The Big 2022 Mid-Year Reading Goals Check In

Happy Monday, book friends! Since I don’t have a bookmail post for today, I’m droping a midyear check-in instead! Somehow, some way, we’re already halfway through 2022, which means it’s a good time to look back on the reading goals I set way back in January and see how we’re doing!

I started the year trying to use Storygraph so I’d have fun charts and graphs, but alas, I fell off with tracking my books there because it felt like too much while still also using Goodreads. On the plus side, my reading spreadsheet does have some charts and graphs on offer that we can review.

Charts or no, let’s take a look at my reading year (so far) and how it shapes up compared with my original goals.

(Full disclosure: This posts uses affiliate links).

Goodreads Goal: 100 Books

Where I’m At: 39 Books Completed (6 Books Behind Schedule)

According to Goodreads, I’m six books behind schedule here, which is no surprise since the summer downshift I usually experience at work has yet to arrive. 100 was an ambitious goal, and I won’t be surprised if I don’t meet it, but it’ll be fun to see how close I can get!

Read Harder Challenge

Where I’m At: 4 of 24 Tasks Completed

Tasks completed: Book set in a bookstore, book by a POC that’s about joy and not trauma, romance where the protagonist is over 40, read a horror novel by a POC (this one was 100% an accident as I don’t read horror but did not realise Earthlings was horror until it was already happening).

As I mentioned in my goals post, I never actually complete this challenge because there are always a few prompts I’m just not interested in pursuing. I like to check this list as a guideline to push my reading boundaries, and I forget about it for stretches of time. There are a few tasks I still have my eye on for this year, so I’m hoping to tick off a few more boxes, at least.

Read 5 Self-Care/Spiritual Books

Where I’m At: 5/5 Books Completed

Did I read the books I outlined in my self-guided curriculum? Nope. Did I read five self-care/spiritual books this year? Yes!

I think I will continue reading this genre in the mornings as part of my daily routine, so I expect to finish out the year with far more than five under my belt!

Start a Little Free Library

Where I’m At: She LIVES!

The Your Book Friend Little Free Library is up and running! I’ve still got a lot to learn about being a good steward, I’m sure, but it’s there and there are books, so mission accomplished. I’ve also been popping little free tarot readings in there sporadically, which has been a lot of fun!

Make a Dent in the Book of the Month Stack of Shame

Where I’m At: Um…

I started the year with good intentions here, but have not done a good job of contuining through my backlog. I did admit to one or two books I’m never going to read and popped them in the LFL, but otherwise, there’s an entire shelf on my TBR cart dedicated to the ghosts of Books of the Month past.

Keep Up Your Book Friend

Where I’m At: Well, I’m here, aren’t I?

I think we can consider this one a success so far! I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with new posts to do for the blog and Bookstagram pages and don’t see myself slowing down any time soon (save the usual August in Higher Ed situation, of course).

Other Stats & Notes

My reading spreadsheet (courtesy of Book Riot) tracks a few statistics about my reading habits, which I always like to check in on a few times a year.

In terms of POC vs. white authors, I’m trending a bit behind where I was last year, with 18.4% POC authors. This is an area I hope to improve through the next half of the year.

Similarly, my queer and disability rep reading isn’t quite where I’d like it to be for a good diverse reading year, with 10.5% and 7.9% respectively. If you have recs in these areas, let me have them!

In terms of author gender, I’m at 94.6% female-identifying authors, which is not a surprise to anyone. The 5.4% of male-identifying authors may actually be a slightly larger chunk of the pie than last year, even. Here, I’d like to ensure I’m reading beyond the binary and pick up a few books by non-binary folks before the year is out.

Finally, genre! This is the one that gets the pie chart because it’s the most interesting:

Image from Excel spreadsheet created by Book Riot

While Romance still has the biggest chunk of the pie, I’m excited by the sheer variety of other genres represented here! You can even tell I set a goal to read more self-help from the 12.8% of the pie that genre has claimed.

Final Thoughts

In all, it’s been a great reading year so far! I have some goals completed and others to step it up on, but the important thing is, reading should be a source of fun and personal development. These things, I’ve definitely got on lock for 2022 so far!

How has your year in reading been so far, book friends?

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The Best Books I Read In November 2021

Photo by Min An from Pexels

Ah, November. The month where it really starts getting cold in earnest here in Pennsylvania, and where we transition from spooky season to turkey season here in the U.S. Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s hard to avoid references to the holiday and the associated call for gratitude. 

This year, I’m feeling that call inward moreso than any desire to gather and celebrate. It’s been the most challenging semester of my career in academia, and though I am grateful for my job in so many ways, I’m also… very tired. 

Not surprisingly, I have gotten less reading done this month as a result. As much as I enjoyed Blogtober, it was maybe not my wisest idea to commit to extra reading & writing during such a busy semester. The moment November hit, I hit the reading brakes and pulled out my Switch. It didn’t help that the new Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond game came out this month, and I felt the need to ride that particular nostalgia train. 

Still, I did get a few books in this month, so here I am with my monthly reading recap full of book recommendations for your TBR!

(Full disclosure: Book links are affiliate links.) 

One Night on the Island by Josie Silver 

Josie Silver’s next book, One Night on the Island, comes out in February 2022. By the grace of NetGalley, I got an advanced copy and was able to dig in early, and oh, am I excited for you all to be able to read this book. 

It follows Chloe and Mack as they arrive on a remote Irish island only to discover they’ve both booked the same small cabin. The weather and travel schedules don’t allow for either of them to make a quick departure, and forced proximity ensues. 

Following in the footsteps of the beautiful and heartbreaking One Day in December and The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, Silver’s latest delivers all the aching, soul-searching goodness we’ve come to expect. This is definitely my favorite read of the month, and you can read more about it in my review: Josie Silver Delivers Again with “One Night on the Island”

Loving Monsters by Laura Eppinger

Is there any joy greater than receiving a package from a friend? Perhaps, if that package is their book! Laura is a friend from my former life as the nonfiction editor of a literary magazine, and I was absolutely thrilled to receive a copy of Loving Monsters, her flash fiction collection. 

This book may be small, but it packs a punch, each piece of flash fiction full of powerful imagery and wit that linger long after you finish reading. It is a masterful collection that brings monsters into their humanity and sheds a light on the monstrousness that lurks within us all. 

Honorable Mentions

This month, I also read No Judgments by Meg Cabot, because I discovered it lurking in my Audible library from prior purchases unknown. This book follows Bree, who’s moved to Little Bridge Island to escape her ex and his best friend. Hurricane season arrives, and she decides to stick it out on the island with her beloved cat Gary, but of course, things don’t quite go to plan. It was resoundingly fine and kind of a weird ride, to be honest. Can’t say it’s among my favorites this month or from her wide catalog. 

Another audiobook I squeezed in was Rainbow Rowell’s Audible-only released short story, If The Fates Allow. I generally ignore the “free books for Prime members” bit of having an Amazon account but when I saw, in between credits, that I could get this one on audio for free, I went for it. This was a COVID-centric holiday short story with a dash of romance, and I wasn’t quite prepared for that, I don’t think. I was glad it was so short, because we spent a lot of time living with the protagonist’s COVID anxieties and fears, which is, frankly, a bit too on the nose for me still. 

I’m also a little over halfway through Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, and I’m really, really enjoying it. I’ve no doubt it would make the best of the month list, had I only finished it in November. Stay tuned for December when I will no doubt finally have a full review to offer. 

That’s honestly it for me this month. Like I said, not a heavy one on the reading, though I do hope to kick it back into action with some holiday-themed reads in the coming weeks. 

Any spectacular books make their way into your reading life this month? Let me know so I can break my reading slump!

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