley books, to read my next Blogging for Books choice, and to read at least ten books I’ve had forever and haven’t gotten around to reading yet. So, my tentative TBR is as follows:
- A Whole New World – Liz Braswell
- Uprooted– Naomi Novik
- Lair of Dreams – Libba Bray
- The Swans of Fifth Avenue – Melanie Benjamin
- The Gap of Time – Jeanette Winterson
- J – Howard Jacobson (gotta read those Man Booker nominations!)
- The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
- Queen of Shadows – Sarah J. Maas
- Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert (I actually started this last year!)
- The Night Manager – John Le Carré (started this in March; need to finish it)
- The Buried Life – Carrie Patel
- Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
- The Glass Sentence – S.E. Grove
- The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
- So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures – Maureen Corrigan
It’s a hefty list, but these are books I’ve been meaning to read, meaning to get around to finishing, and have been interested in for quite a while. I think it’s manageable, though, and that’s what really matters. I also tried to mix it up by incorporating different genres and styles of writing so that I don’t feel overwhelmed or bored by once genre or one author. It’s a definite mix, and I’m excited for it! I need something personal to work for, and I think reading through my ever-growing stack of unread books is a good way to start.
Lately I’ve been really aware of how many books I want to read and the limited amount of time I have in which to read, so I’m getting better about setting aside books if they aren’t grabbing my interest or if something about them annoys me. And to be clear, 95% of these DNFs are ones I’ve borrowed from the library because I was hesitant about purchasing them in the first place so I don’t feel bad about not being able to finish them. There are a few that I’ve bought that I’m like, ugh, I can’t finish this, but thankfully those are few and far in between. I’m already thinking I need to stop using the library and actually read the ARCs, review copies, and unread books I’ve bought that are just sitting here.
My most recent DNF is Peter Clines’ The Fold. I remember enjoying Ex-Heroes a few years ago, and when I heard about this recent release, I found the idea intriguing and the cover pretty fabulous. Unfortunately, I’m sort of tired of the adult white male mastermind who can do just about anything, remember just about anything, and have no apparent faults within the first hundred pages sort of trope. So, by the time this perfect Sherlock-esque mastermind, Mike, figures out that the people who made this Door to travel to alternate timelines had no idea what they were doing, I was bored. This wasn’t interesting to me at all. And I was kind of sad, because I love Sherlock-esque characters when done well, and I love time-hopping science fiction. Ultimately, what made me set the book aside was Mike’s ability to rewatch entire movies in his mind before he falls asleep – that movie being Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s a dated pop culture reference already. Ugh. Maybe I’ll give it another go in a few months when I’m not all about female representation in sci-fi, because I might’ve been more interested in this one if the characters didn’t come off as trope-y cardboard standees.
In better news, I’m doing really well on my reading challenge. There were a few days I barely made it over a hundred pages of reading, but I’m averaging out to be more than two hundred a day!
For the rest of July (the 10th through the 31st), I’ve given myself a personal reading challenge! I love Urban Decay’s lipsticks, and I really want the UD Naked Smoky palette, so I’m using those things as my motivation. Each day I have to read at least 200 pages with a total of 4,400 pages read by 31 July. If I reach that goal, I can treat myself to a new lipstick color! If I exceed those 4,400 pages by at least 1,600 pages, I can get the new Naked Smoky palette!
The main reason for this little personal challenge of mine is that I’m spending too much time browsing the internet and not reading when I have all of these books on my shelves, from the library, and from NetGalley that I want to read! Time just seems to slip away. I don’t like that.
I’m currently reading four books: Heller’s Catch-22, Le Carré’s The Night Manager, Chu’s Time Salvager, and Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Two of those I’ve been picking at since March and April, one’s an ARC I received from a Goodreads giveaway that I want to read and review in a timely manner, and this summer I’m doing a Harry Potter reread!
It’s been easy to meet the goal today thanks to Harry Potter, because today I’ve read at least a third of Prisoner of Azkaban and more than 200 pages of Goblet of Fire. I’ve even managed to squeeze in about fifty pages of Catch-22 in an effort to get that book done and finally be able to say I’ve read it (there’s something about American fiction in certain decades that doesn’t really resonate with me too much, and Catch-22 is one of them, particularly on the grounds of its military focus). Either way, it’s nice to spend a day off mostly reading and it’s nice to be ahead, especially if I want that makeup!
And! I finally figured out child themes! Pink is one of my least favorite colors and that was the main color of this theme, so I’m glad to have something a bit more to my liking! And it wasn’t difficult at all. Thanks, Google and YouTube! Maybe I’ll be more inclined to post more often now that I don’t have to keep looking at pink all the time.
I’ve been procrastinating long enough! Too much thinking, not enough productivity. I’m going to try to post twice a week about what I’m reading, whether it’s an actual review or something else book-related! I’ve got so many things to read, so many things I want to read, and I want to keep up my smarts when it comes to writing about books. I can’t let that MA I’ve earned just linger there. In addition to writing about books and writing, I also hope to document in some form my journey to earning my PhD. That’s still some time coming, and I hope the process is relatively steady. There’s just a lot to do between now and then!
I have a few eARCs from Netgalley to read soon, of which I’m especially looking forward to reading Libba Bray’s Lair of Dreams and Jessica Day George’s Silver in the Blood. I also checked out a huge stack of books from the library, and there’s a few I’ve checked out that I’ll have posts about soon.
Until next time!