What We’re Reading Wednesday, September 14th

Image created by the editor in Canva

Hello and happy Wednesday, book friends! As things settle into a busy but manageable pattern at work, I’m amazed at how quickly time passes by. The mornings have a bit of a chill to them more often than not, and I’ve even gotten to slip into a hoodie for a few of them. 

As much as I adore the warmth of spring and summer, there’s just something cozy I welcome about the fall season, particularly in my reading life. This morning, I felt so comfortable snuggled up on the couch in my sweatshirt, under a blanket with Azula tucked next to me and a book in hand. 

The winter slow down usually means an uptick in my reading, and I’m counting on it to catch up to my sadly neglected goal of reading 100 books this year. Last I checked, I was 16 books behind schedule! 

Lofty goals aside, let’s check in on what my reading looked like over this past week. 

(Full disclosure(s): This post uses Bookshop.org affiliate links. Books noted with an asterisk were receievd as complimentary review copies). 

Recent Reads

I did it, friends. I finally finished Thank You For Listening by Julia Wheelan, which I’ve been listening to (and struggling with) for several weeks. This is the first book I’ve read from this author, and all the hype gave me high expectations. I’m sorry to say that, for me, this book didn’t meet them. 

I like the way that Wheelan played around with structure and romance tropes in the chapter titles, and I can appreciate the writing itself. But something about this book just didn’t land with me on a personal level. 

I think the main issue was that I found it a bit predictable, particularly with the romance and “plot twist” that came along with it. I don’t think it was supposed to be a surprise, necessarily, but I found it hard to stay invested when it was so obvious to me what was going to happen. 

I haven’t written a full review of this one because I can’t quite pinpoint why I had such a hard time finishing it. It just didn’t connect with me or keep me invested, and it’s no fault of the book itself so much as that it isn’t the book for me. 

Current Reads

In the mornings, I read American Detox by Kerry Kelli. It’s a fascinating look at the inequities and issues within the health and wellness industry. So far, I can’t say much of what I’ve read is particularly new information to me, but it’s very well researched and well-stated with some nice personal narrative to illustrate points. I’m a little less than halfway through, so I’m hoping as she keeps building upon this foundation I will learn some new things. 

My evening read remains Liz Parker’s The Family Compound. I’m really engaged in this story and the alternating perpsectives of the different family members as they navigate their shared inheritance of a property that’s costly to maintain. I’m curious to see how things wind up for everyone by the end. 

Since I finished Thank You For Listening, I got to pick a new audio listen. As a former iCarly fan, I couldn’t resist going for Jeanette McCurdy’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died. The buzz around this book has been intense, but I’ve mostly tried to avoid reading too much about the book because I knew I’d read it eventually. I love a celebrity memoir, particularly one that grapples with big issues and/or explores a world I’m not that familiar with, and this one is definitely doing both. 

Up Next & On to You

I’ll probably be reading American Detox for a while, as it’s a heavy read. When I finish The Family Compound, I’m going to dive into something from my hefty back catalog of anticipated romance reads before Witchtober begins in a few weeks. 

What about you, book friends? What are you reading this week, and how is it treating you? 

Want to stay up-to-date on what we’re reading every Wednesday? Get connected by following here on Medium, Instagram, and/or Twitter. You can also support us by joining Medium using this referral link or using that handy-dandy tip button below.

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 Bookshop.org 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?

See how things shape up for the second half of the year by following here, on Medium where this post was originally publishedInstagram, and/or Twitter. You can also support us by joining Medium using this referral link or buying me a coffee.